Vice President for Performance Evaluations Nominees

JEFF FUNDERBURK

Jeff Funderburk is director of choral activities the DeKalb School of the Arts in Atlanta, GA, a position that he has held since 2003. He is a graduate of Auburn University receiving the Bachelor’s of Music Education in 1986, the Master’s in Education in 2006, and the Education Specialist degree at Auburn in 2008. He previously taught chorus at Druid Hills High School and Stephenson High School in DeKalb County. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Funderburk taught for 14 years in Macon, Georgia where he taught at Central High School, Miller Middle School, Weaver Middle School and Porter Elementary School during his tenure in the Bibb County School System.

He has served in churches for the past 39 years in the roles of music director, organist or combination organist/music director. He has also served on the staff of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde as the Youth Chorale Men’s Chorus Instructor.

Funderburk currently teaches the advanced mixed choral ensemble, HighLeit, the advanced women’s ensemble, ProArte’ and Concert Choir at DSA. Choirs under his direction have consistently received superior ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations in performance and sight reading. He has been the vocal instructor for the musicals The Mikado, Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, Cinderella, Westside Story, The Music Man, Chicago, On Your Toes, In the Heights, Memphis, Kiss Me Kate and The Addams Family at the school. Outside theatre credits are musical director for Theatre Macon’s productions of Titanic the Musical, Ebeneezer, Pippin, and Company and accompanist for Onstage Atlanta productions of Nunsence, Jekyll and Hyde in Concert and Sunday in the Park with George in Concert.

            GMEA has been an integral role for Mr. Funderburk during his entire tenure as a music educator. He served as GMEA State Choral Chair from 2013-15, State Choral Chair-Elect from 2011-13. He has attended GMEA In-Services since 1988, when he first began teaching. He has performed the duties of choral chair for District 4, treasurer for District 11, organizer for All-State chorus on six different occasions, host and presider for many In-Service sessions and his show choir, HighLeit, was selected to perform as the demonstration choir for the session “Keeping the ‘Choir’ in Show Choir” for the Choral GMEA In-Service in 2007. He has also served as conductor for GMEA District 5 Middle School Mixed Honor Choir and District 14 Intermediate Mixed Honor Choir.

            He is an active member of Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, American Guild of Organists, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Atlanta Alumni chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

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NICOLE THOMPSON

Mrs. Nicole Thompson presently serves as Director of Orchestras at Taylor Road Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia, where she was selected as the school’s 2010 Teacher of the Year. In 2014, Mrs. Thompson was honored as the Georgia American String Teachers Association Educator of the Year. Mrs. Thompson has also been selected as a top ten finalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award. Most recently, she was honored with the Atlanta Families Awards for Excellence in Education.

In 2012, Mrs. Thompson was elected as the GMEA State Orchestra Chair and served a two-year term. During this term, she served as a liaison between the orchestra teachers in Georgia and GMEA Executive Board. Mrs. Thompson organized, managed, and hired nationally known conductors for the three All State Orchestras. To serve the rising number of string students in Georgia, Mrs. Thompson advocated and piloted the adoption of three additional All State Orchestras. Additionally, she hired nationally known clinicians and planned the annual In-service Conferences for Georgia Music Educators. During her term, she contributed four articles per year to the Georgia Music News Magazine, for which she currently serves on the editorial board. In 2014-2015, she served on a committee for Fulton County to create relevant standardized testing for music students.

Mrs. Thompson conducted the String Orchestra with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta for six years, and under her direction, they were selected to perform at the GMEA Conference in 2007. She served as the GMEA District V Orchestra Chair from 2008-2010 and organized the District V Atlanta Symphony Orchestra-GMEA String Project, to enable students to learn from symphony players and participate in a side-by-side concert with the professional musicians. In an effort to provide support and education to the orchestra programs in Georgia, Mrs. Thompson has served as an adjudicator and clinician for GMEA- since 2008. Under her direction, the Taylor Road Orchestras have consistently earned superior ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association Large Group Performance Evaluations and have been selected to perform at the 2006 and 2011 GMEA In-service Conferences in Savannah, Georgia. At Taylor Road Middle School, she served two terms on the Local School Advisory Counsel and currently serves on the Leadership Team.

Mrs. Thompson conducted orchestras at the American String Teachers Association conferences in Dallas, Texas and Reno, Nevada, as well as the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. She has also taught seminars in Budapest, Hungary and served as a guest clinician in Sicily, Italy. Most recently, she has enjoyed a collaboration through UGA between the Taylor Road Orchestra and Moi Girls’ School Orchestra in Kenya, via skype. Her summers have included working with students at the Florida State University Summer Music Camps in Tallahassee, Florida and Upbeat Music Camp in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Mrs. Thompson has maintained an active performing career as well. She has a private violin studio, plays violin with the Mount Paran Orchestra in Atlanta, and is a freelance violinist. Last year, she was honored to play in an orchestra for Georgia Governor Deal’s Inauguration Ceremony. Mrs. Thompson’s professional affiliations include NAfME, ASTA, and GMEA.

Mrs. Thompson began her career in 1996 as Music Director at Faith Lutheran School in Marietta, Georgia, where she taught Band and Chorus before she became Director of Orchestras at Taylor Road Middle School in 2000.

