Pearl “Pirate” Band | 500 Pirate Cove | Pearl, MS 39208 | 601-932-7939

Pearl “Pirate” Band

“Excellence Through Perseverance” “We Believe”

Pearl “Pirate” Band

“Excellence Through Perseverance” “We Believe”
Pearl High School Band 500 Pirate Cove Pearl, MS 39208

About Us

The Pearl Band Staff is made up of a experienced, positive, and energetic group of teachers who are dedicated to students and their success in insntrumental music. The band directors at Pearl teach at all levels including 6th Grade Beginner Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band, and all areas of the Pearl High School Band.

Matt Rowan

Director of Bands mrowan@pearl.k12.ms.us Matt Rowan is currently in his eighteenth year of teaching and serves as Director of Bands at Pearl High School. Prior to coming to Pearl Mr. Rowan served in the Oxford School District as Director of Bands and Asst. Director of Bands for nine years. A graduate of Pearl High School, Mr. Rowan received his Bachelor and Masters degree in Music from the University of Mississippi. While earning his degrees, Mr. Rowan participated in the University Band and served that group in several different positions, including Drum Major and Graduate Assistant. Mr. Rowan also received several high honors at the University of Mississippi. These include a receiving a Taylor Medal, which is the highest academic honor given by the University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and being inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He was named Most Outstanding Undergraduate Instrumentalist, Most Outstanding Music Education Student, and Most Outstanding Graduate Instrumentalist during his time at the University.  Mr. Rowan also holds a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from William Carey University and is a certified administrator in the State of Mississippi. Mr. Rowan is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree from William Carey. Mr. Rowan is a member of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity, and has served as President of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, I-55 Band Directors Association and Northeast Mississippi Band Directors Association. Mr. Rowan is the 2006 recipient of the A.E. McLain Outstanding Young Band Directors Award given by the Mississippi Bandmasters Association. In 2007 Mr. Rowan became a National Board Certified Teacher. Mr. Rowan was also fortunate to serve on the staff of the Mississippi Lions All State Band in 2009, 2013, and 2014. In 2014 Mr. Rowan served as the Head Marching Director for the Mississippi Lions All State Band and guided that group to their 30th International Parade Championship at the International Lions Convention in Toronto, Canada.  Mr. Rowan’s bands have consistently earned superior ratings on both the state and national level. Mr. Rowan is married to the lovely Mrs. Amye Rowan. They have two daughters, Emily and Katherine. Mr. Rowan currently resides in Pearl, MS and in his spare time enjoys fishing, playing golf and spending time with his wife, daughters, and dogs.

Matt Little

Assistant Band Director mlittle@pearl.k12.ms.us Two-thousand and sixteen marks the beginning of Matt Little’s twelth year of teaching in the Pearl Public School District. His current duties include coordinating all aspects of percussion for the entire district. Since the fall of 2007, Mr. Little has assisted the percussion section in achieving a 4A State Championship in Marching Band and Percussion in 2007. In 2008, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble achieved a fourth place finish in Class A at the Mississippi Indoor Association (MIA) Championships. The percussion section of the Pearl Marching Band finished in third place in their caption in the same year. After competing in the 2009 Winter Guard International (WGI) Pensacola Percussion Regional, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble took their first-ever Gold Medal at the MIA Championships in Class A. In the fall of 2009, the percussion section assisted the Marching Band in achieving their second state championship in three seasons – this time in Class 5A - as well as a second-place finish in percussion. In the spring of 2010, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble competed at the WGI Nashville Percussion Regional, finished third at the MIA Championships, and finished the season by competing at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio for the first time in the group’s history. Mr. Little remains active in the drum and bugle corps activity, after having marched in the Southwind, Bluecoats, and Crossmen drum and bugle corps. He has taught with the Troopers of Casper, Wyoming (2000-2001, 2008, 2012) and the (Seattle) Cascades (2002, 2004-2006, 2009- 2010). The Seattle Cascades made Finals in Drum Corps International’s Division One in 2002. Mr. Little earned his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. During his time at USM, he taught and arranged percussion for the University of Southern Mississippi Marching Band.     In his spare time, Mr. Little enjoys spending time with wife Sarah, and is a staunch supporter of the six-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the twenty- seven time World Champion New York Yankees, the 1998 Eastern Conference Champion Washington Capitals, the seventeen-time World Champion Boston Celtics, and the four-time National Champion Washington Huskies football team.

Matthew Pickering

Associate Director of Bands mpickering@pearl.k12.ms.us With seventeen years of teaching experience, Matthew Pickering joins the faculty of Pearl High School as associate director of bands.  Prior to coming to Pearl, Mr. Pickering served eight years at Jones County Junior College, four years as assistant director of bands and the last four years as director.  In addition, he served as assistant director of bands at South Jones High School for four years prior to his appointment at JCJC. Mr. Pickering graduated from Seminary High School in May 1996 and began his collegiate studies at Jones County Junior College.  He was a member of the Jones County Junior College “Maroon Typhoon” Marching Band, the JCJC Symphonic Band, and the JCJC Concert Choir.  Mr. Pickering studied tuba with Raymond G. Young and piano with Dr. Theresa Sanchez.  While at JCJC, he marched with the “Maroon Typhoon” in the 1997 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.  Mr. Pickering received a Bachelor of Music Education in December 2000 and a Master of Music Education in December 2004 from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Under the direction of Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo, he served as principal tuba in the USM Wind Ensemble and was a member of the “Pride of Mississippi” Marching Band.  He studied tuba under Thomas G. Stein, Dr. Ed Owen, and Dr. Richard Perry and was a member of the USM Tuba Euphonium Ensemble.  In addition, Mr. Pickering was a member of the “Twisted Steel” tuba quartet that won the 2000 International Tuba Euphonium Conference quartet competition in Regina, Canada.  “Twisted Steel” performed as guest artists at the 2001 International Tuba Euphonium Confrence in Lahti, Finland.  Mr. Pickering is a member of the National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Mississippi Bandmasters Association.  He currently serves as organist at First Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi.  He enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and his German Shepherd Dog  “Nimrod”.

Aimee Sudduth

Assistant Band Director asudduth@pearl.k12.ms.us Aimee Sudduth is in her eighteenth year of teaching and her eleventh year at Pearl High School.  After graduating from Quitman High School in 1996, Mrs. Sudduth went to Jones County Junior College for two years, where she was a member of the color guard in the Maroon Typhoon and played clarinet in the Symphonic Band.  While she was at JCJC, Mrs. Sudduth had the opportunity to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  She then went on to the University of Southern Mississippi and was a member of the color guard and symphonic winds.  In 2001 Mrs. Sudduth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from USM. Prior to coming to Pearl, Mrs. Sudduth worked for six years in the Waynesboro School District.  At Wayne County she taught junior high students 6 th  through 8 th  grade, was color guard instructor, taught woodwind sectionals, and private lessons.  In the fall of 2007, Mrs. Sudduth accepted a position in the Pearl Public School District.  She teaches all of the woodwinds from 6 th  grade through 8 th  grade and she directs the 6th grade band.  At the high school she over sees the fall color guard and winter guard. The fall guard received 3 rd  place at state championships in 2007 and 2008.  In 2009 the fall guard received 1 st   place.  The winter guard received 2 nd  place in 2008 and 3 rd  place in 2010.  Mrs. Sudduth has served as a junior high clinician for different band clinics and she continues to write color guard choreography for many schools.  Mrs. Sudduth also served on the staff of the 2011 Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band. Mrs. Sudduth resides in Brandon with her husband Jacob and two daughters Rebekah and Elizabeth.  She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and shopping.

Jason Harrell

Assistant Band Director jharrell@pearl.k12.ms.us Jason Harrell is in his sixteenth year of teaching and has been on staff with the Pearl Pirate Band since 2005. He is a 1998 graduate of Scott Central High School and was a two-year member of the Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band. He graduated from Delta State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He has held positions at Forest Hill High School in Jackson and Brandon High School in Brandon, where his concert band received Superior ratings at festival.  Mr. Harrell teaches junior high low brass classes, has served as eighth grade band director, and also performs administrative duties for the junior high band program. Mr. Harrell is the director of the Pearl High School Varsity Band, which has received Superior ratings in concert and sight reading at the MBA State Band Festival. Mr. Harrell has served as a clinician and is a freelance tubist in Central Mississippi. He has studied tuba with Dr. Ed Bahr and Mr. Wade Rackley and he teaches low brass lessons locally. He is a tubist with the Mississippi Wind Symphony and he serves as the coordinator of TubaChristmas in Mississippi which performs for the public each holiday season. Jason resides in Pearl with his wife, Belinda, and their daughter, Emma, and son, Austin. He is an active member of McLaurin Heights Baptist Church.

Matt Little

Assistant Band Director mlittle@pearl.k12.ms.us Two-thousand and sixteen marks the beginning of Matt Little’s twelth year of teaching in the Pearl Public School District. His current duties include coordinating all aspects of percussion for the entire district. Since the fall of 2007, Mr. Little has assisted the percussion section in achieving a 4A State Championship in Marching Band and Percussion in 2007. In 2008, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble achieved a fourth place finish in Class A at the Mississippi Indoor Association (MIA) Championships. The percussion section of the Pearl Marching Band finished in third place in their caption in the same year. After competing in the 2009 Winter Guard International (WGI) Pensacola Percussion Regional, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble took their first-ever Gold Medal at the MIA Championships in Class A. In the fall of 2009, the percussion section assisted the Marching Band in achieving their second state championship in three seasons – this time in Class 5A - as well as a second-place finish in percussion. In the spring of 2010, the Indoor Percussion Ensemble competed at the WGI Nashville Percussion Regional, finished third at the MIA Championships, and finished the season by competing at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio for the first time in the group’s history. Mr. Little remains active in the drum and bugle corps activity, after having marched in the Southwind, Bluecoats, and Crossmen drum and bugle corps. He has taught with the Troopers of Casper, Wyoming (2000-2001, 2008, 2012) and the (Seattle) Cascades (2002, 2004-2006, 2009- 2010). The Seattle Cascades made Finals in Drum Corps International’s Division One in 2002. Mr. Little earned his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. During his time at USM, he taught and arranged percussion for the University of Southern Mississippi Marching Band.     In his spare time, Mr. Little enjoys spending time with wife Sarah, and is a staunch supporter of the six-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the twenty- seven time World Champion New York Yankees, the 1998 Eastern Conference Champion Washington Capitals, the seventeen-time World Champion Boston Celtics, and the four-time National Champion Washington Huskies football team.

Matthew Pickering

Associate Director of Bands mpickering@pearl.k12.ms.us With seventeen years of teaching experience, Matthew Pickering joins the faculty of Pearl High School as associate director of bands.  Prior to coming to Pearl, Mr. Pickering served eight years at Jones County Junior College, four years as assistant director of bands and the last four years as director.  In addition, he served as assistant director of bands at South Jones High School for four years prior to his appointment at JCJC. Mr. Pickering graduated from Seminary High School in May 1996 and began his collegiate studies at Jones County Junior College.  He was a member of the Jones County Junior College “Maroon Typhoon” Marching Band, the JCJC Symphonic Band, and the JCJC Concert Choir.  Mr. Pickering studied tuba with Raymond G. Young and piano with Dr. Theresa Sanchez.  While at JCJC, he marched with the “Maroon Typhoon” in the 1997 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.  Mr. Pickering received a Bachelor of Music Education in December 2000 and a Master of Music Education in December 2004 from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Under the direction of Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo, he served as principal tuba in the USM Wind Ensemble and was a member of the “Pride of Mississippi” Marching Band.  He studied tuba under Thomas G. Stein, Dr. Ed Owen, and Dr. Richard Perry and was a member of the USM Tuba Euphonium Ensemble.  In addition, Mr. Pickering was a member of the “Twisted Steel” tuba quartet that won the 2000 International Tuba Euphonium Conference quartet competition in Regina, Canada.  “Twisted Steel” performed as guest artists at the 2001 International Tuba Euphonium Confrence in Lahti, Finland.  Mr. Pickering is a member of the National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Mississippi Bandmasters Association.  He currently serves as organist at First Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi.  He enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and his German Shepherd Dog  “Nimrod”.

