Phone: (706)592-4534 ext. 2121


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors in Music Education and Performance, Jazz Studies Track

Mr. John S. McDaniel

John Spencer McDaniel, husband and father of two beautiful daughters, graduated Thomson High School in May of 2002.  During his senior year, Mr. McDaniel auditioned for and joined the 246th Army National Guard Band of South Carolina and began serving with the unit in February 2002.  After completing basic training at Fort Benning, GA and follow on training (AIT) at Ft. Jackson, SC, Mr. McDaniel applied and was accepted to Augusta State University.  Majoring in Music Education, he began working on this degree in Spring of 2003 and continued until Fall of 2005.  During this time period Mr. McDaniel, along with Travis Shaw, Andrew Anderson, and Joel Cruz, formed the Jazz Collective, in which the group performed regularly in Downtown Augusta on the night's Jazz scene.  At the end of Fall 2005, Mr. McDaniel left school in order to join the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty.  April 17, 2006, he left for boot camp on Parris Island, SC.  Upon completion of boot camp and then Marine Combat Training, he then proceeded to the Armed Forces School of Music on Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA where he excelled out the course in half the time.  From there Mr. McDaniel found his love for working with students learning music.  Cpl. McDaniel eventually became the leader of the MARFORPAC Jazz Combo, and was also a member of the Big Band, Concert Band, Sax Quartet, and Field Band while also being one of three certified sound technicians for the overall Marine Forces Pacific Band.


As a Sergeant, Mr. McDaniel decided to leave the music field to try something new.  In March of 2010, Sgt. McDaniel left Hawaii for aircrew training in Pensacola, FL.  Upon completion, he returned to Hawaii long enough to pack up his family and transfer to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA for CH-46 crew chief school.  Sgt McDaniel graduated as the class Honor Graduate in March 2011 and was then stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, NC at the last search and rescue squadron of the Marine Corps, VMR-1.  At this duty station Sgt. McDaniel served as crew chief on the HH-46, and as the Ground Safety Officer.  


Upon being honorably discharged from his last enlistment, Mr. McDaniel returned to Augusta University in order to finish his Music Education degree and has now become the first student admitted into, and to graduate with the new Music Performance Jazz Studies Track degree program in order to complete a double major.  Since being back home in the Augusta area, Mr. McDaniel has had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Wycliffe Gordon, Melissa Manchester, Joe Gransden, the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Augusta Big Band Aggregate, Ed Turner and Number 9, Foreign Concept Jazz, and various local artists. He has also had the opportunity to teach saxophone masterclasses and Jazz Improvisation to AU's summer music camp.  Mr. McDaniel continues to teach private saxophone lessons and performs as much as his schedule will allow.


Note from the Director:


The above biography is a brief overview of my adult/professional life.  Music has always been a huge part of my life and has opened doors for me on a global scale.  Fortunately, after graduating from Augusta University, the position for Band and Chorus Director opened at Hephzibah Middle School, and I jumped on the opportunity as fast as I could.  I am ecstatic to be afforded the opportunity to work with the students of HMS, and am extremely motivated to build, grow, and advance both programs.  Music students have been scientifically proven to perform above the rest.  I expect a lot out of my students as they should expect a lot out of their director.  This years program is going to be one that will advance students in music theory, performance, etiquette, and history.  The students will get a taste of how other subject matters cross over into the realm of music.  The program will offer multiple performance opportunities throughout the year.  This will be an enjoyable learning environment where we offer the students all the opportunities we can possibly provide, and it is my personal goal to make this a program that the students take pride in, and keep coming back for more.  I sincerely want every student that has an interest in learning an instrument, or singing, to be involved in the music program.


Neither Band, nor Chorus will prevent students from participating in sports.  Both Band and Chorus are full connections classes that will meet everyday during the school day.  This is not a Band club this year.  I must stress, this is a class.  Students do get course credit for both classes.  Unfortunately, the student must decide between the two.  They can only pick either band OR chorus. NOT BOTH.  With the growth of the chorus and introduction of the new band program, we are currently looking at approximately 182 students that have signed up.  This is almost 1/3 of our school.  I am ecstatic at the amount of interest that these students have shown by signing up in the music program!  We are off to the start of an Amazing year.  I hope the number of students involved with music increases drastically each year.  


If you have questions about the Music Program, whether it is related to Band or Chorus, please don't hesitate.  Call me at the school (706)592-4534, or email me @    


We are going to do great things this year.  I want you to be an active part of it!



Mr. John S. McDaniel

Band/Chorus Director

Hephzibah Middle School