Directors & Instructional Staff


Director of Bands

Nicholas Garofalo

Originally from the Metro-Boston area, Nicholas A. Garofalo completed his bachelors of music education at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in May of 2006. Mr. Garofalo has arranged, adjudicated and instructed many high school bands in the Tennessee and Georgia region including: East Ridge High School, Notre Dame High School, Red Bank High School, The McCallie School, Warren County High School, Model High School, Northview High School, and Hixson High School.

After graduating from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; Nicholas became the Assistant Band Director and Percussion Specialist at Chattahoochee High School and Ocee Elementary School in Alpharetta, Georgia. After numerous budget and financial situations Nicholas recently became the Director of Bands and no longer teaches at Ocee Elementary. 

In 2006 Nicholas was the Front Ensemble Director for the Chattanooga Independent Percussion Ensemble based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee placing 4th at Winter Guard International World Championships for there inaugural year. After his work with Chattanooga, he became an instructor for Atlanta Quest Indoor Percussion ensemble from Atlanta, Georgia with yet another World Finalist title in W.G.I. In the summer of 2007 Mr. Garofalo joined the instructional staff of the Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. During 2008 he assumed the Music Director position for the drum corps leading the ensemble to a Gold Medal in the “A Class Division” at the Drum Corps Associates Championships.

Mr. Garofalo is a currently a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Georgia Music Educators Association, Winter Guard International, Member at Large for the Southern Association for the Performing Arts and The Music Educators National Convention. Nicholas is a percussion and music ensemble adjudicator through the United States Scholastic Band Association and is also a Vic Firth Educational Team Member.

Associate Director of Bands

Matthew Crisman

Matthew Crisman is ecstatic to rejoin Chattahoochee High School this year as Associate Director of Bands. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music (BM) and the Texas Tech School of Music (MM), Crisman has explored the realm of high level music making on the stage of nationally adjudicated competitions and conference performances. Crisman’s experience as as a competitive saxophonist has taken him and his ensembles to through the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Music Teacher’s National Association, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Texas Tech Concerto Competition, the Georgia Music Educator’s Association, the Texas Music Educator’s Association and several other organizations.

After several years teaching privately and as a contractor for school bands, Crisman was awarded the part time Band Director position at Chattahoochee High School. Subsequently, assistant director at Webb Bridge Middle School and Alpharetta High School. When the second full time band position at Chattahoochee opened up, Crisman was quick to rejoin the team!

Crisman’s primary instructors have included Dr. Connie Frigo, David Dees, Dr. Jaclyn Hartenberger, Dr. Sarah McKoin, Mike Walsh and Alexander Krakovski. Crisman maintains relationships with the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Georgia Music Educator’s Association, and the Kappa Kappa Psi Music Service Fraternity. In addition to his duties at Chattahoochee, Crisman serves as principal alto saxophone for the Atlanta Wind Symphony.

Assistant Director

Mackenzie Newell

Mackenzie Newell is a French hornist and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She began her career in Boston where she performed with the Boston Pops, the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra, and Andrea Bocelli in concert. 

She holds a Bachelor of Music from Boston University and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she spent time in London at the Royal College of Music. She also attended the Aspen Music Festival studying with Andrew Bain and members of the American Brass Quintet. During her undergraduate studies she performed in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, and across Europe with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. 

Since moving to Georgia, she has played regularly with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and teaches horn players around the area. Mackenzie is currently on faculty at University of North Georgia and is an Artist Affiliate at Reinhardt University.


Director of Percussion

Robert Dickens Jr. 

Robert Dickens Jr. is an educator, arranger, and designer from Dothan, AL.  He received his Bachelors in Music Industry from Troy University.  During his tenure there, he performed with a myriad of collegiate ensembles as well as the DCI World Class Finalist  GLASSMEN Drum & Bugle Corps.

Robert currently resides in Atlanta, GA.  In addition to providing percussion education products and services through FXE™, he serves as snare technician for DCI Open Class Finalist Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps.  He is a member of the Salyers Percussion Education team and endorses their products exclusively.

Assistant Director of Percussion

Claire Smith Kenney

Claire Smith Kenney is a percussion educator, clinician, and performer in the greater-Atlanta area. She is originally from Cumming, Georgia and attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama for her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Claire then continued her education at Texas Christian University, where she earned her Master’s degree in percussion performance. While at TCU, she won the TCU Concerto Competition, traveled to Mexico to perform a duet recital with her husband, Kevin Kenney, and toured through Argentina with the world-renown TCU Symphony Orchestra. Also at TCU, she had the privilege of being a part of the TCU percussion studio’s Pasic Showcase Concert in 2011 as well as the 2012 Pasic marching competition, where the group earned first place in Austin, Texas.

