Color Guard Coordinator
“As the saying goes, “Once a panther, always a panther!” Mandy is very excited to back with the Panther Band in 2017. She kicked it off with Georgia State during their inaugural season in 2010 performing with the color guard and serving as Captain until she graduated in 2014. During her time at Georgia State, Mandy had the opportunity to perform with the Panthers at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade, the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and placed first in Independent A Class with the Georgia State Winter guard at the 2014 WGI World Championships.
Prior to joining the GSU program, Mandy began her color guard career back in 2005 with North Forsyth High School where she graduated and then instructed for eight years. Throughout college Mandy assisted many color guard programs throughout the Atlanta area and spun for groups such as Georgia Tech, Aureus Independent and Georgia State Fall and Winter programs.
Mandy is currently employed with one of the top ophthalmology practices in the State of Georgia, Milan Eye Center as a Surgical Coordinator. When she is not working or on the field with the color guard you will find her traveling to new places, shopping, or spending time with friends and family on the lake. “
Color Guard Instructor
Color Guard Director
Dancing since the age of 2, Erin was introduced to the pageantry arts while studying at the University of Georgia. Her first experience performing in winter guard was with the 2004 Study cast. Her immediate captivation with the activity led her to pursue further experiences performing with Ad Astra per Aspera in 2005, Phantom Regiment Winter guard in 2007, Pride of Cincinnati in 2008, and Northeast Independent in 2010. Her marching drum corps experience began in 2004 and ended in 2007, completing all four seasons with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.
As an instructor, Erin has taught at various high schools in the Atlanta area, including a 6-year stay at McEachern High School where she revitalized the winterguard program and led them to a “AA Championship” within the local circuit in 2013, as well as in their first WGI Regional appearance in 10 years.
Her drum corps teaching experience began in 2008 with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. After a hiatus from the drum corps activity, Erin returned as the movement instructor for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from 2013 through 2016.
At a collegiate level, Erin began working with the Georgia State University Colorguard and Winterguard programs in the fall of 2013. Over the years she has migrated from technician, to choreographer, to her current role as the director of the program. She was ecstatic for the program’s success as Independent Class IA Champions in 2014 and their performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in 2015. Since taking the helm as the guard director, she continued the growth of the program leading them to their first WGI Finalist appearance in 3 years.
This summer Erin can be found teaching dance to high school and college programs beyond the Atlanta area and will join the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps as a movement specialist working with the entire corps. She is also currently, preparing for her sixth season with the Paramount Winterguard organization. Outside of the pageantry arts, Erin is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree focusing on dance at Kennesaw State University.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Jamil Facdol is currently in his second year of graduate school at Georgia State University. He is pursuing the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Master of Health Administration (MHA) in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business. He is a Graduate Assistant for the GSU Bands where he serves as a rehearsal assistant for the Panther Marching Band and as the principal percussionist in the University Concert Band. Prior to attending GSU, he was a band director in the Cobb County School District for 15 years. Under his leadership, the bands at Griffin Middle School almost doubled in size and consistently received Superior ratings at LGPE. In 2011, the band was selected to perform at University of Georgia Midfest. Jamil is a native of Humacao, Puerto Rico. His family relocated to Marietta, Georgia when he was nine years old. He graduated from Wheeler High School and went on to attend the University of Georgia. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at UGA, Jamil studied percussion with Dr. Thomas McCutchen and conducting with Dr. Dwight Satterwhite and Dr. John Culvahouse. He performed in various groups including the Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Percussion Ensemble, the Steel Drum Band, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Redcoat Marching Band. Along with his teaching responsibilities at Griffin, Jamil was active as a marching percussion instructor at McEachern High School and at Harrison High School. He served as the District 12 GMEA All-State Audition Organizer. He has performed with the Cobb Wind Symphony and had the honor of playing with the band at the 2003 Midwest Clinic and the 2008 CBDNA Convention. His past professional affiliations include National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, National Band Association, Percussive Arts Society, and Professional Association of Georgia Educators. Jamil is a past recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence. Jamil currently resides in East Point, GA. His interests include running, cycling, playing softball, and the culinary arts.
