Jamie Young – Alumna Spotlight
Director of Bands, Lake Cormorant High School
Transfer student from Holmes Community College
BM Music (1994)
MM Music (1997)
Young played baritone saxophone in the wind ensemble under the direction of David Willson and performed with the Mississippians Jazz Band under the direction of John McCauley when the group won most outstanding ensemble at a national jazz festival in New Orleans.
“I received a quality education with topnotch educators whose main goal is for students to succeed and reach their full potential. I am thankful for my years at Ole Miss and the bridges I built with friends and teachers. I still call on those mentors for help and advice.”
Why and when did you decide the choose music as your major in college?
During high school I was under the direction of some fantastic band directors. They quickly became my mentors in music and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I admired their work ethic as well as their passion for music.
Tell us about some of your proudest accomplishments while at UM.
I came to Ole Miss as a transfer student and played baritone saxophone in the wind ensemble under the direction of David Willson. I also performed with the “Mississippians” Jazz Band under the direction of Dr. John McCaulley. While performing with the “Mississippians” the group won the most outstanding ensemble at a national jazz festival in New Orleans. I also had the opportunity to be a member of the 1st winter guard at the university led by Mrs. Christy Colburn.
During the 1991 and 92 school year I became the women’s billiard representative from the university. I competed all over the country while achieving 1st place Amateur Women’s 8 Ball Champion in the Southeast Region for 2 years as well as 5th in the nation and the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award as part of the ACUI Collegiate Pocket Billiards National Championship.
My time at Ole Miss was priceless and so special. I even met my husband, Jon there (also a band director) and we loved our school so much we were married in the old band hall when it was in the Johnson B. Commons building.
Please describe your educational/professional journey after the undergraduate degree.
After one year into my master’s degree, I was offered the band director position at Nettleton High School in Nettleton, MS. I felt it was important to continue the path to attaining my master’s degree even though I had a full time job. I continued classes during the summer and finished my degree that following summer. The education that I received while pursuing my master’s degree was extremely helpful in developing a depth of knowledge in music/education along with more effective and efficient teaching practices. During this time, I was also able to surround myself with successful teachers and mentors that could help guide me along the way. I still call on those mentors when needing help or advice.
I would definitely encourage students to continue on for an advanced degree. Not only will it help you as a teacher/music educator but the experience will also guide you in improving organizational and social skills that you will need to be successful in this area of expertise. The importance is to make sure that you listen and learn. Find mentors that will be there for you to help you along the way.
Considering I was the only band director in my first job teaching beginner band, middle school band high school concert and marching band, color guard and percussion I know if I had not had this help from my mentors I would not have been as successful as a teacher. The job was overwhelming and with a very limited budget I had to come up with creative ways to provide for the program. Fortunately, Nettleton was a good fit and I’m proud to say that the band received superior ratings in concert and marching—the first time in the history of the school.
What’s the value of pursuing a degree in music at UM?
By pursuing a degree in music at the University of Mississippi you will have the opportunity to receive a quality education with knowledgeable and top notch educators whose main goal is for you to succeed and reach your full potential. I am so thankful for my years at Ole Miss and the bridges I built with friends and instructors.