ATLANTA QUEST FACULTY
Alan Sears-Music/Program Director, Music Arranger
Alan Sears is a co-founder of Atlanta Quest. He has been the music and program director since the beginning in 2002.
Alan now serves as the Director of Percussion for the Sprayberry High School “Band of Gold”, and is the Drumline Instructor and Arranger for the Kennesaw State University "Marching Owls". Alan arrangers for many ensembles and also has his arrangements published with CounterMotion Inc. Along with his work in the Band world, he also composes for corporate events and commercial projects.
Alan is married to Monna Sears and the proud father of two sons Hayden Alan Sears and Cole Alexander Sears.
Zack Marshall-Visual Designer/Caption Head, Snare Tech
Zack is in his 7th season with Atlanta Quest staff, 6th as Visual Designer and is returning again to work with the snare drums.
He was a performing member of Pariah Marching Theater from 2005-2010 and Music City Mystique in 2011. In addition to performing, he has taught for Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, and is the visual designer for WGI PSW Finalist, Milton HS. He also consults with multiple scholastic and independent groups across the country on show and visual design.
Zack currently lives in Kennesaw, GA where he is studying Communications at Kennesaw State University.
Kevin Kenney-Front Ensemble Coordinator/Music Arranger
Kevin is currently the Assistant Band Director/Percussion Director at North Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga.
Kevin has a Master's degree in percussion performance from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor's degree in music education from Jacksonville State University. He marched three years of WGI with Music City Mystique (07-09) and four years of DCI with the Cavaliers, Spirit of JSU, and Memphis Sound.
He has taught for many different high school and independent WGI/BOA groups in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama. Kevin is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion products.
Tony Lemonds-Sound Designer, Front Ensemble Instructor
Tony is excited for his 2nd season with the Atlanta Quest team where he will be helping with sound design and teaching the front ensemble. He will also be helping with the Sound Design for Q2.
During Tony’s marching career as a member, he was with Blue Stars Drum Bugle Corps from 2009-2010, Phantom Regiment 2012, and was a four year member with Music City Mystique from 2011-2014.
Tony currently lives in the Cumming, GA area where he designs and teaches for various high school groups. In his free time, Tony enjoys training his dog to become a “Therapy Dog”, composing and arranging film like scores, and bowling.
TJ Choquette- Battery Coordinator, Snare Tech
TJ Choquette is in his 5th season as part of the Atlanta Quest staff and 3rd as battery coordinator.
Residing in Dunwoody, GA, he has served as battery tech, battery coordinator, visual designer and battery arranger at numerous metro-Atlanta schools, as well as a few schools nationwide. Most recently, he has assisted with PSW finalist drumline, Milton HS.
He graduated from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business with a B.B.A. in Marketing. He served two years playing snare drum in the UGA drumline, as well as Georgia-based WGI groups, Pariah and Terminus (lol), before marching with Music City Mystique and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, respectively. He currently works as an executive recruiter with The Lucas Group.
In his spare time, he is an immensely talented FIFA player, fantasy football owner and bowler.
Jeremiah West- Snare Tech
Jeremiah is in his 2nd year with Atlanta Quest, and 1st as a snare tech.
He was a performing member of Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps (2010),Phantom Regiment (2011), The Cavaliers (2013-2014), and The BlueDevils (2015-2016). In WGI, he was a member of Music City Mystique(2011-2015) and Rhythm X (2016).
Jeremiah is from Nashville, Tennessee, and he graduated in 2017 fromTennessee Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.S. inApplied Mathematics. He currently works as an Application and Product Engineer at Jeremias Inc. in Atlanta.
Onye Eme Akwari- Battery/Visual Ensemble, Quad Tech
Onye is returning for his 3rd season on staff with Atlanta Quest.
He began his drum corps career at Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. He marched the all-age corps from 2007-2009. He later went on to march Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for four summers beginning in 2010, and served as the tenor section leader for the last three. He also participated in DCI’s Individual & Ensemble in 2012 and 2013, coming in 2nd place on both occasions. In the summer of 2014, Onye was a tenor technician with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. He spent the following summer touring Europe with the Blue Devils International Corps.
