Dexter Leo Bailey, Jr. is in his 15th year as a music educator and currently serving his 6th year as Creekside High School’s Director of Bands. Mr. Bailey’s duties include conducting the CHS Wind Symphony, Symphonic and Concert Bands, and the “Sounds of the Seminoles” Marching Band. Additionally, Mr. Bailey instructs music theory and music technology courses, serves as the chief arranger for the “Sounds of the Seminoles”, and services all administrative needs for the band program. Under Mr. Bailey’s headship, the CHS Band Program has seen a 15-20% growth in band enrollment and student retention, earned superior ratings at GMEA’s Large Group Performance Evaluation and placed members in the GMEA District V Honor Band. Moreover, Mr. Bailey’s guidance has led the band to serving as a representative of the State of Georgia in the 2022 National Independence Parade, earn the “Platinum Distinction of Excellence” Award at Bandroomnation.com’s Inaugural World Class Festival of Winds, performed for various college homecomings and invitationals in the southeast, and continues to develop as a comprehensive instrumental music program. Recently, Mr. Bailey was selected as the 2021-2022 Creekside High School Teacher of the Year and received the 2022 Dr. William P. Foster Community Development Award for the Southern Region.
Prior to his appointment at CHS, Mr. Bailey served as the Director of Bands at Bear Creek Middle School (2008-2017; CHS feeder program), Assistant Director of Bands at Creekside High School (2009-2017), and Assistant Director/Chief Arranger at Redan High School (2008-2013; Stone Mountain, Georgia). Under Mr. Bailey’s baton, the BCMS program received consecutive superior ratings at GMEA’s Large Group Performance Evaluation, placed members in the GMEA Honor and All-State Bands, performed for Fulton County School’s Music In Our Schools Month, Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta, WSB-TV’s and 100 Black Man of Atlanta’s Atlanta Football Classic Parade, and Universal Studios Orlando’s S.T.A.R.SEducation Performance Program. Moreover, Mr. Bailey served as Bear Creek MS’ Fine Arts Department Chair, supporting all fine art programs in the school. As an assistant, Mr. Bailey arranged all marching band music for Creekside and worked as a brass coach, serving similar roles with Redan.
Mr. Bailey is a native of Decatur, Georgia and has played trumpet, trombone and piano since elementary school. He is a 2003 graduate of Redan High School and participated in the symphonic, jazz and marching bands. Mr. Bailey is a 2008 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and graduating Summa Cum Laude. During his tenure at B-CU, Mr. Bailey studied under Dr. Shawn Hundley, Dr. Hiram Powell, Mr. Donovan Wells, Mr. James Poitier and Mr. Pedro Orey. Furthermore, he was an active participant in the trumpet choir, symphonic band, and Marching Wildcats marching band, serving as trumpet section leader for his last two years. During his early years in music education, Mr. Bailey received the Techer of the Year Award during his first year and the Atlanta Braves’ All-Star Teacher Award during his last year at BCMS. Moreover, Mr. Bailey went on to pursue his masters degree while teaching full-time, earning a Masters in Music Education Degree from Boston University in 2014.
Mr. Bailey’s passion for music education goes beyond his own program. He continuously serves as a clinician for middle and high school bands throughout the state of Georgia. Mr. Bailey also arrange and compose music for over 20 middle and high schools in the Southeast. During the summer, Mr. Bailey coordinates the Bethune-Cookman University High School Summer Band Camp and NAACP’s South Fulton United Marching Band. Additionally, Mr. Bailey has arranged and worked for other summer camps in the Metro-Atlanta area and arranged music for band camps in Nassau, Bahamas.
In his free time, Mr. Bailey loves to golf, cycle and spend time with his family and friends.
Jarius Thomas, who is in his 20 th year as Music Educator and Director of Percussion,
received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance/Education in 2004 from Edward
Waters College. While at EWC he was the principal percussionist with the Symphonic Band,
drummer for the Jazz Band and also provided percussion work for the Chamber Choir and
Master Chorale as well.
Mr. Thomas started teaching and working with bands and percussion section in 2002
after he was highly recommended by EWC to work with some of the local school band
programs. He was fortunate to student teach with John Adams and the Wolfson High School
Band program in Jacksonville, FL. While he was student teaching, He was asked to become the
percussion specialist instructor for the Wolfson’s Marching and Concert program. After
graduating from EWC, Mr. Thomas moved to Marietta, GA. where took a position as the 3 rd
Band Director and percussion instructor at Marietta High School under the direction of Rob
Opitz in Marietta, GA. While at Marietta, he started an indoor drumline and was asked to start a
middle school percussion ensemble. In 2005, Mr. Thomas as offered a position at LaGrange
High as the Percussion Specialist for the Marching Band. During his time at LHS, Mr. Thomas
inspired and challenged his students to read more percussion music and develop good techniques
within the ensemble. In 2006, Mr. Thomas was contacted by the Director of Band at Pebblebrook
High School and was asked to join the marching staff. After two seasons of working with the
Pebblebrook program, Mr. Thomas was offered a position as the Associate Director of bands and
was asked to improve the percussion section by offering a percussion studies class. After 8 years
of service at Pebblebrook, Mr. Thomas became Director of Band at Osborne High School from
2013 - 2022. Under his leadership, the Band program grew from 90 students to over 300 total
students in the Band program. During his tenure, the band program performed at several national
events such as, The Magic City Classic Parade, The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade (Chicago)
and Hollywood National Jazz Band competition (Los Angeles). The Marching Band participated
yearly in the National High Stepping Band Championship and placed in both class and overall.
In fall of 2022, Mr. Thomas joined the Creekside High School Band program as the Associate
Director of Bands.
He is dedicated to the education of students through music and as well as relating music
to life situations. Mr. Thomas has been a percussion clinician for several Metro Atlanta band
programs and has written and arranged percussion parts for marching bands, drumlines, concert
bands and percussion ensembles across the nation.
Mr. Thomas is also a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the
National Association for Music Education. He dedicated and devoted Husband and Father and is
married to LaKesha Thomas and has 5 children.