In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Justin Harvison, Director of Bands at Germantown High School in Madison, Mississippi. Justin began his career in 2008 at Madison Central High School, where he was lead director of the 9th grade band at Rosa Scott 9th grade school. He then went on to become the founding director of the Germantown High School band program in 2011. In this conversation, Justin talks about his early influences that led to the choice to be a music educator, the keys to the success that the band program at Germantown has enjoyed, and more.
Justin Harvison is the founding Director of Bands for the Germantown Band Program in Madison, Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Trombone performance as well as a Master of Music Education from The University of Southern Mississippi. He studied trombone under Dr. Bruce Tychinski and conducting under Dr. Thomas Fraschillo. During his time at Southern Miss, Harvison was a member of the world-renowned Wind Ensemble, the USM Symphony Orchestra, and the USM Trombone Choir. In 2005 Harvison was a member of the 10-time DCI World Champions, The Cadets from Allentown, PA. He was (and still is) greatly influenced by two of his finest teachers: Mr. Terry Ingram and Mr. Gary Cook.
In 2008, Harvison began his teaching career as an assistant band director for the highly acclaimed Madison Central Band Program in Madison, MS. During this time, he was the lead director and coordinated all aspects of the 9th grade band at Rosa Scott 9th Grade School. While at Rosa Scott, the band grew to over 140 members and in 2011 became the first 9th grade band in Mississippi history to be awarded the Mississippi Bandmasters Sweepstakes Award.
Later in December of 2011 he was selected as the founding director for the Germantown Band Program. Under his direction, the Germantown High School Marching Band was named the Class 5A State Marching Champions in 2013 and in 2017. The GHS Marching Band also medaled in 6 out of 7 appearances at the State Marching Championships. The Germantown High School Symphonic band has received many accolades and awards in Mississippi and throughout the country. Under his direction, the GHS Symphonic Band became the first band from Mississippi to be invited as a Featured Band for the 27th Annual Music for All National Concert Festival sponsored by Yamaha in Indianapolis, IN. The Germantown Band program has received the Mississippi Bandmasters Sweepstakes Award for the past 5 consecutive years. In December of 2018, the Germantown Symphonic Band performed at the 81st annual Mississippi Bandmasters State Clinic as the featured high school ensemble.
Justin was selected as Germantown High School STAR Teacher in 2016 and 2018; and in 2018 he was named the Germantown High School Teacher of the Year and the Madison County School District Teacher of the Year. He was also appointed as the marching director of the Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band in 2016 as they competed and won their 33rd International Championship in Fukuoka, Japan.
His professional affiliations include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, the American School Band Directors Association, and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Harvison is an active guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. Mr. Harvison lives in Madison with his wife Melissa and their daughter Abigail.
Photo & Biography credit: Madison Schools
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