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.
Josh Bouland - Percussion InstructoR
Josh Bouland recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He is currently the Assistant Band Director at Mill Creek Middle school in Woodstock, GA.
He marched for four years at Sprayberry High School while also marching in WGI with Atlanta Quest from 2012 all the way through 2016. Josh marched quads with ALLIANCE Drum and Bugle Corps in the summer of 2014 and in the summer of 2015 with the Blue Devils International Corps where he toured across Europe. In the fall of that same year, Josh was a member of the inaugural Kennesaw State Marching Owls.
Josh has taught with many high school and middle school percussion programs across North Georgia. He is currently a battery technician with Sprayberry High School, but has also taught at West Forsyth High School, South Forsyth High School, Lassiter High School, and Walton High School. He is also co-battery coordinator for Q2, an independent open group in WGI.
In his spare time, Josh writes about soccer online for MLS Multiplex and covers Atlanta’s professional soccer team, Atlanta United.
Shawn Singh - Percussion InstructoR
Bio coming soon!
Nicole West - Color Guard Director
Bio coming soon!
Brent Flynn - Color Guard Instructor
Brent Flynn, a graduate of River Ridge High School has worked with a number of high school programs including the Chattahoochee High School Fall and Winter guard programs, the Chapel Hill High School band program and now the Sprayberry High School Fall and Winter programs. Brent is currently pursuing a degree in public relations with a double minor in marketing and sociology at Kennesaw State University. He has marched in both DCI and WGI competitive groups, spending the past 3 seasons with Reverie Productions and marching Madison Scouts in 2017.
Patrick Scyphers - Color Guard Instructor
Patrick, began his marching arts career at Palmetto High School in Williamston, South Carolina where he started performing in their color guard program in 2010. He began his Drum Corps career with Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010 and continued on to march with Spirit of Atlanta in 2011 and Atlanta CV in 2012. Patrick has also performed with Reverie in 2013 and filled a hole with Reverie Open in the 2019 season, where he aged out of Open Class. Along with Reverie he has also performed with Entr’acte Independent in 2014 and 2015. Before working with Sprayberry High School he has taught at South Carolina schools T.L. Hanna High School, Laurens District 55 High School, and James F. Byrnes High School. Along with Sprayberry High School, Patrick currently works with Reverie, where he is also on the Board of Directors. Currently in school at Arizona State University Online, he is pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and expecting to graduate in December of 2020. The Fall of 2019 will be Patrick’s second marching band season with the Sprayberry Band of Gold.
Jaleesa Levy - Dance Instructor/Choreographer
Jeleesa has always had a love for the performing arts. She started dancing at the age of 3 and was constantly submerged in the arts growing up. Coming from a military family, she relocated numerous times before settling down in Georgia. In high school, Jeleesa stumbled upon color guard and has been captivated by the art form ever since. She went on to continue performing with Aureus Independent, Georgia Tech Marching Band, Carolina Crown, and Pride of Cincinnati. During her time in college, she also joined the Purple Elephant Society hip-hop dance company in Atlanta.
Jaleesa has taught or choreographed for the following programs: Aureus Independent, Barber Middle School, British Academy of Performing Arts, Bravo Dance Center, East Lake High School, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech Color Guard, Hickory Hills Elementary School, Mill Creek High School, Norcross High School, North Cobb High School, Reverie Independent Open and A, Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps, University of Cincinnati Winter Guard, Crossman Drum and Bugle Corps and the University of Georgia Winter Guard.
Jeleesa is currently sharing her time teaching at Kennesaw Mountain High School, Sprayberry and McEachern High schools in Cobb County.