Mr. Brooks is the heart and soul of the band program at North Atlanta. His passion for music began much in the same way that his students’ did. “I vividly remember the Middle School Band and Orchestra visiting my middle school. I’ve been hooked ever since.” As the 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year, his passion for teaching is as clear as his passion for music, and it translates to a program at NAHS steeped in excellence. A French horn player by trade, Mr. Brooks has studied with multiple esteemed professors including Donovan Wells, Director of Bands at Bethune-Cookman, James Poitier, Associate Director of Bands at Bethune-Cookman, and Dr. William Rogan, world renowned Horn performer and instructor. Brooks has also worked with some of the top names in Music Education such as Robert W. Smith, composer, Frank T. Williams, retired Band Director and member of the DCI Hall of Fame, and Dr. Ronald Carter, retired director of Jazz studies at Northern Illinois and world renowned Jazz Clinician. While in college, Brooks served as the section leader for four years and was a student director, serving a pivotal role in the Band Program at Cookman. Since graduating with his B.A. in Music Education, his reputation as top educator has been firmly established, giving him opportunities to be in demand as a clinician in brass, and percussion across the country.
Mr. Brooks is also an accomplished percussionist, teaching and performing with several Top 10 Division 1 and 2 Drum and Bugle Corps including Tarheel Sun from Cary, NC (1997-98), the Glassmen from Toledo, Ohio (2001, 2004-2006), and the Colts from Dubuque, Iowa (2009). He has worked with some of the biggest names in percussion industry: Collin McNutt, Steve Roberts, Andrew Markworth, Matt Savage, and Max Mullinix to name a few. In 2009, he conducted the orchestra for Grammy nominated rap artist Rick Ross and Grammy nominated producers the Justice League on the Teflon Don album. His next challenges are completing his Masters degree in Conducting from Reinhardt University and acquiring the DMA in conducting in the near future.
Under Brooks’ leadership, the Band Department consists of 200+ students and has a full range of classes and ensembles that suit all needs and levels of musicians including Beginning, Concert, and Symphonic Bands, Percussion Methods, Full Orchestra, and the Award winning Jazz Band. The program also includes the Award Winning Marching Warriors, Music Technology and a host of several small ensembles (chamber ensembles) that supplement learning as well. All groups receive consistent Superior Ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association Large Group Performance Evaluations yearly, have won countless awards in all areas, and currently have produced over 11 million dollars in scholarship money for students during his tenure. With partnerships and training with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Essentially Ellington Jazz Program, the program continues to grow in quantity and quality. . “It is my belief that music is the universal language and the lessons learned in our program will propel our students into environments where they can flourish in any situation.”
Brooks has a beautiful family, wife and band director LaToya Brooks, daughters Aria, Skylar, and due in October, Kai. Brooks is thankful for his blessings and grateful for the opportunity to live out his dreams.