Director of Bands
Nathan Johnston is currently the Director of Bands at McClintock High School. Since arriving at MHS, “J” (as the students call him) has continued to build on the strengths of the Charger Band while challenging the students to modernize their musical product. With the 2010-2011 school year being one of the most comprehensively successful seasons, Mr. Johnston intends to continue this challenge. Believing that music education is an invaluable component of the core curriculum, he strives to enhance student character while imparting an appreciation for the musical process. This balance is seen through the many awards student members receive, both as community leaders and as advanced musicians.
Mr. Johnston received his B.M. in Instrumental Music Education from Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) and his M.Ed. in Instrumental Music from Auburn University (Auburn, AL). His mentors include world renowned conductors, educators, and performers like Sam Pilafian, Dr. Jill Sullivan, Dr. Rick Good, and Dr. Robert “Coach” Fleming. Nathan resides in Chandler with his wife Jessica, son Dallen, and dogs Rascal and Patches.
Marching Band Support Staff:
Percussion (Front Ensemble)
Thomas Murphy is a percussionist and music educator in the Phoenix area. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the State University of New York at Potsdam, and a Master’s in Percussion Performance from Arizona State University. During his career, Thomas has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Mesa Symphony, Sonoran Desert Chorale, Arizona Musicfest, and The Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York.
Thomas has directed The Phoenix Youth Percussion Ensemble for eight years. He has given Latin Percussion clinics to music teachers throughout New York State with the aim of bringing Latin music into the classroom. Since relocating in Phoenix, he has been a teaching assistant at Arizona State University, adjunct faculty member at Mesa Community College and has adjudicated percussion for the Arizona All State Festival. He teaches music in the Higley Unified School District. In addition to teaching, he also served for three years as the Chapter President of the Arizona Percussive Arts Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding percussion education in Arizona. Currently in his third year as front ensemble tech with McClintock High School, Thomas strives to prepare percussionists to be well-rounded musicians that are up to any challenge.
Instrument and Visual Tech
Jeff Atchison is going into his third year at Arizona State University studying Music
Education. He has studied under Dr. Jana Starling, on clarinet, for two years and will
now be studying under Dr. Josh Gardner for the remainder of his time at ASU. While
emphasizing on woodwind pedagogy and technique, Jeff has also delved into the
brass world. Jeff marched mellophone with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in
2009 and 2010, as well as the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band . In
his spare time Jeff likes to compose music. His pieces have been exposed to many
different people and settings in this world from students at ASU to young musicians
in the Phoenix Youth Symphony. His latest performance was from the Phoenix Youth
Symphony under the direction of Nathan Johnston, a dear friend. Jeff hopes to keep
developing his compositional skills and expose his music to as many people as