Dillon Watkins is incredibly excited to join the Black and Silver Brigade staff for the 2021-2022 season! Dillon is the current music teacher at Hilltop Elementary School in Bonaire, Georgia and is the former assistant director of athletic bands at Jones County High School and the former director of bands at Tattnall Square Academy. Mr. Watkins has been on staff with Mercer University Athletic Bands, the Wesleyan School, ALLIANCE Drum and Bugle Corps, Jones County High School, Forsyth Central High School, Georgia Military College Preparatory School, and Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps. His drum corps career began as a marching member in 2013 with the seven-time world champions, Cavaliers of Rosemont, Illinois. Soon after aging out of the Cavaliers, Dillon began teaching scholastic and independent ensembles throughout the Southeast and Southwest regions of the country. He joined ALLIANCE as a member of the visual staff in 2015 during which the corps placed second in DCA A-class Finals. In 2016, Dillon returned to ALLIANCE as the assistant caption head for both the brass and visual captions and helped lead the brass caption to a DCA Open Class finals finish. Mr. Watkins joined the Jones County band staff in the Spring of 2016 and helped lead the band to competitive success in four different divisions. Most recently, Mr. Watkins was appointed as the brass caption head for Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps in Austin, Texas beginning in the Fall of 2019. Genesis competes as part of Drum Corps International’s World Class Division and can be seen performing/competing throughout the country each summer. During the 2021 summer, Genesis Brass had the opportunity to perform and record with FivE Quartet as well as conduct masterclasses with Aubrey Logan and Fran Kick.
Dillon holds an Associate of Arts degree from Georgia Military College and a Bachelor of Music Education from Mercer University. Dillon has studied conducting under Dr. Douglas Hill, Dr. Stanley Roberts, Maestro Adrian Gnam, Dr. Jamie Nix, Scott Boerma, and Craig Kirchhoff. While an undergraduate at Mercer, he studied trumpet with Jonathan Swygert, Michael Tiscone, Bill Denton, and Dr. Ramon Vasquez. Mr. Watkins has had the privilege of performing with the Mercer University Wind Ensemble, Mercer Brass Quintet, Mercer Trumpet Ensemble (MUTE), Mercer Brass choir, Mercer University Orchestra, Mercer Athletic Bands, and Middle Georgia Choral Association. Notable performances for Mr. Watkins include playing for Govenor Nathan Deal’s personal Christmas party with the Mercer Brass Quintet and performing as a member of the pit for Mercer University’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” As a conductor, Dillon has been featured as an associate conductor of the Mercer University Wind Ensemble, conductor of the Mercer Trumpet and Brass Choirs, and has served as a chamber ensemble coach for the brass quintets. Dillon has also been featured as a guest conductor for the Jones County High School Symphonic Band.
Dillon is an active performer, adjudicator, clinician, and conductor in the middle Georgia area. Mr. Watkins is extremely involved as a visual designer and educator with pageantry arts ensembles throughout the Southeast and Southwest. His show designs have been awarded top honors at competitions throughout the region. Mr. Watkins currently resides in Bonaire, Georgia with his wife, son, and their dog, Kona. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are both educators in Houston County at Hilltop Elementary and Houston County High School, respectively.