Middle school directors
Director of Bands - South Forsyth Middle School
Andrew F. Poor, DME, is Director of Bands at South Forsyth Middle School in Cumming, Georgia. From 2006-2015, Dr. Poor served as a part-time music education instructor at Columbus State University in the Schwob School of Music. Dr. Poor received his DME and MM in Trumpet Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He also holds the BME (High Honors) from the University of Florida. Dr. Poor is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, ASCAP, NAfME, National Band Association, and GMEA. Dr. Poor has been the recipient of numerous honors, notably, the 2016 Forsyth County System-Wide Teacher of the Year. His ensembles have given numerous invitational performances, including, the 17th International Cultural Festival in Tottori, Japan, and additional performances at the Southeastern United States Honor Band and Clinic, University of Georgia MidFest, GMEA State ISC, University of Alabama MS Honor Band, National Band and Orchestra Festival-Carnegie Hall, CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Regional Conference, and the Music for All National Festival. Dr. Poor has been the recipient of the NBA Citation of Excellence on eight occasions.
Dr. Poor is frequently invited to serve as a consultant, adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor. He has presented at the Midwest Clinic, Ohio Music Educators Association State Conference, Florida Music Educators Association State Conference, and seven times at the Georgia Music Educators Association State In-Service Conference. Active in the drum and bugle corps activity, Dr. Poor is brass arranger and consultant at Music City drum and bugle corps, and has served on the brass staff of the Spirit of Atlanta, Blue Stars, Phantom Regiment, and as a consultant to Pacific Crest. Prior to teaching drum corps, he enjoyed a successful eighteen-year career as an adjudicator for Drum Corps International.
Assistant Director of Bands - South Forsyth Middle School
Nate Hughes currently serves as Assistant Director of Bands at South Forsyth Middle School in Cumming, Georgia, where he has been since 2019. During his tenure at South Middle, the SFMS Symphonic Band has been awarded the Georgia Music Educators Association’s “Exemplary Performance Award,” and has been invited to perform at the Music For All National Concert Band Festival, the Music For All Southeastern Regional Festival, the National Band Association’s Southern Division Regional Conference, the GMEA State Conference, and as a featured ensemble at the University of Georgia’s Middle School Honor Band Festival “MidFest.” While serving in this role, he has been awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence on two occasions.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Nate received his Bachelor of Music degree from Austin Peay State University. Nate was a member of the trumpet section of 7-time Drum Corps International World Champion The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois. He was also a cast member of Rhythm X Winds from Dayton, Ohio. Nate has served on the instructional staff of several high schools in Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia, as well as drum corps as Assistant Visual Captionhead at Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps and on the brass staff at Spirit of Atlanta.
Currently, Nate serves on the visual staff of the WGI Percussion Independent World group Atlanta Quest and as the Assistant Brass Captionhead for Music City Drum Corps. Nate programs marching band shows for several bands throughout the Southeast, in addition to composing original music, writing drill, and staging winter guards. He is also an active adjudicator and can be found judging both performance and effect captions.
Director of Bands - Lakeside Middle School
Jaron Lehman the Director of Bands at Lakeside Middle School in Forsyth County, Georgia. He is the lead in instructing and directing all concert ensembles. Previously, he was the intermediate winds instructor at the Atlanta Music Project and a horn clinician for schools in the Metro Atlanta area.
Mr. Lehman received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Georgia. While there, he studied horn with Dr. Jean Martin-Williams, Dr. Cathy Kilroe-Smith, and Dr. James Naigus.
His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.
Assistant Director of Bands - Lakeside Middle School
Peyton Sills is a native of Clinton, Mississippi and recently graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Music Education. He was a member of the University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble under the baton of Dr. Catherine Rand and the Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Richard Perry.
In 2019 he was the winner of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band’s concerto competition in Washington D.C. where he was featured as a guest soloist later that spring. He also won first prize in the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival in Blue Lake, Michigan. In 2022, Sills won the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra concerto competition and was featured as a guest soloist. He was also recognized by the USM School of Music Faculty as the 2022 Theodore Presser Scholar.
Sills regularly teaches sectionals and private lessons to low brass students across the central Mississippi area. Prior to graduation in May of 2023, he student-taught at Northwest Rankin Middle and High School. Sills will begin his teaching career as an assistant band director at Lakeside Middle School in Cumming, Georgia
Director of Bands - Piney Grove Middle School
Tim McKinney is the Director of Bands at Piney Grove Middle School in Cumming, Georgia and is in his 30th year of teaching. Mr. McKinney has worked with elementary, middle, and high school bands in his career and has been the Director of Bands at Berkmar High School, Clarkston High School, Chattahoochee High School, Pinecrest Academy Lower School, New Prospect Elementary, Esther Jackson Elementary, Hillside Elementary and Mimosa Elementary Schools. In addition, he has assisted with DeSana Middle School, Clarke Central High School and Pinecrest Academy Middle and High Schools.
Mr. McKinney is a member of Georgia Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education and Phi Mu Alpha. He has served as the secretary of GMEA District 6, and host to several honor and clinic bands in District 9.
As a result of passionately dedicating years of educating students in music, he has received the honors of Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers, Teacher of the Month Award at Chattahoochee High School, numerous superior ratings at LGPE and marching band performances, invitations and performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, The School of Music In Versailles, France, West Sussex in London, Egleston Christmas Parade, WSB Fourth of July Parade, and invitations to adjudicate band competitions and festivals throughout the state.
Mr. McKinney believes in putting the interest and needs of the students first. As a result, he is well respected and loved by his students and has guided his students to place in All-State Bands, Governor’s Honors Program and District Bands at each of the schools he has directed. He is happily married to his wife, Catrina McKinney, who is the Manager of Talent Acquisition at Meridian Corporative and has three children, Bryce 18, Braydon 14, and Emaleigh 12.