Andy Esserwein - Director of Bands
Andrew C. Esserwein has been the Director of Bands for Sprayberry High School since 2002. While at Sprayberry, the Bands have consistently earned Superior Ratings in Concert and Marching Activities, and have performed across the Southeast as well as Chicago, New York and Washington DC.
A native of Cobb County, Georgia, Mr. Esserwein holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Theory from Furman University. While at Furman, he served as Drum Major of the Furman University Marching Band for 2 years, as well as serving as an active officer in the Gamma Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Fraternity.
Mr. Esserwein also holds a Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he served as Graduate assistant with the "Wildcat" Marching Band, and conducted the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Bands.
Mr. Esserwein has studied saxophone with Bob Cowles and Cliff Leamon, and conducting with Les Hicken, Daniel Boda, Stephen Peterson, and John Paynter.
Mr. Esserwein joined the faculty of North Cobb High School in 1995, and served as Assistant Director of Bands. During his tenure at North Cobb High School, the band program tripled in size. Mr. Esserwein was responsible for 3 Concert Bands consisting of 260 members, 2 jazz bands, a 180 member Marching Band, as well as supervising various small ensembles and soloists. He was also Associate Conductor of the North Cobb Symphony Orchestra, which performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association State Convention in Savannah, Georgia.
Mr. Esserwein has performed with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the Cobb Wind Symphony. He is affiliated with professional organizations which include the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Educators, National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity and Phi Beta Mu International Band Fraternity. He was chosen as the Star Teacher for North Cobb High School in 1997 and 2002, as well as the District 3A Star Teacher in 1997, and was chosen for membership in Who's Who Among American Teachers in 1999 and 2002. He is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the southeast.
Mr. Esserwein and his wife Michelle have one child, Sarah.
Terrace Ellis - Associate Director of Bands
Mr. Terrace Ellis is the Associate Band Director of the Sprayberry High School Band. He was formerly an Assistant Band Director in the Milton High School Cluster of schools Including Hopewell Middle School, Crabapple Crossing Elementary and Milton High School. Mr. Ellis was also the Assistant Band Director at Pebblebrook High School from 2003-2005. Mr. Ellis holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in music education from Georgia Southern University. He maintains an active musical career as a conductor, teacher and performer. Mr. Ellis has been guest conductor of several bands, including the Georgia Southern University Wind Ensemble and Concert Bands, the OASIS Community Band in Statesboro, Ga as well as serving as a guest clinician at high school and middle school programs all over the Southeast.
Additionally, he has developed a strong connection to the marching arts. Terrace has served on the teaching faculty of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, the Milton High School Marching Band and the Atlanta Quest Independent World Winter Guard Drumline. Mr. Ellis has also designed and written marching shows for several marching band, indoor drumlines and winter guard programs. These programs include the Georgia Southern University Southern Pride Marching Band, Tattanal County High School Band, Pebblebook High School Band, South East Bulloch High School Marching Band, Sprayberry High School and the Atlanta Quest Indoor Percussion Ensemble.
Having held Drum Major positions throughout high school and college, Mr. Ellis frequently serves as drum major clinician and adjudicator in the southeast. He teaches several drum major camps every summer including serving as caption head of the distinguished Spirit Camp run by Freddy and Lynda Martin. In addition Mr. Ellis is an active adjudicator for marching competitions and festivals in both music, visual and effect captions in the Southeast.
Performance credits include the Georgia Southern University Wind Ensemble, Oasis Community Band, Cobb Wind Symphony, concert tours of the United States, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, England and Italy. His professional Affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society, Music Educators National Conference and the Georgia Music Educators Association. Mr. Ellis currently resides in Atlanta, Ga.
Alan sears - Director of percussion
Alan Sears has served as the Director of Percussion Studies at Sprayberry High School since 2003.
He obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Georgia Southern University in 1999.
While there he performed under the direction of Dr. Daniel Pittman, and studied with Dr. Matt Fallin. He was a member of the “Southern Pride” Marching Drumline and Indoor Drumline. He instructed and arranged for the group from 1996-1998. He also toured extensively as a performer over the Eastern United States and throughout Europe.
Alan Sears is a co-founder of Atlanta Quest. He has been the music and program director since the beginning in 2002 and consults and arranges for many groups throughout the state. His students have been named to the Georgia All-State Band and Orchestra, the Georgia Governors Honors Program, and received scholarships and placement in some of the most prestigious college band programs in the country. He also serves as the Co-Caption Head and Arranger for Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Sears also has his arrangements published with CounterMotion Inc.
Mr. Sears is member of the Percussive Arts Society and a co-founder of the Georgia Alliance for Performing Arts Education, a non-profit foundation that provides support for Atlanta Quest.
Alan is married to Monna Sears and the proud father of two sons Hayden Alan Sears and Cole Alexander Sears.
Onye Eme Awari - Percussion InstructoR
Onye, a graduate of Sprayberry High School, began his drum corps career at Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. He marched the all-age corps from 2007-2009. He later went on to march Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for four summers beginning in 2010, and served as the tenor section leader for the last three. He also participated in DCI's Individual & Ensemble in 2012 and 2013, coming in 2nd place on both occasions. Since aging out of drum corps, Onye has been involved with other organizations including Alliance, Blue Knights, and Blue Stars, serving as an instructor for each. Additionally, he spent the summer of 2015 touring Europe with the Blue Devils International Corps.
Onye marched on the quad line at Atlanta Quest Indoor for 8 years starting in 2007 and aged out in 2015. The only indoor season he wasn't at AQ was 2011, where he served as an actor for Music City Mystique as the "Mantra Drummer" in their World Championship production Mantra. He currently serves as a staff member at Atlanta Quest. Onye is an active clinician and consultant for many programs across the country, and is the head battery coordinator at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA. He currently resides in metro-Atlanta and is pursuing a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Georgia after earning his Bachelor's in Psychology from Kennesaw State University in 2014. Onye is also an actor represented by J Pervis Talent Agency and Crackerjack Management in Atlanta. He is proudly endorsed by Innovative Percussion and Dynasty USA.
Lindsay Rohskopf - Percussion InstructoR
Lindsay began her percussion career at Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. She went on to march drum corps as a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corp's front ensemble in 2014 and 2015. In addition to drum corps, she marched four seasons as a member of the Atlanta Quest Indoor Drumline for the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 seasons. Lindsay is the 2014 winner of the inaugural PASIC Chamber Ensemble Competition as a marimba soloist. She is a staff arranger and instructor for the Wesleyan School's outdoor and indoor percussion program. Lindsay studied music education at Middle Tennessee State University for two years before transferring to Kennesaw State University to pursue a career in nursing. The Fall of 2017 will be Lindsay's second season with the Sprayberry Band of Gold.
Color Guard Instructors
Nicole West - Color Guard Director
Bio coming soon!
Heather Staples - Color Guard Instructor
Heather, a graduate of Sprayberry High School, began her Drum Corps career with Drum Corps Associate's Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps from 2008 to 2011. She also marched with Drum Corps Associate's Atlanta CV for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Heather went on to march Drum Corps International's Spirit of Atlanta in 2012 and Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, where she aged out. From 2012 to 2017, Heather marched with Reverie Independent where she served as Captain from 2013 to 2016 and aged out of Open Class in 2017. Along with teaching at Sprayberry High School, Heather is also a staff member with the Reverie A program this winter. Heather attended Kennesaw State University where she graduated with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice in 2015. She currently works as an Investigator and resides in Kennesaw, GA with her boyfriend, Cesar, and dog, Kobe. The 2017 program will mark Heather's fifth season as an instructor with the Sprayberry Band of Gold and Guard programs.