Directors & Staff

Director of Bands

Ms. Kristin Arp is in her first year as Director of Bands at Carter High School after completing three years as an Assistant Director. In addition to her conducting duties with the Carter High School Marching and Symphonic Band, Ms. Arp is the primary director of the Carter High School Jazz Ensemble and also teaches the AP Music Theory Course as well as General Music courses. Ms. Arp is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she received both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education. While in college, she was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and also served as both an Assistant Drum Major and a Graduate Assistant while completing her graduate studies. Ms. Arp has marched with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps.

Former Director of Bands (2005-2016)

Mr. Matthew J. McCurry was the Director of Bands at Carter High School from 2005 to 2016 where he oversaw all aspects of the band program. He began teaching in 2002 as the Director of Bands at Holston Middle School and Assistant Director at Gibbs High School in Knoxville before moving to Carter in 2005. Mr. McCurry graduated from Powell High School where he received the John Philip Sousa Award for Band and from Carson-Newman College where he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental and Vocal Music Education as well as a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, Supervision and Administration. His primary instrument is piano with a secondary in trombone. While at C-N, he was president and principal trombonist of the instrumental ensembles as well as Business Manager for the C-N Acappella Choir. He studied Instrumental Conducting with Dr. Marshall Forrester as well as Instrumentation, Administration, and Audio Production. Mr. McCurry is an active guest clinician and is the East Tennessee School Band & Orchestra Association's Auditions Chair after five years as Representative to the Middle Area. He has made numerous appearances as a guest conductor, often with the Carson-Newman College Symphonic Band as well as the East Tennessee Youth Wind Ensemble. Mr. McCurry is the Director of Operations at the Carson-Newman Summer Music Camp and is organist at Fountain City Presbyterian Church. Mr. McCurry was accepted to begin doctoral work in wind conducting beginning in Fall 2016.

Former Director of Bands (2001-2007)

Mrs. Angie Messer, formerly Associate Director of Bands and TAP Master Teacher at Carter High, completed her thirteenth year in the Carter Schools in 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she served as Clarinet Section Leader for three years and as a Field Instructor for one year. Prior to coming to Carter High School, she taught at Bearden High School in Knoxville as the Assistant Director of Bands for four years. Mrs. Messer’s professional and honorary affiliations include the East Tennessee Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association and Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers. She and her husband have three children, Ploomie McKinnon, Zoee Drusilla, and Maggie Belle. Mrs. Messer was awarded the the Tennessee Outstanding Young Band Director Award in 2007 for her accomplishments in reviving the Carter Band Program. Mrs. Messer is also a 2013 Teacher-of-the-Year at Carter High School. Mrs. Messer has been accepted into the Knox County Schools Leadership Academy and will be moving into Administration and Supervision beginning Summer 2014.

Carter Middle School Director of 6th & 7th Grade Bands / CHS Woodwind Specialist

Mr. Kevin Ross is the Director of 6th & 7th Grade Bands at Carter Middle and an Assistant Director at Carter High School. He is in his sixth year at Carter Middle School and at Carter High School. Mr. Ross has taught at Fulton High School as the Director of Bands as well as teaching at Central High and Austin-East High Schools in Knoxville. In addition, he has taught in Illinois, Iowa, and Virginia. Mr. Ross holds a B.A. in Music Education from Western Illinois University and a Masters in Music from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he studied conducting with Gary Sousa. He is a member of the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Music Educators National Conference and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He and his wife Janet, a teacher at Holston Middle School, have one son, Philip and is active in the music ministry of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church.

Carter Middle School Director of 8th Grade Band / CHS Assistant Director

Mr. Justin Miller

Mrs. Kristina Seabolt is the Colorguard Instructor at Carter High School.

Mrs. Morgan Sawyers is the Assistant Colorguard Instructor at Carter High School.

Mrs. Terri Sharp is the Drum Major Instructor at Carter High School.

Mr. Ben McCurry  is the Indoor Drumline and Percussion Instructor at Carter High School.

Past Band Directors of Carter High School

1947-51:  V.E. Blackwelder
1952-53:  M.M. Trythall
1953-57:  Horace Atchley
1959-60:  Robert Hampton
1960-61:  John Dameron
1961-67:  Louis Boren
1968-79:  Charles Blake
1980-84:  John Wooten
1985-90:  Dan Coker
1991-92:  Jack Thomas
1992-2001:  Dan Coker
2002-2007:  Angie Messer
2007-2016:  Matthew McCurry (Asst. 2005-2007)
2016-present:  Kristin Arp (Asst. 2014-2016)



Photos by Light House Studio, Knoxville, TN