Eric Thompson is in his eighth year in education and fifth year as Director of Bands at Mary Persons High School and Monroe County Schools.  Under Mr. Thompson’s direction every ensemble at Mary Persons has increased their level of difficulty of music, received superior ratings, and has grown in size.  The marching band has increased by 106%, has received superior ratings in every category and has even received best in class awards. The Mary Persons band organization has also increased its number of students participating in honor ensembles. Under Mr. Thompson’s direction, the band has consistently sent students to district, region, all-state honor bands and, most recently, the Governor’s Honors Program.  Mr. Thompson is an active member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), National Band Association (NBA), International Trumpet Guild, PAGE, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha, the men’s national music fraternity.
Before becoming the Director of Bands in Monroe County, Mr. Thompson worked at Treutlen County School. He received his Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, his most notable accomplishments were being principal trumpet of the Symphonic Band, principal trumpet of the Wind Symphony, trumpet soloist with the Redcoat Marching Band, featured trumpet soloist at Midfest, traveling abroad to China for a 15-day performance tour, and studying under the world renowned trumpet player, Fred Mills. 
Mr. Thompson is originally from Macon, Georgia and loves being in Central Georgia and being a part of Monroe County Schools Family. He would like to thank the administration, teachers, and parents of Monroe County Schools for their unwavering support. Mr. Thompson would also like to thank Mr. Braswell, Ms. Pettinger, Ms. Sykes, Ms. Piravano, Ms. Brown, and Mr. Brainard for all they do for the music program here in Monroe County. Lastly he would like to thank his fiancé Dory Musselwhite and his parents Tommy and Lillian Thompson for their love and support.
“…one of the cool things I love about being a band director is I build a relationship with these kids from the time they’re in fourth grade. I watch them from the first time they pick up an instrument to the day they pick up a diploma. It’s an amazing thing.”


Melissa PettingerMs. Melissa Pettinger

As of 2014, Melissa Pettinger is pleased to serve her second year as the Director of Middle School Bands for the Monroe County School District. Previously, Ms. Pettinger served as director of bands at Miller Fine Arts Middle School in Macon, GA.

Ms. Pettinger graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Florida State University with a degree in Music Education. While at Florida State, she concentrated on saxophone studying under Mr. Patrick Meighan, and participated in several ensembles including Symphonic Band, Marching Chiefs, Saxophone Orchestra, Seminole Swing Machine, Campus String Orchestra, Choral Union, and Mas N Steel. As an active member of the College of Music, Ms. Pettinger participated in Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Music Fraternity and the College of Music Board of Advisors.

Today, Ms. Pettinger remains a strong advocate for and active member of the music education field as a member of Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Educators, and Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society.


Mr Braswell Brass InstructorMr. Stephen Braswell is in his second year as the elementary school band director and Mary Persons High School Associate Director. He graduated from the Shiloh High School in Snellville, Georgia in 2006 where he studied tuba under Andrew VanDevender and Dion Muldrow. After graduating from Shiloh High School, Mr. Braswell attended Gainesville State College. While at Gainesville State College, Mr. Braswell performed in many ensembles including the Gainsville State Symphonic Band, Tuba Ensemble, Tuba Quartet, Brass Ensemble, Brass Quintet, and Trombone Ensemble. While at Gainsville, Mr. Braswell studied tuba, trombone, and euphonium under Don Strand. Once completing two years at Gainesville, Mr. Braswell attended the University of Georgia where he performed in numerous ensembles including the University of Georgia Wind Symphony under director Gregg Gausline, the University of Georgia Redcoat Band, the UGA Tuba Ensemble, and a UGA tuba quartet. Mr. Braswell studied tuba under David Zerkel and Brenard Flythe at the University of Georgia, and graduated from UGA with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education in 2011. Mr. Braswell has performed numerous recitals, taught band camps at over nine different high schools, performed with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dekalb Symphony Orchestra.

Currently, Mr. Braswell is in his second year on staff with the MPHS marching band and teaching lessons to brass students.





Vicky Sykes

Mrs. Sykes is in her eleventh year with the Mary Persons Marching Band and her first year as Auxiliary Coordinator. Under Mrs. Sykes leadership the color guard has seen consistent improvement and growth. This past year the color guard was awarded a superior rating at the Heart of Georgia Marching Festival which is the highest rating a color guard team can achieve. Ms. Sykes works at Hubbard Elementary, helping us recruit from an early age.








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