Band of Knights Staff
Dr. Alan Clark, Director of Bands & Woodwind Instructor
Dr. N. Alan Clark is currently Director of Bands at Middle Georgia State University. He has taught and conducted at all levels
from middle school through high school to professional military bands. While teaching High School in Lakeland, Florida he
also served as an adjunct music faculty member at Florida Southern College and as an instructor with the Suncoast Sound
Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1987 he entered the U.S. Air Force and served as saxophone section leader and Assistant Drum Major
of the Air Force Band of the West in San Antonio, Texas. In 1990 he was commissioned as an Air Force Band Officer and appointed
Deputy Commander of the Band of the United States Air Forces in Europe. While stationed in Germany he conducted concert
tours, ceremonies, and special marching performances in seventeen countries across Eastern and Western Europe. In 1993 Major
Clark was appointed Deputy Commander of the Air Force Band of Flight in Dayton, Ohio and served as rehearsal conductor of
the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 he assumed command of The Band of the United States Air Force Reserve in Warner
Robins, Georgia. Major Clark accepted the appointment as Air Force ROTC Commandant of Cadets at Louisiana State University
in April 2004, and he retired from the Air Force in 2007 after twenty years of service. While an Air Force music director
Major Clark worked with such notable artists as Celine Dion, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Lee Greenwood, Wynonna Judd, Crystal
Gayle, Ernie Watts, Clint Black, and others. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, National Band
Association, College Band Directors National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha. He holds both
the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Fine Arts in Saxophone Performance degrees from the University of Florida
as well as the Master of Science in International Relations from Troy University. He received his Ph.D. in Music Education
with a minor in composition from LSU in 2012.
Mr. Wally Shaw, Associate Conductor & Brass Instructor
Mr. Shaw retired in the spring of 2015 after serving 34 years in public education as a high school band director. The last 24 years were at Houston County High School in Warner Robins, GA where he started the program in 1991 when the school opened. His ensembles had a record of 28 straight years of superior ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation. His marching bands also received superior ratings as well as several Grand Champion awards during his career. The instrumental program at Houston County also produced many All State Band students.
Mr. Shaw holds a BME from Valdosta State University, MST from Georgia Southern University and an EdS from Columbus State University. He served as an All State Band coordinator for 10 years, GMEA District 11 Chair, Vice President and President of Phi Beta Mu. He was selected as GMEA State Music Educator of the Year in 2010 and GMEA State Volunteer of the Year in 2012. He also was Teacher of the Year at Houston County High School in 1994 and 2010. Mr. Shaw is a member of Phi Mu Alpha and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma.
He has been married to his wife, Julia Nell for 34 years and they have three children: Catheryn, a doctoral candidate at UNC Greensboro; Claire, a 7th grade science teacher in Perry, GA and Jim, a sophomore Music Ed student at Auburn University.
Mr. Miguel Castro, Percussion Coordinator and Band Assistant
Miguel Castro studied music from 1977 to 1983 at the "Conservatorio Nacional de Musica" in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic earning a Master's Degree in Music Performance. After that, he went to New York to study at Drummers Collective International in 1984-85 where he had the opportunity to study with some of the world leading percussionists such as Steve Gadd, Doug Allen, and Frank Malabé to name a few. From 1989 to 1992 Miguel lived in Germany where he played in numerous Latin American, jazz, pop, and chamber groups as well as pursuing an extensive recording career. He performed on tour throughout Europe with various groups, including the Puerto Rican Salsa star Marvin Santiago. Miguel has been a recording artist with ARC Music record label since 1992 and has produced 15 Compact Discs with them. He has performed with various professional orchestras including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic, the Swiss Philharmonic Orchestra, the Carol Morgan Operatic Society, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Maracaibo, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and currently the Latin American Orchestra of Houston Texas. Mr. Castro served as Director of Percussion Studies at Mercer University in Macon for eight years and was Director of Percussion Studies and Jazz Band at Middle Georgia College in Cochran from 1998 to 2012. He is currently our lead percussion instructor and band assistant here at Middle Georgia State University. He serves as the Percussion Coordinator for the Houston County School System. Mr. Castro is regularly in demand as a percussion clinician (Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, Georgia Percussive Arts Society Conference, and the Southeastern United States Band Clinic), adjudicator, composer, arranger and recording artist, maintaining a busy schedule in and outside of the United States.
Ms. Tisha Simeral, Assistant Professor of Music
After earning a performance degree from the Ohio State University School of Music, Tisha began appearing regularly with a variety of small and large groups in her hometown. She was a member of the Columbus Symphony Pops, the Afro-Rican Ensemble, and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, and also performed with many vocal and instrumental artists throughout central Ohio. A regular at the annual Columbus Arts Festival, she once set the record for appearing with the greatest number of bands. In Columbus Tisha became an in-demand music educator. She taught at Capital University and at Fort Hayes Career Center, and served in the Columbus Arts Council’s Artists-In-Schools program. She then relocated to Nashville in 2004, taking her career to a whole new level. Tisha has since performed with a vast array of artists from across the musical spectrum: Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Darrell Scott and Jon Vezner, bluegrass legend Roland White, rocker Trey Anastasio (Phish), contemporary jazz guitarist Denny Jiosa, hit songwriter Thom Shepherd, and country-rock artist Eric Heatherly, to name only a few. Her recent projects include the alternative classical music collective Chatterbird and the Kelli Cox Collaborative, a modern jazz sextet. From 2006 to 2014, Tisha worked with Americana artist Brian Ashley Jones. Together they appeared at such legendary venues as the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival (Kerrville, TX), the Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT), Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta, GA), and Nashville’s renowned Bluebird Café. One of the duo’s Bluebird performances was featured in the U.K. television series “Amanda Holden’s Fantasy Lives.” In addition to her bass work, Tisha is a respected composer and arranger. Her scores have been performed by jazz trombonist Sarah Morrow, the Women In Music Columbus Orchestra and String Sinfonia, the Land Of Legend Philharmonic, and the Prevailing Winds Quintet. She’s also an accomplished harmony vocalist. Tisha attended graduate school at Middle Tennessee State University, completing a Master of Arts in music in 2014. Following graduation, she taught in MTSU's Department of Recording Industry and School of Music. In 2016, Tisha joined the faculty of Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia, as Assistant Professor of Music in the Department of Media, Culture, and the Arts. Tisha’s affiliations include ASCAP, the International Society of Bassists, and the American Federation of Musicians #257.