Cobb Schools Musicians Stand Out at Georgia Music Educators Association Conference

Cobb Schools music excellence

Two bands in the Cobb County School District recently earned national recognition. So, it is not surprising that the Georgia Music Educators Association conference featured 25 presentations and concert performances by Cobb music educators at the professional annual event in Athens, Georgia. After all, Cobb Schools has been named one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education for over two decades.

Cobb educators are also known for helping other educators learn from their success, contributing to the professional development of their peers by presenting on topics ranging from instrument/vocal pedagogy and rehearsal methods to an in-development music app. 

Student performances included schools at all levels from across the District: 

  • Addison Elementary School Choir 
  • Allatoona High School Women’s Chorus 
  • Big Shanty Elementary School Choir 
  • Bryant Elementary School Orff Ensemble
  • Dodgen Middle School Chamber Orchestra 
  • Hightower Trail Middle School Cello Ensemble 
  • North Cobb High School Trombone Choir 
  • Sprayberry High School Bella Voce Choirbrown-12-06-2023-9-Edit-color-hi-res.jpg
    Erika Brown, Big Shanty Elementary
  • Pope High School Wind Ensemble
  • Sprayberry High School Bella Voce Choir
  • Walton High School Percussion Ensemble

The event also included a student-composed choral work by a Harrison High School student. An 8-part women’s ensemble selection titled “L’Eternite” from student Bryce Taneri was among the recognized selections at the composition recital. Bryce’s piece was directed by Megan Schuitema, Harrison High School choir director, and performed by members of the Harrison choral program.

Numerous Cobb Teachers were recognized for their years of service as music educators and other accolades. Erika Brown, Big Shanty Elementary School, was recognized as music educator of the year from GMEA District 12. Andy Esserwein, Sprayberry High School, was announced to be the next president-elect of the GMEA State-level organization. Palmer Middle School’s Marla Baldwin was also elected as the vice president of All-State for GMEA.

Cobb’s long-serving educators were also honored for their impact on students.

Cobb Schools Music Educators with 25 Years of Service:

  • Jay Champion, Lost Mountain Middle School
  • Carla Henry, Lovinggood Middle School
  • Perry Holbrook, Walton High School
  • Michele Sampson, Addison Elementary School


  • Victoria Knowles, 30 years, Compton Elementary School