Director of Bands; Lecturer of Music: Jonathan Poquette is Director of Bands and Lecturer of Music at Elon University, where he serves as conductor for the “Phoenix Winds” wind ensemble, director of the Fire of the Carolina’s Marching Band and Basketball Pep Band, and administers the entire Elon bands program. As an avid instrumental music conductor and chamber ensemble enthusiast, Poquette earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He also holds music degrees from the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, MO: MA – Conducting) and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL: BM Music Education). His primary conducting teachers include Cynthia Johnston Turner of the University of Georgia, Scott Lubaroff of the University of Central Florida, and Andrew Mast of Lawrence University.
After earning his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from SIUC in 2010, where he was a Presser Scholar, Poquette taught instrumental music at the middle and high school levels in Illinois and Wisconsin for four years, dramatically growing each program in size and quality. Professionally, Poquette is a member of College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and Pi Kappa Lambda, Music Honor Society.
Poquette’s research interests include the evolution of wind band throughout history, twenty-first century audience engagement strategies, and evaluations of wind band repertoire.
Assistant Director of Bands
J. Ben Jones is Assistant Director of Bands at Elon University and is in his second year of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Prior to his graduate studies, Ben taught in the public school system of North Carolina as the Director of Bands at Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, where he oversaw marching and concert bands and collaborative efforts within the community. An advocate for music education and building leaders in school music programs, Ben has presented leadership training workshops, worked with young music educators, adjudicated, and served as a guest clinician for many band programs around the Carolinas.
While at UNCG, Ben has served as the principal conductor of the University Band and was the co-conductor of the Symphonic Band during the 2018–19 school year. He has been a frequent guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble, Casella Sinfonietta, and has served as an instructor in undergraduate instrumental conducting.
Brandon West is the musical arranger and instructor for the drumline and front ensemble at Elon University.
After completing high school, Brandon attended college, on a full-ride music scholarship, at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he majored in Music Education with a focus on Percussion Performance. While at UNC Pembroke, Brandon was a member of the Spirit of the Carolinas drumline and marching band, a member of the 2014 open class finalists Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, and the university’s percussion ensemble, world music ensemble, and wind ensemble. Simultaneously while in school, Brandon also taught high school marching percussion sections all around the southeast area of North Carolina.
After finishing at Pembroke, Brandon then attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro for his Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance. While at UNCG, Brandon was a member of the University’s Graduate Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra (principal), steel pan band, and taught a portion of the undergraduate percussion ensemble (spring 2019).
As a performer and student, Brandon has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest percussionists. Most notably, Brandon has had lessons or performed with, Michael Burritt, Mark Ford, Nancy Zeltsman, NEXUS, Pius Cheung, Casey Cangelosi, and more. Additionally, Brandon has performed at the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) Convention four times, performed on the focus day showcase at the Percussive Art Society International Convention (PASIC), and was a winning member of the PASIC International Percussion Ensemble Competition with UNCG. Brandon’s primary studies were with Dr. Tracy Wiggins (UNCP), Dr. Joseph Van Hassel (UNCP), and Dr. Eric Willie (UNCG).
As an educator in the marching arts, Brandon arranges percussion music for bands all over the state of NC, judges and adjudicates in NC and VA, and writes marching band drill. Ensembles that Brandon has instructed have achieved numerous percussion awards, grand champions, AIA championship finalists, CWEA finalists/medalists, BOA Super Regional finalists/medalists, and BOA Grand National contenders.
Brandon is currently the Director of Bands at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Orange County, NC, and is an adjunct Percussion Professor at Alamance Community College. Brandon resides in Graham, NC with his wife Sarah and German Shepherd Myla.
Color Guard and Drum Line Instructor
Amber Smith started her color guard career during high school and after graduating she continued building her talents by competing for four seasons with Carolina Visual Productions Winterguard. Following her age-out year of Independent A Class, Amber went on to spin with First Flight Independent World Winterguard for two seasons. During those two summers, she also performed with DCA’s Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps and for two years Amber was a member of the Marching Tarheels at UNC-Chapel Hill. Accomplishments include: WGI Independent A Finalist, two-time WGI Independent World Finalist, DCA Class A Champion with two-time Best Color guard. Amber currently helps instruct Carolina Visual Productions Winterguard, the Elon marching band’s color guard, and works as a Registered Nurse.
- Tim Wood
- Greg Piel
- Michael Smith
- Jill Ford
- Nancy Wilkins
Student Leadership team
- Cayla Bellamy
- Mallory Poff
- Spencer Buehlman, woodwinds
- Nathan Miller, brass
- Jackson Webb, percussion
- Megan Gillogly, upper woodwinds
- Spencer Buehlman, saxophone
- Nate Miller, trumpet
- Steven Zavadill, mellophone
- TBD, low brass
- Chris D’Inzeo, Snare
- Morgan Skinner Bass Drum
- TBD, front ensemble
- Gill Fertig, color guard
Social Media Coordinators/Webmasters
- Megan Gillogly, Mallory Poff
Student Program Assistants
- Sydnie Matda
- Sydnie Matda
- Nic Hayes
- Morgan Skinner
- Lynda Cycert, flute
- Tom Turnacheck, clarinet/double reeds
- Jinny Novine-Whitacre, saxophone/double reeds