Symphonic Band

Dr. David Kehler - Director of Bands and Professor of Music, Kennesaw State University

Since 2009, David Kehler has served as Music Director and Conductor of the KSU Wind Ensemble. In addition, Dr. Kehler teaches courses in instrumental conducting, symphonic repertoire, and twentieth century music. Along with his university responsibilities, professor Kehler currently serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Atlanta Wind Symphony, and as President-Elect for the College Band Directors National Association-Southern Division.

An advocate of new music, Professor Kehler has commissioned over two-dozen leading composers, including several Pulitzer Prize winners to write new compositions for wind ensemble. Performing music beyond the KSU campus, the KSU Wind Ensemble can also be heard frequently on 90.1, Atlanta Public Radio, along with being featured at the College Band Director’s National Association Convention (two times), and most recently at the 2016 GMEA State Conference, in Athens, Georgia. In 2013, the KSU Wind Ensemble won the American Prize for best university wind ensemble/concert band recording in the United States.

Previously, Dr. Kehler served as Associate Conductor of America’s Premiere Windband; The Dallas Winds, and served as Founder and Conductor of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony. Previous academic appointments were at Southern Methodist University, the University of Rhode Island, and Bay City Western High School, in Bay City, Michigan. Growing up in Michigan, Dr. Kehler received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Conducting degrees from Michigan State University, followed by his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Concert Band

Ms. Kristin Starnes - Assistant Principal, Simpson Middle School, former band director

Welcome to the District 12 Middle School Honor Band webpage. The purpose of this page is to provide information to both students and and directors of students who have earned a position in one of the District 12 Middle School Honor Bands. Directors please scroll down for access to work duties, rosters, and the alternate acceptance form. Please visit this website for any questions that you may have. Updates will also be posted here leading up to and during honor band weekend as well. 

To get ready for Honor Band, all participating students need to do a few things immediately: 

1.) Read the 2019 honor band student handbook. 

2.) Formally accept your spot by clicking and filling out the RSVP form. 

3.) Review the location and schedule for the weekend so that you know where to report and at what time. You will also find starting times for each bands concert. 

4.) Turn in $15 for your honor band t-shirt to your band director at your school. T-shirts will be handed out the weekend of honor band and will be worn during your concert Saturday evening.   

McCleskey Middle School Bands

All directors need to complete a few tasks:

1.) Have alternates fill out the alternate acceptance form.

2.) Fill out the director work duty request form.

Location: Lovinggood Middle School - 3825 Luther Ward Rd, Powder Springs, GA 30127

Concert recordings and additional t-shirts: The concert will be recorded by Sound Mill Recording, with CDs available for $15. There will be an order collection table at the concert, or orders may be mailed in afterward. T-Shirt sales will also be available at the concert if you would like to purchase an additional shirt.

Drop outs: If any student drops out of this event for any reason or, please notify your band director immediately so that they can contact the organizer to find someone to fill the spot. This way, alternates can be arranged ahead of time.

Alternates: It is important that we collect contact information ahead of time to allow for organizers to quickly and efficiently reach a student should they be needed for the Honor Band weekend. Please provide every possible contact number or email. If this information is not provided, organizers will have no other way to contact an alternate should they be needed. ​

Lunch and Dinner: Lunch and dinner will be available for purchase on Saturday, February 2. Lunch will be $5.00 and dinner will be $6.00. Lunch will be two slices of pizza, chips, cookie, and a drink. Dinner will consist of a chic-fil-a sandwhich, chips, cookie, and a drink. If you plan to purchase a lunch/dinner, you can specify on your RSVP form and bring money in cash to Lovinggood Middle School on Saturday, February 2 to pay for your meals. 


Friday, February 1:             Arrive early enough to warm-up and be ready to begin rehearsal on

                                          time. Traffic in the area can be heavy at this time of day so please plan accordingly.

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM                Student arrival and check-in. Please plan to arrive by 6:00 PM so that rehearsal can begin promptly                                              at 6:30 PM. You will need to stop by the check-in desk located at the main entrance to Lovinggood                                                Middle School so that we know you have arrived.
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM                Rehearsal at Lovinggood MS. Breaks will be given as needed. Students should be on the way home no                                            later than 9:30 PM. Please make appropriate transportation arrangements. Instruments can be stored                                            if desired over night at Lovinggood in a secure space.

Saturday, February 2:          Arrive early enough to warm-up and be ready to begin rehearsal on time.
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM              Rehearsal at Lovinggood MS
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM              Lunch. A pizza lunch will be available for purchase for $5.00. Orders can be placed when accepting                                               your Honor Band position on the Honor Band website. Students may also bring their own lunch.                                                     Students are strongly encouraged to remain on the campus of Lovinggood Middle School for lunch                                                 and will only be allowed to leave with their parents or band directors. All students must be in their                                               seats for rehearsal, ready to play by or before 1:00 PM.
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM                Rehearsal at Lovinggood MS
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                Dinner. Chic-Fil-A will be available for purchase for $6.00. Orders can be placed when accepting                                                   your Honor Band position on the Honor Band website. Students may also bring their own diner.
5:00 PM – 6:00PM                 Concert warm up/final rehearsal
6:00 PM                               Concert Band Performance
6:30 PM                               Symphonic Band Performance   
7:00 PM                               Concerts conclude

Guest Composer

Mr. Michael Markowski - Visit his website! 

Michael Markowski (b. 1986) is fully qualified to watch movies and cartoons. In 2010, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in ‘Film Practices’ from Arizona State University. While Markowski never studied music in college, he did study privately with his mentors, Jon Gomez and Dr. Karl Schindler, and has continued his education by participating in a number of extracurricular programs, such as The Art of Orchestration with Steven Scott Smalley (2008), the National Band Association’s Young Composer and Conductor Mentorship Project (2008), and the NYU/ASCAP Foundation’s Film Scoring Workshop (2014) where he was named one of ASCAP’s Film & TV “Composers to Watch.” Mark Snow, composer of The X-Files and one of the workshop’s guest mentors, says Michael’s music was “extremely sophisticated” and “complimented the mood and emotion of the scene with unusual maturity and sensitivity.” Most recently, Markowski was invited to join the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop (2015) as a composer and lyricist.

Shadow Rituals, one of Markowski’s first works for concert band, was awarded first prize in Manhattan Beach Music’s Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in 2006. Over the last ten years, Markowski has composed nearly twenty-five original works for wind band, nine of which were recently recorded in collaboration with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, now available on iTunes. Joyride for Orchestra (2015) recently won the Arizona Musicfest’s young composer fanfare competition, and You Are Cordially Invited (2016)recently won a fanfare competition with the Dallas Wind Symphony. He has received commissions from a number of organizations including CBDNA, The Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature, The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, the Durham Medical Orchestra, the Florida Music Educator’s Association, and has received performances from the United States Air Force bands, The Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Musicfest Symphony Orchestra, and from hundreds of bands around the world. He has been the composer-in-residence for the ‘Music for All’ organization (2015), the ‘Mid Europe’ international wind band festival in Schladming, Austria (2013-2018), and frequently visits junior high schools, high schools, universities, and community bands around the country to share stories about his music.

He is a member of ASCAP and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.