VIC FIRTH SPOTLIGHT:
About MATT HENLEY:
Matt Henley is the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University, which includes assisting with the Sudler Trophy winning "Pride of the Mountains" marching band, the"Cathouse Pep Band", and an NBA style drumline entitled “Purple Thunder” that performs for many WCU basketball games.
One of Mr. Henley's primary duties is the Marching Percussion Program at WCU. This includes teaching and arranging for the marching ensemble. Matt earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from Western Carolina University, and has played with and instructed such groups as the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, the Limestone College Percussion Studio, the Tuscola High School Percussion Program, Showband Gifhorn, and the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.
His high school groups have performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, numerous North Carolina Days of Percussion, and have won the Open Class CIPA Percussion Championship along with many years of successful marching band high percussion awards. He has served as the Chief Percussion Judge for the Carolina Indoor Performance Association, has adjudicated for numerous indoor percussion circuits, and has written for groups in Germany, Canada, Hawaii, and the Continental United States. Mr. Henley was asked to write for and instruct the first two All-American Marching Bands in San Antonio, TX in 2008 and 2009 which was promoted by NafME and the US Army.
He was also nominated for the WCU Excellence in Teaching Award by the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and serves as the Recruiting Liaison for the School of Music and the Office of Admissions at Western Carolina. On top of the many articles and books that Matt and the WCU program have been featured or consulted for, he currently also serves on the National Percussive Arts Society Marching Committee. He will be assisting in the instruction of the BOA Honor Band for the 2013 Rose Parade, and in addition to his teaching duties he composes, arranges, adjudicates, and is a prominent percussion clinician across the United States. Mr. Henley is a member of CBDNA, NAfME, PAS, and proudly supports products from the Yamaha, Remo, Zildjian, and Vic Firth companies. He resides with his wife Angie and son Landon in Clyde, NC.
Jon Henson is the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University. Some of his primary duties are to instructor and arrange for the rhythm section or "Soul Train" and the front ensemble. Some of Jon's other duties include the management of all aspects of the "Pride of the Mountains" electronics as well as developing media for the band program. He also works with the "Pride of the Mountains" two “Cathouse Bands.” While an assistant director with the “Pride of the Mountains” the band has performed exhibitions at several Bands of America Regionals including two Grand National Championship appearances as well as halftime at the Carolina Panthers Football Game. The band also marched 400+ in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Within the School of Music Jon teaches courses in Music Technology and Commercial and Electronic Music including courses in Live Sound Management. Mr. Henson has been a guest presenter for many functions including the National Collegiate Athletic Band Symposium, the North Carolina Music Educators Annual Conference and also the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Conference. Jon has been a consultant for many articles referring to technology in the marching arts including “Halftime Magazine” and also the MENC magazine “Teaching Music”. In the Spring of 2011 Mr. Henson formed the Mountain Winds Community Band. He serves as the Director and conductor of this 75 member ensemble.
During the spring semester Jon serves as Director and Arranger for "Electric Soul". This ensemble consists of Vocalist, Horns, and a full Rhythm Section performing music from the 70's to the music of today! This ensemble tours annually and recently performed at the Roanoke Festival Park in Manteo, NC and in the Disney Resorts in Florida.
In 2009 the “Pride of the Mountains” was presented the Sudler Trophy, the highest award recognized by collegiate marching bands. Outside of the "Pride of the Mountains" Jon is a sought after percussion writer, adjudicator, and instructor for bands across the South East. He has also taught in various public school music programs in Western North Carolina including North Buncombe High School and Tuscola High School. In 2012 Jon released his interactive DVD on Mallet and Front Ensemble techniques. Technical Tune-ups is carried by Marching Show Concepts. Jon is also the Co-Producer of Maximizing Movement. This fundamental marching DVD is also carried by Marching Show Concepts. In 2008, 2009, and 2010 Jon has served as an Assistant Director and front ensemble arranger of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. In 2013 Jon will serve on the Instructional Staff for the Bands of America National Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He earned both his BSEd and MAEd degrees in music from Western Carolina University. Jon is a member of MENC, PAS, CBDNA, and is a Vic Firth, Remo, Zildjian and Yamaha endorsed artist.
The WCU Drumline use Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets Exclusively.