Band Director



Andrew Francis

Mr. Francis graduated with Honors from Lenoir-Rhyne University with his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. While at Lenoir-Rhyne, he studied under prestigious educators and performers such as Mr. Neil Underwood, Dr. Daniel Kiser, and Dr. Benjamin Still. At Lenoir-Rhyne, he was a member of various ensembles. He was a charter member of the newly reformed “Spirit of LR” Marching Band where he was a Head Drum Major for three years. He was also a member of the Jazz Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Acapella Choir, College Singers, Wind Ensemble, and the Wind Symphony where he served as first chair Alto Saxophone and frequent soloist. He was awarded the honor of serving as a student guest conductor for the LR Wind Symphony performing at the 2019 North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference in Winston-Salem, NC.

Mr. Francis marched as Lead Mellophone with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. During his 2017 and 2018 summers with Spirit of Atlanta, he competed in Downtown Indianapolis at the DCI Performers Showcase on Saxophone.

Mr. Francis served as the Director of Bands at David W. Butler High School from 2021-2024. He directed all Butler High School Band Ensembles, including the Marching Bulldogs, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Music Theory 1. Under his leadership, several extra opportunity programs were initiated, including the Winter Spin Club, Competitive Winter Percussion (which achieved notable success in CWEA competitions), Tri-M Music Honor Society, and the Solo and Chamber Ensemble Program. Notably, the "Marching Bulldogs" achieved competitive success throughout his tenure, with an undefeated season in 2022 and a finals performance placing at the WCU Tournament of Champions for the first time in the school's history. The Marching Bulldogs garnered two Grand Championships and numerous first-place-in-class awards, culminating in a prestigious invitation to represent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the State of North Carolina at the 2023 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. Furthermore, he led the Butler Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band to consecutive Superior ratings at every State-Sanctioned MPA event since 2021, while the Butler Jazz Ensemble consistently earned Superior and Excellent Ratings at both State-Sanctioned MPA and Local Festival events under his direction.

Before his appointment at Butler High School, he held the Band and Chorus Director position at Maiden Middle School(2020-2021) in Catawba County, NC. While at Maiden, he also assisted with the Maiden High School Band Program.

Mr. Francis holds professional memberships in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Band Association (NBA), the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), the North Carolina Band Masters Association (NCBA), and the South Central District Band Masters Association (SCDBA). Mr. Francis is currently serving on the Executive Board of the South Central District Band Masters Association (SCDBA) as the High School Representative. Mr. Francis is also a committee member and event host for the newly reformed CMS High School Honor Band.

Mr. Francis currently serves as the Associate Artistic Director in charge of the Jazz Section for the Charlotte Pride Band ( Mr. Francis proudly plays Saxophone with the Carolinas Wind Orchestra (CWO), a professional community band based in Rock Hill, SC. Mr. Francis is also the Handbell Choir Director at Harrisburg Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, NC.

Percussion Staff


JC Calhoun
Lead Percussion Director

JC Calhoun is a dedicated and experienced percussion instructor, with a solid foundation in both performance and education. He earned his BM in Music Performance with a focus on percussion from Mars Hill University, where he studied under renowned instructors Mr. Paul Babelay, Mr. Justin Mabry, and Dr. Brian Tinkel. During his time at Mars Hill, JC participated in a variety of ensembles, including marching, concert, chamber, world percussion, and jazz groups, gaining comprehensive experience across multiple styles and settings.

In addition to his performance experience, JC received extensive training in percussion repair and maintenance, a skill he honed throughout his four years at university. This expertise has been invaluable in his role at Ludwig-Musser Percussion since 2021, where he creates, repairs, and tunes various percussion instruments.


JC's performance career includes marching with Scholastic AA groups from Asheville, NC, an A-class group from Greenville, SC, and the open-class group Revelation Percussion from Fort Mill, SC. His versatility as a performer extends to theme park productions, where he was an original cast member in multiple JMMD productions at Cedar Fair's Carowinds and Kings Island theme parks.


As an educator, JC has been teaching percussion since 2017, bringing his passion and expertise to several high school programs. At Catawba Ridge High School, he taught the drumline and front ensemble from 2021 to 2022, assisting with their back-to-back 3A and 4A South Carolina state championships and multiple BOA regional championships. He also assisted in coaching the Catawba Ridge world-class scholastic concert ensemble to a bronze medal at the World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, in 2022.


In 2023, JC worked with the Nation Ford High School front ensemble, guiding them to a bronze medal at the South Carolina state championships and a semi-final placement at the Grand National Championships in Indianapolis Colts Stadium. His ongoing work with Revelation Percussion since 2022 has seen the group earn a bronze medal at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, in their 2024 season.


JC is the owner and founder of 8&IN Percussion Studio LLC, located in Fort Mill, SC. Under JC's leadership, the studio focuses on providing world-class service to each and every student involved, with the mission of making real percussion education available to everyone.


JC is endorsed by the Sonaris Marimba Company, reflecting his expertise and standing in the percussion community.


Currently, JC serves as the percussion director at Ardrey Kell High School and is committed to fostering excellence in his students, combining his extensive performance background with a deep understanding of percussion techniques and maintenance. His dedication to music education and his proven track record of success make him a valuable asset to any band program.


Jessica Rock
Percussion Assistants

Jessica Rock recently concluded her second and final season with Paradigm Percussion, where she served as a member of the leadership team. Jessica was also a member of the A class ensemble Charles Towne Percussion for 4 seasons. With a passion for music and a dedication to excellence, Jessica has established herself as a talented and versatile performer in the marching arts.

Starting her teaching career in the low country of South Carolina under the direction of Ryan Westbury and TJ Shank, Jessica honed her skills and shared her knowledge with aspiring musicians. Her commitment to education and mentorship led her to seek new opportunities in North Carolina, where she aims to expand her playing and teaching experiences.


Wyatt Bell
Percussion Assistants


Wyatt Bell is a dedicated student at Mars Hill University, where he is currently under the instruction of Mr. Paul Babelay and Dr. Brian Tinkel. Prior to joining Mars Hill University, Wyatt attended Catawba Ridge High School, where he competed at a world-class level under the direction of Chris Smith.

Wyatt spent four years at Catawba Ridge High School, participating in the marching band, percussion ensemble, indoor percussion, jazz band, and wind symphony. In 2020, Wyatt also competed with Revelation A Indoor Percussion. Notable performances include BOA Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana, and WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

Currently, Wyatt serves as a percussion instructor for the Ardrey Kell Mighty Knights program, with a primary focus on the battery. He has also worked with middle school percussionists in the Fort Mill area, including students from Forest Creek Middle School and Banks Trail Middle School.

Looking ahead, Wyatt has his eyes set on marching WGI and DCI again soon. He has a particular interest in drumline and percussion composition, alongside his passion for education. Wyatt is eager to continue his growth as a musician and educator, aiming to inspire and mentor the next generation of percussionists. His commitment to excellence and dedication to his craft drive him to seek new opportunities to perform, teach, and compose, making a significant impact in the world of percussion.