Jami Fennel : Director of Percussion Studies

Jami Fennel

Director of Percussion Studies

Jami Fennell is originally from Walterboro, South Carolina. He attended Western Carolina University where he studied percussion with Dr. Mario Gaetano. While attending WCU he performed in the percussion, jazz, wind and gamelan ensembles. He was also a member of the Pride of the Mountains Marching band where he served as the section leader and was Most Outstanding Performer for the 2001 season. Jami was also a member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps from 1999-2001, and in 2001 he was named Most Outstanding Performer. Jami also attended Jacksonville State University where he studied with Clint Gillespie and Tracy Tyler. While attending JSU he was a member of the Marching Southerners and the JSU PASIC line, and was the 2003 Most Outstanding Performer. Jami holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from JSU.  He has also taught several highly respected drum lines throughout the South including: Spirit of JSU, Jacksonville State University, Kennesaw Mountain High School and Lassiter High School. From 2008-2010 he worked in Birmingham, Alabama as a member of the DoubleStop Percussion team. Currently Jami lives in Atlanta where he is the Percussion Coordinator for the Georgia State Marching Band and of course the Collins Hill Bands.

Gisabel Leonardo : Director of Guard Program

Gisabel Leonardo

Director of Guard Program

"Gisabel Leonardo is a native of Sleepy Hollow, New York and moved to the area in 2005. She received her BA from the University of North Georgia in 2015 and her MA from Georgia State University in 2018. During undergrad, she competed in the local and national winter guard circuits for 4 seasons as well as DCA for two summers. She competed with nationally recognized ensembles Reverie Independent, The Edge Independent, and Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps where she performed in WGI and DCA finals.
She has worked with several groups in the area such as Peachtree Ridge cadets, North Gwinnett, Buford, and currently Collins Hill. She has also served as a consultant for other groups throughout the state of Georgia and even served as a part of the administrative team for Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps for two years.
Gisabel teaches Spanish at Georgia State University as a limited term faculty member and looks forward to starting a PhD program in the future."
Matt Groves : Percussion Instructor

Matt Groves

Percussion Instructor

Matt Groves is a percussion educator, arranger, and clinician in the North Georgia area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia and is currently the percussion caption head and arranger for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band. In addition, he teaches percussion at Creekland Middle School, Collins Hill High School, Q2 Independent Indoor Drumline, and is a staff arranger for Artimus Concepts, a marching band show design firm based out of Charlotte, NC.   Matt also regularly gives clinics on both marching and concert percussion, serves as a percussion consultant for several middle and high schools, and maintains a private lesson studio made up of students at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels. As an advocate for percussion education, he has several resources available for educators and students in both the concert and marching idioms, including comprehensive technique guides, rudimental reference books, and percussion education curriculum.   When he’s not teaching and writing, he performs as a member of the Atlanta Falcons Drumline and the Atlanta Pipe Band. Matt is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, National Association for Music Education, and the Georgia Music Educators Association, and is an educational artist for Innovative Percussion.

We Would Also Like To Extend Our Deepest Gratitude To The Following Individuals

Kerensa Wing, Principal, Collins Hill High School
Scarlett Straughn, Athletic Director, Collins Hill High School
Tim Davenport and Custodial Staff, Collins Hill High School
David DuBose, Fine Arts Coordinator, Gwinnett County Public Schools
J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools