ABOUT AWTREY MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND
The Awtrey Band program is a place where students from all
walks of life can find joy and success in learning to play
a musical instrument. Students will learn how to read
music confidently, perform on their instrument
and how to work as a team to achieve a common goal.
We are so proud of the successes that our students
had during the 2021-2022 school year and look forward
to many more great opportunities in 2022-2023.
Tara Melvin is an Orlando, FL native. She went through Orange County Public Schools, attending Hunter's Creek MS, Cypress Creek HS, and ended at Freedom HS. She attended the University of Central Florida, where she received a double degree in Music Education and Music Performance in Flute. She also received her Master’s Degree in Music, with an emphasis in conducting. She studied under Noralee Garcia in flute, and Scott Tobias in conducting.
Ms. Melvin spent her first 7 years teaching as the Associate Director of Bands at Avalon
Middle School in Orlando, FL from 2010-2017 with Katie Hoey. Her primary feeder High School was the Award-Winning Timber Creek Regiment. One of the largest middle school band programs in Orange County (between 450-500 students), her bands consistently received Superior ratings at District Performances, including the Jazz Band. Ms. Melvin founded the Jazz Band at Avalon Middle School. In 2014 and 2016, Avalon Middle School had the largest representation of students make the All-County Band, and All-County Jazz Band in 2016. Her jazz band performed at numerous community events such as: Veteran’s Honor Flight Reunion, Lakeside Jazz Festival, Avalon JaZZ in the Park, Light Up UCF, Chick Fil-a Christmas, ICE! @ Gaylord Palms, Education Day in Avalon Park, Sip Sample and Stroll Community Event, Disney Springs, feeder elementary school tours, and faculty meetings.
Ms. Melvin is now in her 7th year as the Director of Bands at Awtrey Middle School in Cobb County, GA. During her time at Awtrey, her bands have also received Superior Ratings at the district level, and she has dedicated time to create additional performing ensembles that meet before school, such as the Jazz Band, Winter Winds, and Band Buddies, a mentor program for 6th grade students assigned to a 7/8th grade “mentor”. Her students continue to make District Honor Band. The Awtrey Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the 2020 GMEA In-Service Conference, the first time in Awtrey’s history to be selected to perform at an invitational event. In 2022, the Awtrey 8th Grade Band was selected to perform at the Music For All Festival at Georgia State University.
Ms. Melvin lives in Acworth, GA with her husband Josh and their fur baby, Odie. She is also an active flute/band clinician in the metro Atlanta area and has been invited as a guest conductor for honor bands in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.
Mr. Cagle is a Georgia native that recently graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2015. Mr. Cagle's primary instrument is percussion. During his time at GSU Mr. Cagle had the opportunity to perform in a variety of ensembles such as the GSU Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Cagle has been at AMS for 8 years and has enjoyed working with Mr. Sessoms and Ms. Melvin to cultivate a hard working but fun loving place for students to make music at Awtrey. Mr. Cagle is also on staff with the North Cobb Marching Band and works with their percussion section each fall. Mr. Cagle's wife is a middle school chorus teacher in Cobb County, and they have 2 sons named Warren and Simon who are 4 and 2 respectively.