Aimee Sudduth

Assistant Band Director asudduth@pearl.k12.ms.us Aimee Sudduth is in her eighteenth year of teaching and her eleventh year at Pearl High School.  After graduating from Quitman High School in 1996, Mrs. Sudduth went to Jones County Junior College for two years, where she was a member of the color guard in the Maroon Typhoon and played clarinet in the Symphonic Band.  While she was at JCJC, Mrs. Sudduth had the opportunity to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  She then went on to the University of Southern Mississippi and was a member of the color guard and symphonic winds.  In 2001 Mrs. Sudduth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from USM. Prior to coming to Pearl, Mrs. Sudduth worked for six years in the Waynesboro School District.  At Wayne County she taught junior high students 6 th  through 8 th  grade, was color guard instructor, taught woodwind sectionals, and private lessons.  In the fall of 2007, Mrs. Sudduth accepted a position in the Pearl Public School District.  She teaches all of the woodwinds from 6 th  grade through 8 th  grade and she directs the 6th grade band.  At the high school she over sees the fall color guard and winter guard. The fall guard received 3 rd  place at state championships in 2007 and 2008.  In 2009 the fall guard received 1 st   place.  The winter guard received 2 nd  place in 2008 and 3 rd  place in 2010.  Mrs. Sudduth has served as a junior high clinician for different band clinics and she continues to write color guard choreography for many schools.  Mrs. Sudduth also served on the staff of the 2011 Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band. Mrs. Sudduth resides in Brandon with her husband Jacob and two daughters Rebekah and Elizabeth.  She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and shopping.

Jason Harrell

Assistant Band Director jharrell@pearl.k12.ms.us Jason Harrell is in his sixteenth year of teaching and has been on staff with the Pearl Pirate Band since 2005. He is a 1998 graduate of Scott Central High School and was a two-year member of the Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band. He graduated from Delta State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He has held positions at Forest Hill High School in Jackson and Brandon High School in Brandon, where his concert band received Superior ratings at festival.  Mr. Harrell teaches junior high low brass classes, has served as eighth grade band director, and also performs administrative duties for the junior high band program. Mr. Harrell is the director of the Pearl High School Varsity Band, which has received Superior ratings in concert and sight reading at the MBA State Band Festival. Mr. Harrell has served as a clinician and is a freelance tubist in Central Mississippi. He has studied tuba with Dr. Ed Bahr and Mr. Wade Rackley and he teaches low brass lessons locally. He is a tubist with the Mississippi Wind Symphony and he serves as the coordinator of TubaChristmas in Mississippi which performs for the public each holiday season. Jason resides in Pearl with his wife, Belinda, and their daughter, Emma, and son, Austin. He is an active member of McLaurin Heights Baptist Church.

Matt Rowan

Director of Bands mrowan@pearl.k12.ms.us Matt Rowan is currently in his eighteenth year of teaching and serves as Director of Bands at Pearl High School. Prior to coming to Pearl Mr. Rowan served in the Oxford School District as Director of Bands and Asst. Director of Bands for nine years. A graduate of Pearl High School, Mr. Rowan received his Bachelor and Masters degree in Music from the University of Mississippi. While earning his degrees, Mr. Rowan participated in the University Band and served that group in several different positions, including Drum Major and Graduate Assistant. Mr. Rowan also received several high honors at the University of Mississippi. These include a receiving a Taylor Medal, which is the highest academic honor given by the University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and being inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He was named Most Outstanding Undergraduate Instrumentalist, Most Outstanding Music Education Student, and Most Outstanding Graduate Instrumentalist during his time at the University.  Mr. Rowan also holds a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from William Carey University and is a certified administrator in the State of Mississippi. Mr. Rowan is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree from William Carey. Mr. Rowan is a member of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity, and has served as President of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, I-55 Band Directors Association and Northeast Mississippi Band Directors Association. Mr. Rowan is the 2006 recipient of the A.E. McLain Outstanding Young Band Directors Award given by the Mississippi Bandmasters Association. In 2007 Mr. Rowan became a National Board Certified Teacher. Mr. Rowan was also fortunate to serve on the staff of the Mississippi Lions All State Band in 2009, 2013, and 2014. In 2014 Mr. Rowan served as the Head Marching Director for the Mississippi Lions All State Band and guided that group to their 30th International Parade Championship at the International Lions Convention in Toronto, Canada.  Mr. Rowan’s bands have consistently earned superior ratings on both the state and national level. Mr. Rowan is married to the lovely Mrs. Amye Rowan. They have two daughters, Emily and Katherine. Mr. Rowan currently resides in Pearl, MS and in his spare time enjoys fishing, playing golf and spending time with his wife, daughters, and dogs.

PEARL PIRATE BAND