Director/Staff

Mr. Keith James

Mr. James earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and his Masters Degree in Conducting from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. He is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent and Young Adult Music. Mr. James began his teaching career in 1983 as an assistant band director at Walterboro HS and band director at Colleton Middle School. He was the band director at Smithfield-Selma HS in Smithfield, NC from 1986-1992; South Granville High School in Creedmoor, NC from 1992-1996; Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC from 1996-1998; and the band director at Independence High School in Charlotte, NC, from 1998-2007. Mr. James is currently is in his thirty fifth year of teaching. Mr. James has served as a clinician for area honor bands, several southeastern regional honor bands, as well as a marching band clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching bands. He works with several band programs throughout the southeast and is in high demand as a winter guard judge and band clinician. Mr. James is the section leader of the Carolina's Wind Symphony tuba section, an adult community band, and is a freelance tubist in the Charlotte area. Mr. James is an active member of the South Central District Bandmasters Association and has served on many state and district committees. Mr. James was the Jaycee’s Teacher of the Year in 1989, and teacher of the year at South Granville in 1994, and was inducted into the American School Band Directors Association in 1995. Mr. James holds professional memberships in the North Carolina Music Educators Association, SCDBA, National Music Educators Association, North Carolina Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity, Florida Federation Judges Association, and American School Band Directors Association.

Ms. Latoya Johnson

 Ms. LaToya Johnson is thrilled to join the Marvin Ridge team this year! She is currently in her 4th year of teaching in the state of North Carolina, and her 7th year total. Ms. Johnson began her career in 2008 at Southside Middle School in Florence, South Carolina. During this time, she also taught beginner band at Greenwood Elementary School, and served as the Assistant Marching Band Director at South Florence High School. In 2011, she left this position to attend graduate school full time before re-entering the workforce as the Band and Choir Director at A.R. Rucker Middle School in Lancaster, South Carolina. In 2012, Ms. Johnson moved to North Carolina to teach Band and Chorus at American Renaissance Charter School in Statesville. LaToya is a native of Anderson, South Carolina and attended Westside High School. Upon graduation, she attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in K-12 Music Education. During this time, Ms. Johnson performed with the Wind Symphony and Clarinet Choir. After college and a 3 year teaching stent, she retuned to Winthrop full time to complete a Masters of Music Education degree. During the course of her degree work, she took on additional studies to include Clarinet and Instrument Conducting, while performing with the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Clarinet Choir, and Carolina’s Wind Orchestra. She also had the opportunity to be appointed Graduate Assistant, working closely with students in various Music Education classes as well as leading the Winthrop University Pep Band. In her spare time, Ms. Johnson is a regularly performing Clarinetist with various large and small ensembles in the Charlotte area, as well as occasionally subbing in the Florence Symphony Orchestra. Her professional affiliations include the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the South Carolina Band Director’s Association, the National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Society, and Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity.


Mr. Matthew Mallery is in his 6th year of teaching at Marvin Ridge Middle School where he co-directs the 6th, 7th & 8th grade bands, Pep Band, and Percussion Ensemble. He is also an assistant with the Marvin Ridge High School Band. 

Immediately following his graduation from Myers Park High School, Matt began instructing percussion ensembles in the Charlotte area in the summer of 2005 at David W. Butler High School, where he served as the Director of Percussion, arranger, and instructor for over 7 years. Expanding his teachings, Matt has also worked with many other high school percussion sections both as an arranger and consultant including: Myers Park, Butler, Providence, Independence, Northwest Cabarrus, Parkwood, Piedmont, Weddington, and more recently Marvin Ridge. His percussion ensembles have received numerous high percussion awards at area contests.

Matt’s professional affiliations include the North Carolina Music Educators Association, both the Vic Firth and Remo Education teams, and NAfME (National Association for Music Education, recently MENC). He is also a member of the Carolina Panther’s Official Drumline “PurrCussion” that performs at every Panther’s home game.

Matt holds both a Bachelor of Music degree and a Masters of the Arts in Teaching degree from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. While attending Winthrop University Matt performed with the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, and the West African Drum Ensemble.

Currently, while teaching at Marvin Ridge Middle School, Matt has served as an adjudicator for marching band festivals and is an active clinician for Remo, Vic Firth, and Mapex Drums.