Avery Payne Director of Bands Millbrook High School, Raleigh NC

Avery Payne

Director of Bands

Chair, NC Central Region Jazz
Secretary, East Central District Bandmasters Association

Avery Payne is in his eighth year of teaching and his sixth year as the Director of Bands at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of South Carolina in 2016. Prior to teaching at Millbrook, Mr. Payne was the Director of Bands and Orchestra at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for two years.

Since taking over in 2018, Mr. Payne has continued the strong legacy of the Millbrook band program, earning consistent Superior ratings at state adjudicated events with the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble. Under his direction, the Millbrook Wind Ensemble performed at the 2022 NCMEA State Convention and won the 2023 President’s Cup National Concert Band Invitational in Washington, DC. The Marching Band has earned numerous grand champion awards at state-sanctioned competitions and the Jazz Ensemble performs annually at the Carolina Jazz Essentially Ellington Regional Festival. Individual students at Millbrook have also excelled, earning placements in the All-District and All-State Honors Ensembles, the Central Region and All-State Jazz Bands and the North Carolina Governor’s School. During his tenure at North Forsyth, Mr. Payne led the Symphonic Band to its first Superior Rating in twelve years and placed students in the All-District band for the first time in five years.

Mr. Payne has previously been named the 2017 WSFCS High School Teacher of Promise, an ASBDA Ed Rooker Encore Award recipient, and the 2021-2022 “Band Director of the Year” by the East Central District Bandmasters Association. He also served as the Conductor of the Gold Band at the 2023 UNCG Summer Music Camp. Professionally Mr. Payne is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, and of Kappa Kappa Psi the National Honorary Band Fraternity. He has served as a district representative on the North Carolina Marching Band Committee since 2019 and is the current chair of the North Carolina Central Region Jazz Section. In his free time, Mr. Payne is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his partner Kelsey and their four pets, Aja, Rosie, Sadie, and Stewart.

Zac Marshall helping pit set up

Zack Marshall

Music Arranger and Percussion Instructor

Zack Marshall works in the Raleigh, NC area providing schools with music arrangements, original compositions, and percussion instruction. He received his degree in Music Theory and Composition from East Carolina University and has been writing and teaching music since 2006. Zack studied brass in high school and college but also performed percussion in marching band and drum corps. He has worked in multiple states and with programs all over North Carolina while currently maintaining a private studio of composition and percussion students as well as serving several Wake county bands. Outside work hours, Zack enjoys cooking, rock climbing, and a good game of chess. Zack currently resides in Wake Forest with his wife, two sons, and dog.

Greg Jenner

Greg Jenner

Music Staff

Mr. Greg Jenner was previously the Director of Bands at Sanderson High School. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was previously the Director of Bands at Garner Magnet High School. Mr. Jenner grew up in Raleigh and lives with his cat named Thor.

Carrie Dean

Carrie Dean

Guard Instructor

Carrie Dean is a Color Guard instructor and choreographer based in Carrboro, NC. She has extensive experience as a Color Guard performer, most notably having marched with the Boston Crusaders (2016, 2017) and Alter Ego Winter Guard (2017). She took a brief break from the marching arts while in college, during which time she focused on dance, performing with the Yale Modern Dance Collective & Yale Dance Theater and completing coursework in dance history and choreographic practice. After graduating with a BA in History in 2020, she returned to the marching arts as an instructor, teaching both Color Guard & dance technique/marching visuals for marching bands & WGI winds groups. She has worked with several groups in Illinois and North Carolina, and is excited to be returning to Millbrook for her second year. Outside of marching band, Carrie is a Masters of Library Science student at UNC and works in youth services at the Chapel Hill Public Library. In her free time, she enjoys many “old lady activities” including crafting, English and Scottish country dancing, and cuddling with her cat, Wyndle.

Ben Wood

Ben Wood

Drill Writer & Visual Instructor