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Jay McArthur

Choctawhatchee High School
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Jay McArthur is currently the Director of Bands at  Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, FL.   Previously, he enjoyed a twenty-eight-year career as a band director in Mississippi which included stops Kosciusko, Quitman, and Ridgeland where he was  Ridgeland High School’s founding band director.  McArthur’s bands are consistently recognized for their quality including a tradition of All Superior ratings and 2 State Marching Band Championships and multiple medals in Mississippi Indoor Association Championships for the Ridgeland High School Band. He has served on the Executive Board of the East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association, Mississippi High School Activities Association Legislative Council, the Advisory Board for the National Federation of State High School Associations, and has recently completed a second term on the Mississippi Bandmasters Association Executive.  In so doing, McArthur was the first person in 40 years to be elected to the Mississippi board for a second time.  Through the years McArthur has been a motivating force for change for percussion requirements on the All-State level in Mississippi in addidtion to addressing and facilitating the needs of smaller, less experienced percussion groups across the state. 

A 1985 graduate of the University of Mississippi, McArthur was a charter member of Memphis Blues Brass Band in 1980, a marching staff member of the 1987 Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps, and percussion caption head and program coordinator for the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from 1994-1996. Further, he has been on staff with the International Champion Mississippi Lions All-State Band numerous times both as Percussion Director and as Marching Director, and has served as percussion instructor the Florida Bandmasters All-Star Marching Band.  His performance experiences include the University of Mississippi Wind Ensemble, Tupelo Symphony, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Mississippi Symphonic Winds.  

An active clinician, adjudicator, and consultant for bands and events across the country, McArthur is a member of Phi Beta Mu, Gulf Coast Judges Association, Mississippi Indoor Association, and is especially honored by his association with Winter Guard International’s percussion division. 

Jay is married to the former Amy Lewis of Quitman, MS. They have two sons, John Thomas, III, and Cadden Moore, and are guarded by the fierce Yorkshire terrier, Lily.