Thompson High School Bands
Staff

Staff


Director: Graham Bennett

Graham Bennett is a native of Hoover, Alabama.  After graduating from Hoover High School in 2008, he attended Jacksonville State University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.  Mr. Bennett participated in Drum Corps International as a member of the world class organizations Spirit and The Madison Scouts.  Mr. Bennett went on to receive his Masters in Music Education from William Carey University in the Summer of 2019.  He previously served as the director of bands at Jacksonville High School and Mary G. Montgomery High School before joining the Thompson High School faculty.

Mr. Bennett currently works with the Thompson High School Marching Southern Sounds, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble.  Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their two beautiful daughters currently reside in Helena, Alabama.


Assistant Director: Mark Knauss

Mark Knauss is a music educator with experience in public school and collegiate bands. He holds a Master of Arts in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Jacksonville State University. Previously, Mr. Knauss was the Director of Bands at Mary G. Montgomery High School (7A) in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Knauss’ bands consistently achieve top ratings and have performed at national events such as the 100th Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In addition, Mr. Knauss has organized and led bands in major events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis, IN and the OVC Basketball Tournament in Nashville, TN. During his time with JSU Jazz Ensemble One, Mr. Knauss performed on two albums – including the Downbeat award-winning album, Everything In Its Right Place.

Currently, Mr. Knauss is the Associate Director of Bands at Thompson High School. He directs the THS Symphonic Band, THS Jazz Lab Band, and co-directs the award-winning THS Marching Southern Sounds.


Assistant Director: Ashton Bowles

Ashton Bowles is in her fourth year at teaching! Ashton teaches the Thompson High School Concert Band and the Thompson Middle School beginning band oboes, bassoons, trombones, and tubas. Ms. Bowles likes to play multiple instruments but her primary instrument is tuba.

Bachelor of Science in Education magna cum laude from the University of Alabama, 2018

Master of Music from the American Band College accredited through the Central Washington University, 2020


TMS Band Director:  Michael Chambless

Michael Chambless is in his sixth year as Director of Bands at Thompson Middle School, and his eighth year of teaching. Mr. Chambless is a native of Hoover, Alabama and a graduate of Hoover High School.

Prior to his time at Thompson, Mr. Chambless began his teaching career at Hillcrest and Duncanville Middle Schools in Tuscaloosa, AL. His bands have consistently received superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Music Performance Assessment. His bands have also performed in Orlando at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. He has served on staff at various summer music camps throughout the region and also assists with the Thompson High School Marching Southern Sounds.

Mr. Chambless holds a Bachelors of Science in Music Education from The University of Alabama and a Masters in Education from the American Band College at Central Washington University. At UA, he was a member of the Alabama Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Million Dollar Band, and studied saxophone with Dr. Jon Noffsinger. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Alabama Music Educators Association, and Alabama Bandmasters Association. He currently resides in Alabaster with his wife Cindy, who is a professional musician, and their daughter Caroline.

At Thompson Middle School, Mr. Chambless conducts the Symphonic Band and Concert Band 2, and assists with Concert Band 1.He also teaches beginning band saxophone, clarinet, and flute classes.


TMS Assistant Band Director: Meredith Greene

Mrs. Greene is originally from Winfield, Alabama. She earned her bachelors and masters degrees in music education from The University of Alabama. While attending the university Mrs. Greene was a member of many performing ensembles, including the Alabama Wind Ensemble, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, the Million Dollar Band, and many other ensembles. She also served as a graduate teaching assistent in the music education department and taught the preK music classes for the Tuscaloosa City School system. Prior to joining the faculty at Thompson Middle School, Mrs. Greene taught music at Holt Elementary school in Tuscaloosa and band in the Winfield City School system. This is Mrs. Greene’s sixth year at Thompson Middle School.


Percussion Director: Jamiah Robbins

coming soon


Guard Sponsor: Brandon Cornelison

Brandon Cornelison began his color guard career in 2004 with Jacksonville State Marching Southerners and Center Stage Performance Ensemble. Throughout the years Brandon has performed with Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown, Phantom Regiment Winter Guard, Crown Guard, and Atlanta CV.  Having almost 18 years of experience performing, teaching, and choreographing, Brandon currently works as a choreographer for Divenire Winter Guard, drill designer/choreographer for D2, and head coach for the Thompson High School Winter Guards. He has also worked with several other independent and scholastic units throughout the southeast.


Varsity Dance Team: Emily Bennett

Emily Bennett is a native of Oxford, Alabama. After graduating from Oxford High School in 2009, she went on to attend Jacksonville State University where she received her BS in Kinesiology. Mrs. Bennett went on to receive her Masters in Elementary Education at Jacksonville State University, as well as her certification in Physical Education grades P-12.

Mrs. Bennett began dancing at the age of four participating in ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and contemporary. She became a part of the Oxford High School Golden Girl Dance team where she served as the dance team captain her senior year. During Mrs. Bennett’s time as a Golden Girl, the team competed in annual UDA national competitions. At Jacksonville State University Mrs. Bennett continued her dance career as a JSU Marching Ballerina. During her forth year as a Marching Ballerina she served as the Head Ballerina. While serving in this position she choreographed and led the dance line for the 2012 season. Mrs. Bennett has been teaching dance for nine years at both studios and schools consisting of: Mary G. Montgomery High School, Causey Middle School, Jacksonville High School, Helena High School, Calhoun County Dance Academy, and Oxford High School.

Mrs. Bennett will be teaching dance courses at Thompson High School and Thompson Middle School, as well as assisting Mrs. Morris with the THS Warriorettes and Majorettes.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their two beautiful daughters currently reside in Helena, AL.


Junior Varsity Dance Team: Harlie Wilson

Hello! My name is Harlie Wilson. I was raised in White Plains, AL. I graduated from Jacksonville State University in 2020 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. I am excited to teach 6th-8th grade Dance classes and 6th grade Reading. I also coach the JV Warriorette Dance Team at THS. When I am not teaching or coaching I enjoy working out at the gym, spending time with my family, and baking delicious cakes. I currently reside in Calera with my husband and our dog, Rora. I am looking forward to being a part of the Warrior family. I know this will be an amazing year!


Majorette Sponsor: Anna Catherine Wilson

My name is Anna Catherine Wilson and this will be my third year of teaching at Thompson High School! I graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. This year I teach Honors Geometry with Data Analysis and Geometry with Data Analysis. I am the THS Majorette coach and enjoy my time working with the Marching Southen Sounds Band! War Ealgle and go Warriors!