Since 2004, Claire has been involved with many performing ensembles, including Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps, Blue Coats Drum and Bugle Corps, Music City Mystique, and most recently the Atlanta Percussion Ensemble and Atlanta Steel Collective. She is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Georgia Music Educators Association and an educational artist for Innovative Percussion. Other than percussion, she enjoys running, being outdoors and spending time with her husband Kevin and their two dogs.

Color Guard Director

Alexandria Davies

Born in Atlanta and raised in Duluth, Georgia, Alexandria attended Duluth High School where she began her involvement in the colorguard activity in 2013. While still in high school, she decided to perform with Drum Corps Associates former corps, ALLIANCE Drum & Bugle Corps (Atlanta, GA) in 2016, leading Alexandria into senior year. Later on, she finished her high school career with four seasons as Captain of the high school colorguard for both the Fall and Winter seasons.

             Once Alexandria graduated high school, she went on to march competitive organizations Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. She began her independent performing journey in 2018 performing for WGI Finalist, 2018 Gold Medalists and 2019 Silver Medalists, Paramount Winter Guard based out of Atlanta, GA in the Open and World Class Winter Guard (2018-2020). Along with her accomplishments in the WGI community, Alexandria has pushed forward to expand her experience by performing for DCI World Class Finalist, Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in the 2019 season. 

            During her performing career, Alexandria has had the pleasure and opportunity teaching and choreographing for organizations such as the Chattahoochee High School Fall Colorguard and their Scholastic A and Scholastic Novice class Winter Guards. Which, in her time there has experienced multiple achievements in membership, talent, and passion. After two years of serving Chattahoochee, she transferred her experience to Head Technician at North Gwinnett High School where she has not only worked and choreographed for the Fall Colorguard but has done the same for the Cadet B, Scholastic Novice, and Scholastic A class Winter Guards as well. This organization has also seen similar successes and achievements in membership, talent, and passion.

             Alexandria has had performing and teaching experience in multiple levels of competitive classes, gaining years of knowledge to give back to the upcoming colorguard community. She is beyond excited to return as she can proudly expand and flourish with Chattahoochee High School, serving as their new Director of Colorguard!

Brandon Sologf

Associate Director of Bands: Taylor Road Middle School

Brandon Soloff 

Brandon Soloff has been Co-Director of Bands at Taylor Road Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia since 2017. He co-leads the Taylor Road Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Little “Big” Band. Mr. Soloff maintains a busy teaching and performing schedule in his private studio, and serves on staff with the Chattahoochee High School Marching Band. At age ten, Soloff began his study of trumpet and has since studied with Thomas Hooten (Principal Trumpet of the LA Philharmonic), Robert Murray, and the late Lew Soloff.  

Mr. Soloff graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in Columbus, GA with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Mr. Soloff has performed at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN in 2015 with the Schwob Wind Ensemble. In addition to the Schwob Wind Ensemble, he also participated in the Schwob Philharmonic, Schwob Jazz Orchestra, Columbus State University Trumpet Ensemble (National Trumpet Competition Ensemble Semi-Finalists 2014-2016).

Mr. Soloff’s professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Educators, Georgia Music Educators Association, and the International Trumpet Guild.  He is a member of the Cobb Wind Symphony.

Soloff resides in Norcross, Georgia with his lovely wife Bethany and cat, Ellie. In his spare time, Mr. Soloff enjoys cheering on his favorite sports teams.

Director of Bands: Taylor Road Middle School

Angela Reynolds

Angela Reynolds has been Director of Bands at Taylor Road Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia since 2015.  She began her career in 1995 in southwest Alabama at Excel High School.  She has also taught at Headland High School in southeast Alabama, at Leeds High School and Leeds Middle School both near Birmingham, Alabama, and at River Trail Middle School also in Johns Creek, GA. 

A 1990 graduate of Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Mrs. Reynolds graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Troy State University in 1994.  While at Troy State, she played saxophone and bassoon in the Symphony Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. She also served as section leader in the “Sound of the South” Marching Band.  Reynolds received a Master of Music Education degree from Troy State in 1999. 

Mrs. Reynolds’ professional affiliations include National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Georgia Music Educators Association, Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Kappa Phi, and Kappa Delta Pi.  For contributions to music education, Mrs. Reynolds was awarded the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in 2010, 2012 and 2020. 

Under her direction, Mrs. Reynolds’ bands have received consecutive superior ratings at performance evaluations and have been featured as guest bands at the 2010 Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference, the 2011 University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival, the 2013 Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the 2020 Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference.

Mrs. Reynolds resides in Cumming, Georgia with her spouse, son, daughter, and their miniature dachshund. 

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