Jackson County Public Schools District Information

Our Schools


The band program in Jackson County is a wonderful place for students in grades 6-12 to have a consistent and positive interaction with the arts during their most influential years. The directors, staff and student leaders of every group work hard to promote positive student behaviors, teamwork, citizenship and leadership through music. Students can choose to be a part of concert band during the school day or they can branch out and take part in our specialized performance groups after school in our competitive extra-curricular ensembles. Each group has shown growth in numbers and in competitive success since Mr. Umphlett took over the band program in 2005 and now with the addition of Mrs. Saunders leading the middle grade bands to over 150 students we look forward to continued success in the future. Please see below about a brief description of each of our ensembles.

School-Day Classes

The high school concert band is the only band ensemble that meets during the school day at Smoky Mountain High School. In the fall all 9th graders are put into their own class to learn the advanced skill necessary to perform in high school while the 10-12 graders meet to continue their music education. In the spring the band is split with percussion meeting during their own period since they are responsible for learning multiple techniques and equipment as percussionists. The wind players meet in the other class to focus on topics that are specific to their needs. The two classes always perform together during concerts. This ensemble has traveled multiple times under the direction of Mr. Umphlett and have received excellent and superior ratings in places such as New York City, Atlanta, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

Extra-Curricular Ensembles


Drew Umphlett

Director, High School Programs
(828) 586-2177 ext. 2700

Steve Smith

Director, Middle School Programs
(828) 586-2177 ext. 2701