Staff

Kevin M. Still

Director of Bands

Kevin M. Still serves as the Director of Bands at Willow Spring High School in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, since the founding of the school in 2021. In this capacity, Mr. Still conducts the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band. The band program has been praised for its contemporary approach to performances, family-like atmosphere and comprehensive ensemble offerings.

Prior to opening Willow Spring, Mr. Still served as the Director of Bands at North Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, NC. His teaching responsibilities included conducting the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, “Band of Knights” Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Pit Orchestras. He also assisted with the middle school bands at North Lincoln Middle School. The NLHS Wind Ensemble regularly earned Superior ratings at concert festivals, and the Marching Band was a consistent winner of 1st place and Grand Champion awards. The North Lincoln Band program consisted of over 160 students supported by a comprehensive parent booster organization.

Mr. Still began his career as the Director of Bands & Choirs at West Stanly High School in Oakboro, NC, where he conducted the Concert Band, Marching Band, Vocal Ensemble and Jazz Band. During his tenure, the band and choir grew substantially, including the band enrollment at West Stanly Middle School almost tripling. Under his baton, ensembles from West Stanly consistently earned ratings of “excellent” and “superior” at state and regional music festivals and competitions.

Mr. Still holds a Master’s of Music Education from Texas Tech University as well as a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was awarded the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship. As a performer, Mr. Still marched trumpet with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009, earning a silver medal at DCI World Championships and high brass honors.

Mr. Still holds professional memberships with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the National Association for Music Education, North Carolina Music Educators Association, and the National Band Association. Outside of music, he enjoys golfing, hiking, running and church service opportunities. He lives in Willow Spring, NC, with his wife Kristen, sons Craig and Colin, and their cat Gracie.

Stephen Downing

Concert Percussion Instructor

Stephen Downing is a North Carolina-based teacher, performer, and composer.

His music searches to find the intersection of the classical tradition, organic structures, absurdism, and the man-made world. His music draws inspiration from the obsessiveness of minimalism, the relentlessness of rock, the mysticism of sacred music, and the organic structures of global music. Some of Stephen's recent projects include move, a new piece for Imani Winds, and a new electro-acoustic flute solo (So many moving parts) for Alex Sopp. His music has been performed by musicians such as the JACK Quartet, HYPERCUBE, RighteousGIRLS, and others. He is currently a Ph.D. fellow in Music Composition at Duke University.

He is particularly interested in performing and championing contemporary solo and chamber repertoire from modern composers. Some notable performances include the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) as a member of the University of Tennessee at Martin Percussion Ensemble, the Tennessee Day of Percussion as a featured performer with Anders Åstrand, and many curated concerts of contemporary music in the West Tennessee area. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance from the University of Tennessee at Martin, where his teachers included Dr. Julie Hill, Dr. Shane Jones, Dr. Joshua Smith, Dr. Dan Piccolo, and Dr. Daniel Heagney.

Samantha Barringer

Colorguard Instructor

Dominique Ruffin

Marching Percussion Instructor