Onye marched on the quad line at Atlanta Quest for 8 years starting in 2007 and aging out in 2015. The only indoor season he wasn't at AQ was 2011, where he served as an actor for Music City Mystique as the “Mantra Drummer” in their World Championship production Mantra.
Onye is an active clinician and consultant for many programs across the country, and is the head battery technician at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA. Onye currently resides in metro-Atlanta and is recently received a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Georgia after earning his Bachelors in Psychology from Kennesaw State University in 2014.
Josh King- Battery Ensemble Consultant/Quad Tech
Josh will be joining Quest this season as Battery Ensemble Consultant and Tenor Technician, after moving back to Atlanta from Central Florida.
Last year, Josh was battery coordinator at STRYKE World Percussion, where he had been a staff member since leaving Infinity World. Before that, Josh worked for years as a quad and battery technician at Music City Mystique.
Apart from indoor teaching experience, Josh has also taught Drum Corps International at Spirit of Atlanta, Crossmen, and The Cavaliers. While in Florida, he had served as battery coordinator at Seminole High School and Tarpon Springs High School, as well as percussion director at Sunlake High School and Timber Creek High School.
Josh now lives and works in Cobb County, Georgia, and looks forward to working with the talented staff and members that call Quest their home.
Daniel Allen- Bass Tech
Daniel is returning for his 2nd season with Atlanta Quest staff as a bass technician.
Raised in Carrollton Georgia Daniel is currently a student at Jacksonville State University, studying Music Education. While at Jacksonville State he has marched with the Marching Southerners since 2012.. As well as marching with the Southerners he has been in The Chamber Winds, The Wind Ensemble, and The Symphonic Band, as a principal player, The Steel Drum Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Latin Ensemble. Daniel has taught at Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, Cleburne County HS (AL), Temple HS (GA), New Manchester HS (GA), Carrollton HS (GA), and East Coweta HS (GA).
Daniel started his independent marching career with Atlanta Quest. He marched from 2013-2015 where he aged out as section leader of the Bassline. In drum corps, he was a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps bassline, as well as Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps during the summers of 2014 and 2015, aging out as section leader of the bassline. In WGI from 2013-15, Daniel marched in the bassline at Atlanta Quest, aging out as Section Leader of the Bassline. While marching, Daniel has had the privilege of studying under some of the Percussion community’s foremost experts such as Josh Robichaux, Clint Gillespie, John Cypert, Dr. Thomas Mccutchen, Tim Greene, Joe Hobbs, Eric Ridenour, Alan Sears, Lee Beddis and Michael Mcintosh.
AJ Pace- Bass Tech, Visual Tech
A.J. Pace is in his 2nd season with Atlanta Quest as a bass technician.
A.J. currently holds a Music Education Degree and Percussion Performance Certificate from the University of South Carolina, as well as Masters in Music Education from Winthrop University.
Most recently, he has spent the last ten years in a multitude of roles with Palmetto Percussion that range from Ensemble Director to Chief Designer. He has also held technician and caption head positions with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps. His performance experiences include performances with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, and Palmetto Percussion.
A.J. is proudly endorsed by Innovative Percussion. He currently resides in Greenville, SC where is the Director of Bands at Wade Hampton High School.
Adam Steltenpohl- Cymbal Tech
Adam, a 4th year cymbal tech with Atlanta Quest, is a native of Alpharetta, he graduated from Centennial High School in 2010. He is currently attending Georgia State University where he is working towards a degree in Marketing with a Minor in Music Education.
At Georgia State, Adam is a charter member of the Georgia State Marching Band. Along with his experience from high school and college, Adam has also performed with several world class organizations. Adam was a marching member on mellophone for Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps through the 2011-2013 seasons. Adam also performed with Atlanta Quest as a cymbal player through their 2013 and 2014 seasons. In the 2014 season he was also featured as a visual soloist.
Since graduating high school Adam has been an instructor for many local programs including the Centennial and Roswell High School Marching Bands, the Chattahoochee High School Indoor Drumline, as well as Alliance Drum & Bugle Corps. This is Adam’s third season on staff with Atlanta Quest and he is very excited to continue the upward progression that both the ensemble and the cymbal line have shown in the past few years.
David Haven- Cymbal Tech
This 2018 season will be David's 6th year with the Atlanta Quest organization. David was a member of the cymbal line from 2013 through his age out in 2015 and has since been teaching the line alongside Adam Steltenpohl.
