Mr. Robert Elliott - Director of Bands

Robert ElliottRobert W. Elliott has been teaching for 27 years in Ohio and Kentucky. He received his B.M.E. degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1984, the M.Ed. degree from Xavier University in 1992 and a Rank I Certificate from Eastern Kentucky University in 2003.

Mr. Elliott has served the Kentucky Music Educators Association as the District 7 Marching Band Board of Control representative, Lexington Festival manager during the 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 school years. He has also been the Press Box manager for the KMEA State Marching Band Championships in AAAAA Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals since 2007.

In 1996 Mr. Elliott served as District 6 (Northern Kentucky) KMEA President.

Mr. Elliott is a member of KMEA, MENC, National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu.

Mr. Elliott’s concert bands have consistently received Distinguished ratings at both the district and state level since 1986. The Cooper High School Band has received Distinguished ratings since its’ opening in 2008 and was named an exemplary concert band in 2009 and 2010.

The Grant County Marching Band was a KMEA State finalist in 1994, 1995 and 1996 in class A and AA. The Grant County Marching Band was named Class A State Champion in 1995.

The Tates Creek Marching Bands were KMEA State finalists in 2000, 2001, and 2002 in class AAAA, a BOA St. Louis Regional Finalist in 2001, and a BOA Louisville Regional Finalist in 2002. The Tates Creek Symphonic and Concert Bands also participated in the BOA Regional Concert Festival at the University of Kentucky in the spring of 2000. The Tates Creek Symphonic performed at the 2002 KMEA In-Service Conference as a featured concert band.

Mr. Elliott has been a KMEA marching band and concert band adjudicator since 1991.

Mr. Elliott is married to Carol Elliott and they have 3 children Jessica 30, Linda 27, and Bobby 25. They also have 2 grandchildren Kensley 3, and Taylor 1.

Mr. Bill Kidwell - Assistant Director of Bands

Bill KidwellBill Kidwell is the director of bands at Gayle H. Gray Middle School in Union, Kentucky where he has served since 2001. Prior to GMS, he taught at Ludlow High School and Woodland Middle School in Northern Kentucky. Mr. Kidwell holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Education from Northern Kentucky University.

Under his direction, the Gray Middle School Bands have grown in size and achievements. The concert bands have received distinguished ratings at the Northern Kentucky Concert Band Festival every year since taking over, and have been named exemplary performance ensemble four of the past five years.

The GMS JAZZ ensemble began in 2003 and was one of very few middle school jazz ensembles at the time. Since 2003, they have annually received distinguished ratings at Festival in the Parks and the Northern Kentucky Jazz Festival. In addition, they have been named the top middle school jazz ensemble at the Northern Kentucky Jazz Festival every year but one since its inception.

Mr. Kidwell has held the office of Vice President and Secretary of the KMEA District 6, and is currently serving as President of that district. He has served on numerous committees including marching band board of control and select band committee.

Mr. Kidwell was named district 6 middle school teacher of the year in 2010.

Mr. Kidwell is a member of the KMEA and MENC.

Mr. Kidwell resides in Union with his wife, Lisa, and two boys Tyler and Kyle.

Mr. Brent Bowlin - Director of Percussion

Brent BowlinBrent Bowlin is the assistant band director at both Gray Middle School and Ryle High School. Along with his responsibilities as a band director, he is also: head instructor for both the Gray MS and Ryle HS Percussion Ensembles, head instructor for the Ryle Marching Band drumline and front ensemble, Director of the Ryle HS Pep Band and assistant band director to the Gray Jazz Ensemble.

He attended Grant County High School (State Finalist), where he was a section leader of the Grant County Marching Band and a participant in the Northern Kentucky Select Band. He also received the John Phillip Sousa Band Award, for most outstanding senior band member.

After high school, he attended Morehead State University (MSU) where he received his music education degree. While at MSU, he was a part of many different ensembles, taking multiple leadership roles:

  • MSU Marching Band – 5 years (Section Leader)
  • MSU Orchestra – 4 years (Section Leader)
  • MSU Concert Band – 4 years (Section Leader)
  • MSU Percussion Ensemble/Steel Pan Band – 5 years (Section Leader)

During his time at MSU, he took part in an overseas performance in Spain with the MSU Percussion Ensemble and was also a participant in the Vic Firth “Percussion 101” web video series. An executive board member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia “National Music Service Fraternity”, he received the “Sinfonian Service Award” based on hours of work in reviving alumni activity for the Theta Pi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

After college he became percussion instructor in Kenton County from 2011-2013, for both the Simon Kenton High School and Twenhofel Middle School bands. He taught private lessons and headed percussion ensembles for each school. He was also head instructor of the Simon Kenton Indoor Drumline.

In 2013, he became the assistant band director at Campbell County Middle School and High School. During this time he was director of the CCHS Pep Band and was assistant director to the Tri-State concert class winning, Campbell County Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

Joining the Gray MS and Ryle HS band staff in 2014, he started the first ever Gray MS percussion ensemble.

He is a resident of Florence, KY, where he lives with his wife Jamie Bowlin.