John McAllister - Coordinator of District 7 Band Activities, Director of Bands at SHS
John McAllister is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Furman University, where he graduated with honors and received his BM in Music Education. John studied trombone with Mark Britt and conducting with Les Hicken. He has been teaching in District 7 since 2008 and has taught at EP Todd School, Park Hill Elementary, Carver Middle School, and McCracken Middle School. Under his direction, bands and students have received numerous superior ratings at SCBDA events. As a performer, you will find him playing in various brass groups and bands around town; you might even find him playing tuba or clarinet!In addition to teaching and performing, John is also an active music composer and arranger. He arranges for local marching bands regularly, as well as writing/arranging the music for many performances of the Spartanburg Band. He maintains a catalogue of self-published works on his website and provides plenty of free resources for his band director colleagues. John is also active as a composer in the commercial realm, composing original music for video games, films, and various tv ads. One of his largest music placements has been in a Wounded Warrior commercial that aired on CBS in December of 2015. He also composed several cues for the Emmy Award Winning Film "The Greatest Honor." When John isn't teaching, performing, or composing, he likes to get lost in the woods... Whether it be hiking, camping, or kayaking, he thoroughly loves being outdoors. John lives happily in Spartanburg with his wife Katee.
Alice Welchel - Assistant Director at SHS, Houston Elementary, Chapman Elementary
Alice Welchel is a native of Concord, North Carolina. She graduated in 1988 from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's of Music Education degree, and received a Master's of Music Education from Winthrop University in 1991. She served as Director of Bands in Spartanburg School District Four for 16 years, where she conducted the Woodruff High and Middle School Bands. Under Ms. Welchel, the WHS Marching Cadets placed in the 2A State Finals for the first time in school history. She has performed with the Spartanburg Community Band, the St. John's Brass Quintet, and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a member of MENC, SCBDA, the SC Middle School Association, International Trombone Association, Sigma Alpha Iota National Music Fraternity, and the SC Education Association. Ms. Welchel also served as brass instructor of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corp in the summer of 1990. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2010. She has been a member of the District Seven band staff since 2005.
Matt McDaniel - Director of Percussion Studies, MMS, Pine Street Elementary, Jesse Boyd Elementary
Matthew B. McDaniel has served as the Elementary Band Coordinator for Spartanburg District 7 since 2006. Mr. McDaniel currently teaches band at McCracken Middle School as well as Boyd and Pine Street Elementary Schools. He is proud to be the director of the Spartanburg High School Percussion Ensemble.Raised in Conyers, Georgia, Matt graduated from Georgia State Universityin 1997 having student taught at Cobb County's Mabry Middle School. While earning his degree he was fortunate to have worked with some of the finest high schools and independent percussion programs in the Atlanta area. In 2004, he graduated with a Master of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and received National Board Certification in 2011. Matt considers himself blessed with having studied with many of the finest music education and percussion professors, including Dr. Thomas Goolsby, Dr. Thomas Wubbenhorst, Mr. Jack Bell, Mr. John Lawless, Dr. Thomas Fraschillo, Dr. John Wooton, Dr.Jennifer Shank, and Dr. Charles Elliott.As a percussionist, Matt was a member of the 1993 Spirit of Georgia and 1994 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, and a player instructor of the 1995 Atlanta Rhythm Machine - the WGI Independent World Class Indoor Drum Line Champion. He was honored to be selected as a featured marimba soloist for the Evenlyn Glennie master class during the 1994 Percussive Arts Society International Clinic in Atlanta. In 1998, Matt was one of the 164 marimbists in the Marimba Festival Orchestra in West Point, conducted by Frederick Fennell.He is a member of many professional music associations: the National Association for Music Educators, the South Carolina Music Educators Association, the South Carolina Band Directors Association, and the Percussive Arts Society.Matt and his wonderful wife Adena perform as the co-Principal Percussionists for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra; and they have two wonderful sons, Killian and Finnigan.
Sharon Atherton is a native of Charleston, SC. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and received a Masters in Flute Performance from Converse College. Mrs. Atherton has been a member of the District Seven band staff since 2010. Prior to teaching in District 7, Mrs. Atherton served as Director of Bands at Oakbrook Preparatory School, Pacolet Junior High School, and as an assistant at Broome High School. Additional teaching responsibilities have included numerous theatrical productions, general music, and high school chorus. Bands under Mrs. Atherton's baton have received Superior ratings at state and regional festivals and the SCBDA Outstanding Performance Award. Her students have earned positions annually in Region and All-state bands and many have gone on to careers in music. She has performed with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Carolina Wind Orchestra, the Spartanburg Community Band, and numerous church orchestras in the Spartanburg area. From 2003-2010, Mrs. Atherton served as Director of Personnel and Operations with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Mrs. Atherton's professional affiliations include the National Band Association, NAfME, SCBDA, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.Mrs. Atherton is married to David Atherton and has three children, Greg, Steven, and Kelly, who have all participated in the Spartanburg High School band program.
Myrella Samuels is a native of Lexington, South Carolina and graduated from Lexington High School. She received her Bachelors of Music in Education from Furman University in 2011. Miss Samuels has performed in many ensembles including the Lexington High School Wind Ensemble, Region Two Honor Band, South Carolina Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Furman Wind Ensemble, Furman Symphonic Band, Furman Symphony Orchestra, and Bellfire Brass Quintet. Miss Samuels has also performed with the Lexington High School Marching Catband and the Furman University Paladin Regiment. She has been a member of the District Seven band staff since 2011.
Dr. Vern Weygandt holds a DMA in Music Education from the University of Georgia, an MM in trombone performance from Winthrop University, and a BA in Music Education from Limestone College. After touring the Eastern U.S. as a jazz/R&B performer, he directed band in York and Union South Carolina, and served on the faculties of Limestone College, Converse College, and the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he taught courses in music education, music theory, composition, jazz studies, commercial music, and applied low brass. Recently, he served as a graduate TA at the University of Georgia, lecturing in elementary and secondary music education, brass methods, and practicum supervision. He is currently the Director of Bands at McCracken Middle School in Spartanburg, SC. Dr. Weygandt is an active freelance trombonist and member of NAfME, SCBDA, Music Teachers National Association, International Trombone Association, and the Society for Music Theory.