JOHNNY BROWN has been hired as an assistant band director with the Grady County School System. He will work alongside Washington Middle School band director, Patrick Ballew, as well as assisting with the Cairo High School Syrupmaker Band.
The Grady County School System’s band program will have some new faces following action by the board of education last week to hire two new assistant band directors. The move comes after the recent resignation of Cairo High School’s assistant band director, Adam Swan, who has been named the director of bands for Thomasville High School.
Joining the local band staff will be Johnny Brown and Cody Ray. Local officials describe both as highly qualified and capable of benefiting the band program, overall.
Cody Ray will work primarily at Cairo High School, according to director of bands, John Scanling.
Ray is a 2012 graduate of Mortimer Jordan High School in Kimberly, Alabama, and a 2018 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Director Ray has two years of teaching experience under his belt and most recently served as the director of bands at Sipsey Valley Middle/High School.
Ray’s principal instrument is percussion and he was the percussion section leader in the UAB Marching Blazers. He is a former member and instructor of the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps.
“Having a percussionist with Mr. Ray’s experience in both the areas of concert and marching will give our kids a well-rounded percussion experience. It is also great that we could find someone with successful teaching experience and leading a band program,” Director Scanling said.
Ray will be tasked with working with both the concert band at the high school as well as with the Syrupmaker Marching Band. Director Scanling’s desire is for Ray to also work with middle school percussionists, as well.
Johnny Brown, a 2009 graduate of Valdosta High School and 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University, will primarily work at Washington Middle School along with W.M.S. band director, Patrick Ballew.
Brown, who will complete his Masters of Arts Training Certification in August, interned at Lowndes High School this spring.
His principal instrument is flute, but Brown is also proficient on clarinet and saxophone.
During marching season, Brown will assist with the high school marching band along with Ballew and Director Amy Amaro.
“We are excited about having Mr. Brown in Grady County. Having another woodwind specialist on the band staff and teaching band classes with Mr. Ballew at Washington Middle really gives our students a great opportunity to be successful. The stronger our middle school bands are, the better the Cairo Band will be. We also expect this to improve retention going to the high school,” Mr. Scanling said.