David has also performed with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps ('11-'14), Alliance Drum & Bugle Corps ('14), and the Georgia State Panther Band. In 2014, David won the I&E gold medal with the Spirit of Atlanta Cymbal Line.
David also enjoys studying film and videography; he toured with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps as a member of the media team in '15 and '16, and sometimes makes videos about band or something like that on YouTube.
Kellen Matthews- Cymbal Tech
Kellen Matthews is returning for his 5th year as part of the Atlanta Quest organization
He is from Montgomery, Alabama where he attended high school at Alabama Christian Academy class of 2006. Upon graduation he attended Jacksonville State University from 2006-2011, where he marched in marching band from 2007-2009.
His educational experience including teaching at Spirit of Atlanta, JSU, Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps, Frequency, Carrollton, Double Stop Percussion and Chattanooga Independent.
Claire Kenney- Front Ensemble Instructor
Claire Smith Kenney is a percussion educator, clinician, and performer in the greater-Atlanta area. She is originally from Cumming, Georgia and attended Jacksonville State University, Alabama for her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Claire then continued her education at Texas Christian University, where she earned her Master’s degree in percussion performance. Since 2004, Claire has been involved with many performing ensembles, including Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps, Blue Coats Drum and Bugle Corps, and Music City Mystique. Claire is currently the Elementary Music teacher at Cherokee Charter Academy in Canton, Ga and a percussion instructor for Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Georgia. She is also a member of the Percussive Arts Society and an educational artist for Innovative Percussion.
Aaron Locklear- Front Ensemble Instructor
Aaron Locklear is joining Atlanta Quest for his first season in 2018 as a front ensemble tech.
Aaron is a percussionist, educator and composer based in Birmingham, AL. He has performed orchestrally with groups such as the Syracuse Symphoria, Skaneateles Festival Orchestra, and Bemus Bay Pops, as well as in the chamber setting with his duo partner, Kyle Peters. Aaron has been a featured artist at the Great Plains International Marimba Competition in Oklahoma City, OK, as well as the Forefront Arts Festival in Rochester, NY.
Other endeavors include performing with the inaugural All-Star Percussion Ensemble at the 2015 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, as well as performing alongside the Eastman Percussion Ensemble as soloist for the 2016 world premiere of Alejandro Viñao's of Melody & Pulse from Estudios de Frontera. His marching arts experience includes performing with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps ('11-'13), as well as teaching the Cadets' front ensemble ('17).
Aaron received his Master's degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and his Bachelor's degree from Auburn University. His primary teachers include Michael Burritt, Chip Ross, Doug Rosener, Jim Ross, Mark Yancich, and Jeff Grant. He currently resides in Birmingham, AL with his wife Brenna, where he also works for Double Stop Percussion.
Griffin Hood- Front Ensemble Instructor
Griffin is joining the Atlanta Quest staff for the 2018 season as a front ensemble teech.
Griffin is originally from Hoover, AL and attended Hoover High School from 2005 to 2009. While at Hoover High School he marched snare drum for the marching band and was a part of the SCGC circuit. He attended the University of North Alabama and marched in the Pride of Dixie marching band. Griffin was an auxiliary percussion member for Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps during the summers of 2010 and 2011. He spent his WGI career with Music City Mystique and won a gold, silver, and bronze medal in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.
Griffin has taught various different drum lines and indoor groups in the Birmingham area and now is involved with the Muscle Shoals High School marching band. Currently, Griffin is working on his business management degree and is also engaged to be married to Jessica Palmer in June 2018.
Oliver Dupree- Front Ensemble Instructor
This is Oliver Dupree’s fourth year on front ensemble staff for Atlanta Quest. Oliver graduated from East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia. He is currently attending Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama where he studies percussion with Clint Gillespie and Dr. Thomas McCutchen. While at JSU he performed with the Marching Southerners, Chamber Winds, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble, A Cappella Choir, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, and the JSU Community Orchestra. He was a front ensemble member at Spirit of Atlanta for the 2011, 2012, 2013 seasons. In addition to Atlanta Quest Oliver has been on percussion staff at East Coweta High School, Woodland High School, Collins Hill High School, Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band.