Michael R. Fussell
Mike Fussell graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 1979, and began his teaching career in Havelock, North Carolina. He taught grades 6-12 at Havelock High and Junior High Schools. During his tenure there, the program grew in both quantity and quality. The concert band went from an excellent rating in Grade IV his first year to a Superior rating in Grade VI by the fifth year. The marching band received numerous awards at marching band contests throughout North Carolina.
In 1985, Mike was awarded a Graduate Assistantship at East Carolina University in the Music Education Department serving under Dr. George Knight. He also worked as Assistant Director of the Marching Pirates with Dr. Tom Goolsby. After earning his Master’s Degree, he served as Director of Bands at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, and at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville. Both programs continued to have outstanding marching and concert programs under his leadership.
In 1989, Mike returned to Craven County to direct the bands at West Craven Middle School. While there, the band became one of the finest middle school bands in the state of North Carolina, receiving "Superior" ratings at festival every year except two. From 1993 to 2002, the Advanced Band received nine consecutive superior ratings in Grade IV music. In 1998, the band was honored to be selected to perform at the NCMEA State Conference. West Craven Middle Bands also won numerous awards at the Dixie Classic and Music In The Parks Festivals. Each year, the band placed many students in both All-District and All-State Bands.
Mike has twice been honored by being selected to conduct All-District Bands by the Eastern District Band Directors. In 1990, he conducted the High School Concert Band, and, in 2001, he conducted the Middle School Concert Band. In 1996, Fussell was awarded the “Award of Excellence” by the Eastern District Band Directors Association. He served one term as the President of the Eastern District and as treasurer for many years. He has been, and continues to be, very active as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching festivals.