Mrs. Thompson began her study of the violin at the age of eleven. At the age of fifteen, she was accepted into the violin section of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for 10 years. Mrs. Thompson earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree at Georgia State University. She earned her Master of Music Education Degree and her Specialist in Education Degree at the University of Georgia.


Vice President for All-State Events Nominees

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ALAN FOWLEr

D. Alan Fowler is the Director of Bands at Eastside High School in Covington, GA and serves as Secondary Fine Arts Specialist for the Newton County School System. Mr. Fowler is passionate about all forms of music, deeply committed to serving his community, and is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia having received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 1991. He has since earned a Master of Music in Conducting at Ball State University (Muncie, IN, 1995) and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA, 2009). He has taught students from elementary through college and was personally selected by the legendary T.K Adams, Sr. to succeed him as the Music Director of the Newton County Community Band, which Adams founded two decades earlier. 

Mr. Fowler has been an active member of GMEA his entire career, serving the students of Georgia and assisting his colleagues in many capacities. His GMEA responsibilities have included All-State Organizing Chairperson (1998-1999), multiple terms as District 4 Chairperson, Band Chairperson, Treasurer, Honor Band Coordinator and Organizer, and Solo & Ensemble Host and Organizer, and this year he is one of the District LGPE Organizers. He served as an Advisor to the Georgia DOE Fine Arts Standards Committee (2009), was once the National Band Association State Chairperson, and is currently serving as an NBA mentor teacher.

A native of Riverdale, GA, Mr. Fowler is a graduate of North Clayton High School. He began his teaching career in Toccoa, GA, as Director of Bands at Stephens County Middle School. After two years, he and his bride moved to Indiana to pursue graduate degrees at Ball State. Upon returning to Georgia, Mr. Fowler served as Associate Director of Bands at Salem High School and was part of the Salem Symphonic I Band’s performance at the MENC National Convention in Kansas City, MO. In 1996, Mr. Fowler took the reins of the fledgling Eastside Eagle band program and has led the Eastside Bands now into their third decade. The Pride of Eastside has traveled to and performed in seven states, as well as Canada, with two of the most special performances taking place at Pearl Harbor on Memorial Day (Hawaii, 2006) and in The Hollywood Christmas Parade (California, 2016).

The Eastside Bands consistently earn superior ratings at concert and marching events, have a long tradition of students excelling at Solo & Ensemble, and frequently are represented in the GMEA All-State Bands. In 2002, Eastside’s Trombone Choir performed at the GMEA In-Service in Savannah, and in recent years the Symphonic Band has performed in events at Georgia State, Kennesaw State, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including the Music For All Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival (2016).

While at Eastside, Mr. Fowler has served as Fine Arts Chairperson and Key Club Sponsor and, for several years, has had the additional responsibility of being the Fine Arts Content Specialist and GHP Fine Arts Coordinator for the Newton County Schools. In 2004, he was recognized as “Teacher of the Year”, in 2005, was selected by the community to light the Courthouse for the holiday season, in 2007, was named a “Class Act” Teacher by Atlanta’s WXIA-TV—11 Alive News, and during the 2014-15 school year, Mr. Fowler participated in Leadership Newton County and was honored to have been selected as the graduation speaker. In 2016, Mr. Fowler was elected to membership in the Phi Beta Mu International Band Master Fraternity, and he received the NBA Citation of Excellence. In 2017, he presented a clinic on Researched-Based Instructional Strategies in Rehearsal at the GMEA In-Service Conference.

Mr. Fowler has accumulated vast experience working with bands in multiple states and throughout Georgia and is respected throughout the South as a band consultant, instructor, and adjudicator. Active as a tuba and low brass artist, Mr. Fowler has performed with Tara Winds since 1995 and is currently serving on the Tara Winds Board. He is also the co-founder of Porterdale Tuba Christmas held each December in historic Porterdale, GA. Having performed with orchestras, choirs, and small ensembles throughout his career as a musician, Mr. Fowler proudly continues to learn, grow, and develop. He is a member of GMEA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, NBA, PAGE, Phi Mu Alpha, and the Covington Kiwanis Club.

Mr. Fowler and his wife, Susan, live in Covington and are the proud parents of two wonderful daughters, Katie Beth and Grace.


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DION A. MULDROW

Dion A. Muldrow is in his third year as Director of Bands at Apalachee High School and entering eighteenth year of teaching. Muldrow began his teaching career Apalachee High School in 2001. Following his tenure at AHS Muldrow served as Director of Bands at Shiloh and Cedar Shoals High Schools.

Bands under Mr. Muldrow’s direction have performed at the Nokia Sugar Bowl, marched through Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios, Universal Studios Theme Park and the 2010 National Fourth of July Parade in Washington, DC. Most recently his bands performed in the nationally televised McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on two occasions and the KSU Concert Band Invitational in Kennesaw, GA.

A native of Sumter, South Carolina, Mr. Muldrow graduated with honors from Sumter High School in 1995 and received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Georgia in 2001.  Prior to receiving his bachelor’s degree, Mr. Muldrow served on the staff of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2000 as a music rehearsal technician.

Muldrow’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Service Fraternity and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.  Mr. Muldrow is an active adjudicator in the state of Georgia and resides in Bethlehem with his wife, Rachel and daughters, Raegan and Daphne.