Jami Fennell is originally from Walterboro, South Carolina. He attended Western Carolina University where he studied percussion with Dr. Mario Gaetano. While attending WCU he performed in the percussion, jazz, wind and gamelan ensembles. He was also a member of the Pride of the Mountains Marching band where he served as the section leader and was Most Outstanding Performer for the 2001 season. Jami was also a member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps from 1999-2001, and in 2001 he was named Most Outstanding Performer. Jami also attended Jacksonville State University where he studied with Clint Gillespie and Tracy Tyler. While attending JSU he was a member of the Marching Southerners and the JSU PASIC line, and was the 2003 Most Outstanding Performer. Jami holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from JSU. He has also taught several highly respected drum lines throughout the South including: Spirit of JSU, Jacksonville State University, Kennesaw Mountain High School and Lassiter High School. From 2008-2010 he worked in Birmingham, Alabama as a member of the DoubleStop Percussion team. Currently Jami lives in Atlanta where he is the Percussion Coordinator for the Georgia State Marching Band and also works with the the McEachern High School band.
Carlos Gonzalez has been involved in the world of pageantry arts for over 20 years as an educator, designer, adjudicator, clinician and consultant. Carlos originally started as a soprano player with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps where he marched for three seasons. After aging out as a lead soprano, Carlos served as a visual caption head/instructor for the following DCI organizations: Bluecoats (2004), Carolina Crown (2005-06), Santa Clara Vanguard (2007-09), Spirit of Atlanta (2010-11), Crossmen (2012-2014) and Atlanta CV (2012-2014).
Scholastically, Carlos’ groups are perennial finalists and have won numerous Bands of America Regional overall championships and made finals at the BOA Grand Nationals competition. Carlos has had the privilege of teaching the following: Plymouth Canton Educational Park HS, Kennesaw Mountain HS, Walton HS, Carlton J. Kell HS, West Bloomfield HS and McEachern HS. Carlos is currently the visual caption head for the Bands of America regional finalists Mill Creek HS. Carlos is also the visual caption head for the GSU Marching Panther band and has been with the program since inception.
Carlos graduated from GSU with his bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance. He currently works as a commercial underwriter for Auto-Owners Insurance company. Carlos resides in Acworth, Ga with his wife Alexis, son Oliver and dog Atlas.
Director of Band Operations
Graduate Conducting Assistant
Justin Murray is currently pursuing the master of music in wind band conducting degree at Georgia State University, studying with Robert J. Ambrose and Chester B. Phillips. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant he is involved in all aspects of the band program including the concert ensembles, brass and woodwind chamber groups, and athletic bands.
Justin completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Georgia State. As an under- graduate student he studied ute with Sarah Kruser-Ambrose and was a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Wind Orchestra. Justin student taught at Hightower Trail Middle School (Marietta, GA) and Woodland High School (Cartersville, GA). He has served as a marching band, concert band, woodwind, and ute clinician for numerous middle and high school band programs around Georgia and South- east Florida. During his time in South Florida he worked with elementary-aged students as a Woodwind Teaching Artist with a Miami Music Project, a non-pro t using music for social transformation. Most recently, Justin served as the Instructional and Administrative Assistant with the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE) for the 2015-16 season. Justin currently serves as a woodwind clinician with many Atlanta area band programs and maintains a private ute studio. Upon completing his master’s degree, Justin has aspirations of teaching high school band.
Graduate Conducting Assistant
Anya Pogorelova is a Canadian pianist, percussionist, and graduate student working towards the master of music degree in wind band conducting at Georgia State University. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a bachelor of music (honours) degree in 2016, majoring in Music Education and minoring in French Literature. Anya has performed with the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra, Greystone Singers, Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, and the National Youth Band of Canada. She was the winner of the 2015 Saskatoon Youth Orchestra (SYO) Concerto Competition and successfully performed Anders Koppel’s Marimba Concerto No.1 with the SYO in the spring of 2016. Anya has also worked extensively with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Program since 2004, both as a cadet and as an instructor.