Directors and Staff

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Seth Bates

Director of Bands

Mr. Bates was born a Georgia native and lived most of his life in Canton, Georgia. He attended Cherokee High School in Cherokee County, Georgia from 1996-2000. During his time at Cherokee High School, Mr. Bates marched all four years and one additional year as an eighth grade student. He also performed in the symphonic bands each of his four years.

Mr. Bates pursued his music degree at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Saxophone being his primary instrument, he studied with world-renowned saxophone and jazz artist, Sam Skelton. Mr. Bates also performed in the Kennesaw State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Peter Witte.

During his time at Kennesaw State University, Mr. Bates taught music lessons to students from all over Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding and Fulton Counties. Ranging in age from 9 years to 60 years of age, Mr. Bates has a wide range of teaching experience. He was hired to teach private lessons at well-known music stores including Draisen-Edwards, Jennings Music, and Ponier Music. He also was on staff as a marching and woodwind tech at Cherokee High School from the fall of 2002 through the spring of 2006. During that time he arranged music, taught marching drill, rehearsed the marching band, and assisted in show selections for each year. Also during his time as a tech at Cherokee High School, Mr. Bates arranged and composed several pieces that were debuted by the Cherokee High School Symphonic Band.

While entering his final semester at Kennesaw State University, Mr. Bates completed his student teaching experience at Pope High School in Marietta, Georgia. Under the supervision of band director, Mr. Gary Gribble, and associate band director, Ms. Cynthia Sallas, Mr. Bates completed a variety of tasks and assignments which proved vital to his success as a future band director.

In 2015, Mr. Bates began pursuing his master’s degree from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in Ashland, Oregon. Mr. Bates completed the requirements of the three year program and graduated in August of 2017. During his time at ABC, Mr. Bates had the opportunity to meet a multitude of high-profile musicians, educators, and “rock stars” of the band world. He had the opportunity to learn from some of the most inspiring musicians and conductors of the world. He is a member of The National Association of Music Educators (MENC) and The Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA).

Mr. Bates has been teaching in Floyd County Schools for more than a decade now and enjoys meeting and teaching the students of Armuchee Middle School and Armuchee High School band programs. Mr. Bates is happily married to Myra, and they enjoy watching each of the new experiences their daughter, Savannah, brings.

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Crystal Hurt

Associate Director of Bands

Mrs. Hurt has been teaching band and music classes at Armuchee Middle School since 2013. Mrs. Hurt also works with the marching band at Armuchee High School.

Mrs. Hurt graduated from Harrison High School in 2003. In 2008, she graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. In 2017, she earned a Master of Arts in Band Conducting from the American Band College through Sam Houston State University. She has attended conducting symposiums at Northwestern University, Bard College, University of Colorado-Boulder, Ball State University, and Columbus State University. She performed on trombone with the National Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall in 2005 and 2008. In 2015 she performed at the Midwest Clinic, International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago with Tara Winds.

Justin Jones

Percussion Instructor

Justin was born and raised in Carrollton, GA. He spent his early years eagerly waiting for what had become a family tradition of joining the Carrollton Trojan band. He participated in many of the ensembles offered, and when he graduated from Carrollton High School in 2011 he began to work towards a degree in music education.

Justin has been a member of several groups. These groups include Carrollton’s marching band, wind ensemble, and indoor percussion, JSU’s Marching Southerners, percussion ensemble, and Chamber Winds, as well as Atlanta Quest and Q2. He has performed across the country and has performed at WGI’s Percussion World Championships on three occasions, each time making Finals with the top twelve groups from around the world.

Justin has taught at several schools in both Georgia and Alabama, and was the percussion instructor for Temple High School from 2012 to 2014. He first began working with Armuchee in 2012 and assisted the percussion for two years before taking over as the percussion instructor in 2014. Justin is excited about the amount of growth his students have shown, and is excited to see that growth continue.

Emilee Bragg

Color Guard Instructor

Emilee Bragg was born and raised in Rome, GA. Emilee graduated from Armuchee High School in 2017. Emilee earned a position in the AHS Color Guard during her eighth grade year. She was a member of the AHS Band Program and the color guard at Armuchee High School from 2012 until she graduated in May of 2017.

Emilee competed in the combined winter guard and winter percussion at Armuchee High School in the fall of her junior year and competed with the winter guard during her senior year. During the 2017-2018 school year, Emilee became an instructor of the Armuchee Middle School cadet guard.

Emilee is excited to continue her career instructional as she enters her first year as the instructor of the Armuchee High School guard program.