Ben Burge is currently serving in his fifth year as Director of Bands at Northwest Rankin. Mr. Burge directs the Cougar Marching Band and the Symphonic Band and assists with performing ensembles in the high school and middle school band programs. Mr. Burge is a graduate of Pearl River College and Mississippi State University where he served as Drum Major of the "Spirit of the River" and the "Famous Maroon Band", performed in saxophone ensembles, and was involved in student leadership and government. His graduate degree was earned from the University of Southern Mississippi and he is currently working towards the Doctorate of Education in Leadership. Mr. Burge is often asked to judge drum majors, guards, and dancers in the area. His drum major students have earned leadership positions in high school and college programs in the region. Mr. Burge has been a performing member of the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band and his professional affiliations include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, the Capital District Band Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association, the National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha and Phi Beta Mu. He has also served as president of the Capital District Band Association. Mr. Burge lives in the Castlewoods community with his wife Cindy and two children, Max and Emma.
Jerry Pickering is the Director of Bands at Northwest Rankin Middle School. He is the primary instructor of the 8th Grade Band and teaches two sections of Beginner Band. Mr. Pickering assists with all bands at Northwest Rankin High School and serves as the director of the Jazz Band. Mr. Pickering attended Pearl River Community College and Mississippi State University. His professional associations include the MBA, CDBDA, ECMBDA, NBA, TMEA and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Matt McDonald is currently in his fifth year teaching at Northwest Rankin. Serving as associate director, Mr. McDonald teaches beginners and directs the seventh grade band. At the high school Mr. McDonald directs the Concert Band and assists with the Cougar Marching Band. Mr. McDonald holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Education from the University of Mississippi where he served as graduate assistant in the band programs there. His professional associations include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Capital District Band Directors, Texas Music Educators Association, the National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha and the East Central Mississippi Band Association. Mr. McDonald maintains a private saxophone studio and teaches woodwinds to students in the metro-Jackson area. Mr. McDonald is also a performing member of the Mississippi Wind Symphony.
Lyndsey Bobo is currently in her seventh year teaching middle school and high school band, and in her first year at Northwest Rankin. She conducts the seventh grade band, and assists with sixth and eighth grade bands, as well as all bands at the high school. Mrs. Bobo actively plays the trumpet, french horn, and euphonium. She has earned a bachelors degree in music education from Delta State University and a master's degree in music education from The University of Southern Mississippi. Her professional affiliations include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Capitol District Band Directors Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, The National Band Association, The International Trumpet Guild, Mississippi Association of Educators and The National Federation of Educators. She has just completed a term as president of the East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association. Mrs. Bobo currently resides in Brandon with her young son, Lyndon.
Cindy Burge serves as colorguard coordinator for the Cougar Band of Northwest Rankin. Mrs. Burge attended Pearl River College where she served as color guard captain and later returned to that same program as choreographer and coordinator. She has coached high school colorguards and has been a consultant and judge for colorguards, dance teams and drum major's on the high school and college levels across the region. Mrs. Burge earned the Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Mississippi University for Women, and the Master's Degree in Speech Sciences/Speech-Language Pathology, from Nova Southeastern University. Mrs. Burge is a member of the Mississippi Speech and Hearing Association. She is currently a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Rankin County School District.