Dr. James Standland is the new director of Bands at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, arriving at the school after 15 years at The University of Southern Mississippi.
“Gulf Coast has always been a quality program,” he said. “I’ve been close enough to it, being in the state of Mississippi for 15 years, to know that what they do is top notch. That’s what drew me here.”
He will be joined on the staff by Wil Richmond, who will be Assistant Director of Bands alongside Heather McDonald. McDonald has been at Gulf Coast since 2007.
Standland has bachelor and master’s degrees in music education from USM, as well a doctorate in musical arts in conducting from the school. He began as a graduate assistant at USM in 2004 and became assistant director of The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band two years later.
He’s been the drill designer and music arranger, as well as director of the basketball pep bands. Standland has been conductor of the Concert Band, University Band and the Symphonic Winds. He served two stints as director of the marching band, as well.
Standland was also director of bands at Marianna High School in Florida.
“What more can we do? I think there’s certainly more we can do to move the program,” he said. “I don’t see any reason it can’t be the best program among community colleges in the state.”
Richmond is a graduate of MGCCC, and he went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education at USM. He has been assistant band director at Harrison Central High School, as well as an adjunct professor of percussion and percussion technician at Gulf Coast. Richmond has also worked with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps.
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