Justin Robinson has been named assistant director of bands, according to John Mixon, division director of Fine Arts at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Robinson will fill the position vacated by Mixon, who was named division director earlier this summer.
Robinson comes to Northwest from his position as band director at Southaven Middle and High School, where he had worked since August 2013. Before coming to Southaven, Robinson was working on his Master of Arts in Orchestral Instrument Performance (Trumpet) at Pennsylvania State University, which he earned in May 2013. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Mississippi State University in 2011.
Robinson’s teaching experience includes work as a graduate teaching assistant at Penn State, as well as student teaching at Lewisburg Middle and High School. He has also instructed high brass students at Penn State, Mississippi State, and several high school band camps in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
“Although I have never taught full time at the college level before, I think it will be a good experience for me and for the students because I’ll be able to bring in some new ideas. I am looking forward to working with these students. I think moving up to this level is a better fit for me,” Robinson said.
Aside from his work instructing in academics, Robinson has been high brass instructor for the renowned Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps since 2010. In addition to performing with the Spirit of Atlanta, he has performed with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, when they captured first place in the 2008 International World Championships. He was a member of the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps from 2004-2006, serving as trumpet section leader and assistant horn sergeant in 2006.
Robinson has extensive performance experience with ensembles and orchestras at Penn State and Mississippi State, and has appeared as a guest trumpet player in area churches in Mississippi and Tennessee. He was also a substitute for the Starkville Symphony.
In addition to his duties as marching band director, Robinson will teach individual lessons and music appreciation classes. He would like to see the marching band continue to grow in the future. “Some sections are smaller than I would like them to be, but it is a challenge when you have students for only two years to grow those sections,” Robinson said. He added that he will work on the growth through recruiting.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Robinson moved with his family to Collierville, Tennessee. in first grade. He attended Collierville High School, where he was a member of the marching band. He and his wife Jessie are expecting their first child in October.
“We are excited to have Justin Robinson join the Fine Arts faculty at Northwest. His prior experiences will serve our college well as he begins his leadership role with the Northwest Ranger Band. We are also looking forward to the positive impact that we know he will make as an instructor of music appreciation and brass for majors and non-major students,” Mixon said.
Northwest will hold its marching band camp Aug. 5-11, and their first performance is scheduled to be on the front lawn at the main campus on Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. The Ranger Marching Band will be on hand for the annual “Meet the Rangers” at Ranger Stadium on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. The first home game will be against Jones County Junior College on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the college’s website at www.northwestms.edu.