Jeffrey Rowser, a 37-year veteran teacher, recently chosen 2017 “STAR TEACHER” , 2014-15 Morgan County Schools “Teacher of the Year” and 2013-14 “Georgia Music Educator of the Year” is a native of Attalla, Alabama and is a 1976 graduate of Etowah High School, where he lettered 3 years in band, basketball and track. Mr. Rowser later graduated from Auburn University (AU) with his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education. He was a saxophone major, studying with Lawrence Morgan. He has also studied music arranging with the famed Dr. Johnnie Vinson and Bob Richardson. He performed his student teaching duties with the legendary Tommy Goff at Auburn High School in 1980. While at Auburn, he was drum major of the Auburn University Marching Band for three years. His appointment by Dr. Bill Walls made Jeffrey the first African American Drum Major at Auburn University and possibly in the Southeastern Conference.
Mr. Rowser, Director of Bands at Morgan County HS, brings 37 years of experience in music education. He was chosen in 2006, to lead the East Jackson Fine Arts Department in Jackson County Schools (GA). His hiring in 2006-07 was to prepare a Fine Arts Department that would begin its work in August 2007. He was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” for East Jackson in 2011. Prior to East Jackson, he served as a director in Dougherty County, Marietta City Schools (STAR Teacher 1988), with 15 years serving as the founding director at Salem HS (Conyers, GA), where he was “Teacher of the Year” in 1994 for Rockdale County Schools. During his career his bands received Superior Ratings in all marching, jazz and symphonic music events. His bands have won over 600 awards, with 350 of those coming at Salem HS as “Superior, Best-in-Class and Grand Champion” awards in jazz, marching, symphonic band, drum major, colorguard, dance team, winterguard and drum line. His bands have received special invitations to perform in London, Toronto, Hawaii, Orlando, Hollywood (CA), Kansas City, Tampa, New York and Hollywood. His groups have performed frequently in the Atlanta Children’s Healthcare Parade televised on WSB-TV2. The Salem HS Dance Team that won 9-State Champion Awards in both Jazz and Pom style competition. During those years the group also earned a national ranking with the Universal Dance Association held annually in Orlando, Florida.
In 1991, Rowser became a co-founder of the “Premier Drum Major Leadership Academy” previously held annually on the campus of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. His student management workshop, “Team Building Anywhere” is a featured session for band, chorus and student council groups around Georgia. In 2012 founded the “Premier Drum Major and Leadership Academy” established at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. He is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor of Regional and State Band events in the Southeast. He has served on the Georgia Music Educators Board of Directors and organized several district events. Rowser endorsed the Georgia Vision Project for Public Education and has served as spoke person promoting the support for Public Education in Georgia’s Public Schools.
He is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association of Jazz Educators, National Association of Music Educators, Phi Beta Mu Bandmaster Honorary and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
He is married to the former Vernelle Jones, a manager of Kidz in Step Dance Studio. They have three daughters. Kayla Danielle(29), a professional ballerina with Nashville Ballet; Hilary Dionne(25), Kennesaw State graduate and employed at Newell Brand Company, and Carmen Elise, is a senior at Morgan County High School.
Ms. Audrey Murphy is in her fourteenth year at Hopewell Middle School in Milton, Georgia, where she has served as Director of Bands since the opening of the school. Under her direction, Hopewell ensembles have earned consecutive Superior ratings in performance evaluation appearances, and have appeared as guest performing ensembles at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival, the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival, and the Music for All National Concert Festival.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Ms. Murphy is a graduate of East Carolina University, where she served as head drum major of the Marching Pirates, as well as principal clarinetist of the symphonic band, wind ensemble, and symphony orchestra. Her additional performance experience includes the Long Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, the Capital City Opera Company of Atlanta, Tara Winds, and Atlanta-based woodwind quintet Highland5. She is currently clarinet section manager and a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Wind Symphony.
Ms. Murphy has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Utah. She has received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence on three occasions for her contributions to the field of concert band. She is also a recipient of the North Fulton Jaycees Outstanding Young Arts Professional Award, and was named 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year for Hopewell Middle School.
Ms. Murphy holds membership in Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, the National Association for Music Education, and the Georgia Music Educators Association. She currently serves as Elementary/Middle School/Junior High Representative for the National Band Association Board of Directors.