Brian McMath (Director of Bands) is currently in his twenty-sixth year as an educator and nineteenth year as the Director of Bands at Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. While at Northwest Guilford, Mr. McMath’s bands have received recognition for their growth, discipline and individual member achievements. Members of the class bands (Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble) are consistently chosen for various All-County, All-District and Honor Bands across the state. At least thirty-five alumni from Mr. McMath’s programs are now music educators or are pursuing careers in music education.
Under Mr. McMath’s direction, the school’s Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble have consistently earned ratings of Excellent and Superior at Regional and State Festivals. The Wind Ensemble consistently performs grade five and grade six literature at the North Carolina Music Performance Assessment Festival earning Superior Ratings. Additionally, the Marching Viking Band (a volunteer organization) has competed in the Outback Bowl (twice – Grand Champion 2004) in Tampa, Florida and the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. The Marching Viking Band has been invited to perform at the Liberty Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, the National Parade in Washington, DC, the Holiday Parade in Waikiki, Hawaii and at the London New Year’s Day Parade.
The inaugural Wind Symphony was selected to perform at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC for the 2020 Sousa Festival. The Marching Vikings were invited to perform for the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2021. We are honored to be a part of this celebration and once in a lifetime trip.
Mr. McMath was a top 10 finalist out of almost 2,000 applicants for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. He was awarded the 2021 Central District Bandmasters Award of Excellence for his career in all areas of instrumental music education, having produced excellent groups in the areas of concert, marching, and jazz ensembles. He was a recipient of the 2019 NC Teaching Hero Award from the North Carolina Lottery. Mr. McMath has recently been nominated for ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Northwest Guilford as well as recipient of the 2010-2011 Guilford County United Arts Council ‘ARTS Education Teacher of the Year’. In 2001, he was named Coca-Cola Educator of the Year and “Outstanding Young Educator” by the Asheboro, North Carolina Jaycees. Mr. McMath has been nominated for “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” by his students over ten times and was recently recognized by the group “Who’s Who In America”.
Mr. McMath’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UNC-Greensboro (1996) as well as a Master of Music degree in Music Education (2010). He also received his National Board Certification in November 2002 and Re-Certification in November 2012. Mr. McMath holds professional memberships in the Music Educators National Conference, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators, the Central District Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Mr. McMath has performed in Switzerland, Italy, France and Monte Carlo with the Greensboro Choral Society. He has conducted in London and York as well as for the Prime Minister of Scotland in April 2001. He has performed in over 10 local theater shows in Greensboro and High Point both on stage and in the ‘pit’. Mr. McMath has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Carolina Winter Ensemble Association as Vice-President (four years) and President (two years). He has built several strong competitive winter ensembles including a ‘Varsity’ and ‘JV’ Winter Guard and ‘Winter Percussion Ensemble’. These groups continuously compete at local, regional and national competitions under Winter Guard International (WGI).
Mr. McMath has traveled with his extra-curricular ensembles to Tampa and Orlando, Florida; Dayton, Ohio; Tempe, Arizona; Toronto, Canada; New York City; Italy Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland and France
Drew Brooks (Assistant Director of Bands) began his career in music education in South Carolina where he graduated from Summerville High School. There, he performed at the BOA Grand National level with the SHS Competitive Performance Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Leslie Gilreath. In 2008, he received the Henry Fillmore Award for Outstanding Musicianship and was awarded the SC Teaching Fellows Scholarship to attend Furman University.
At Furman University, Mr. Brooks marched for four years as a member of the Paladin Regiment under the direction of Mr. Jay Bocook and Dr. Les Hicken. During his undergraduate studies, he was selected to spend a semester at the prestigious Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy to study music and horn performance with professional musicians across Tuscany. Following his semester abroad, he competed and won the Furman University Biennial Concerto Competition, he was selected as principal horn of the South Carolina Intercollegiate Honor Band, and he was elected to serve as the president of Furman’s Gamma Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Immediately after earning his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and graduating magna cum laude from Furman University in 2012, Mr. Brooks joined the staff of the Auburn University Marching Band where he apprenticed in drill-writing and music arranging for athletic bands under Dr. Rick Good and Dr. Johnnie Vinson. During his time at Auburn, Mr. Brooks also served as a staff drum major for the pregame and halftime shows in Jordan-Hare Stadium, conducted the Basketball Pep Band for ESPN televised games in Auburn Arena, and co-conducted the Tiger and Eagle Wind Ensembles. He was also selected to serve as a member of the band director staff for the 2012 Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
Over the past decade, Mr. Brooks has directed middle and high school band programs in North Carolina and South Carolina wherein his students and ensembles have consistently earned ratings of Excellent and Superior in regional and state adjudication. In 2020, he earned his Master of Music in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he served as Graduate Teaching Associate for the Music Education Department and Greensboro Graduate Scholar for the Graduate School. During his graduate studies, he focused his research on the effects of music education experiences on the social identity development and the social-emotional learning of adolescents. His research was selected for presentation at the International Society for Music Education World Conference in Helsinki, Finland, the Biennial Society for Music Teacher Education National Conference in Greensboro, NC, the Biennial Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in Kissimmee, FL, and the North Carolina Music Educators Association Annual Conference in Winston-Salem, NC.
Mr. Brooks holds professional memberships in the National Association for Music Education, the Society for Music Teacher Education, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, the Central District Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, and Phi Eta Sigma. Horn is his primary instrument and, presently, he serves as principal horn for the Poinsett Wind Symphony. In addition to his passion for music education, Mr. Brooks is a proud father and husband. He and his wife, Abbey, are so grateful for their two precious children, Silas and Lilah (and their dog, Rosie). Mr. Brooks is both thrilled and honored to be a part of the Viking Band Family!