Band of Gold Leadership
Dr. James Standland
Director of Bands
Dr. James Standland has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from The University of Southern Mississippi, 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. He was previously director of bands at Marianna High School in Florida.
His professional affiliations include the National Band Association, Mississippi Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Percussive Arts Society and American School Band Directors Association MENC. He was named a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician and received the Florida Bandmasters Association State Student Enrollment Award.
He served as an adjudicator at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade International (Dublin, Ireland, 2016 and 2019); Mississippi MAIS Concert Band Festival (Jackson, 2016); Gulf Coast Band Directors Association McDonalds Scholarship Competition (2017 and 2018); and Gulf Coast Band Directors Association Scholarship Competition (2019).
Assistant Director of the MGCCC Bands
Heather McDonald began working at MGCCC in July 2007. She is assistant director of Bands and director of the Tuba Euphonium Ensemble. She also teaches Music Appreciation, Pep Band, and Low Brass Private Lessons.
McDonald attended Murray State University where she received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education studying with Dennis Johnson, John Fannin, Ray Conklin, and Dr. Lloyd Bone. She received her Masters of Music in Euphonium Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi where she studied with Dr. Richard Perry. She is a member of the International Tuba Euphonium Association and the International Women’s Brass Conference.
McDonald has performed on euphonium, baritone, and trombone in various ensembles including brass choir, praise band, pep band, wind ensemble, symphonic band, orchestra, and tuba/euphonium ensemble. She has performed with the Mississippi Wind Symphony, the Murray State University Racer Band and Symphonic Orchestra, and in 2008 performed with the University of Southern Mississippi Tuba Euphonium Ensemble at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Cincinnati, OH.
She has been event coordinator for such marching competitions as the MGCCC Gold Medal Classic, the Murray State University Festival of Champions, and Drum Corps International’s Drums Between the Rivers.
McDonald resides in Picayune with her husband Hugh and their son Malcolm. They are awaiting the arrival of their daughter, Isobel, in August 2019.
Assistant Director of the MGCCC Bands
Wil Richmond is a proud alumnus of MGCCC and has served as both an adjunct professor of percussion and percussion technician at Gulf Coast. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from The University of Southern Mississippi. He was previously the assistant band director at Harrison Central High School.
Richmond has also worked with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps and has a strong knowledge in the field of percussion studies and instrumental music.
A devoted, hardworking teacher committed to excellence in music education, he is dedicated to teaching students and preparing them for higher levels of music at the college level and in music careers.
Perkette Choreographer & Dance Coordinator
Britney Kuehn is a native of Ocean Springs, Mississippi where she grew up training at Donna’s Visual Performing Arts Center. Britney attended The University of Southern Mississippi, where she danced as part of their Repertory Dance Company for four years, graduating Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Dance Performance and Choreography and a minor in Theatre.
She has taught the past seven years throughout Mississippi and South Louisiana, dancing and choreographing professionally with the Marigny Opera Ballet, Hinge Dance Company and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans Dance Team.
Jimmy Spears, “The Voice of the Band of Gold,” is the program director and traffic manager at WXXV-TV in Gulfport. He attended MGCCC – Harrison County campus in 1979 before transferring to the University of Mississippi. Jimmy got started in radio in 1980 at WGUF in Gulfport. He is married to Lanie Morris Spears and has three children, Trae, Cody and Jessica – all former MGCCC students.