Ola High School Band is a comprehensive music education program dedicated to the development and maturation of its student musicians. The band program offers multiple ensembles that foster students’ musical growth throughout the traditional school day, such as Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Green & Gold Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble I, and Percussion Ensemble II. In addition, many students participate in extracurricular activities that go above and beyond the regular school curriculum, including the Ola Marching Band and Colorguard and the JV and Varsity Winter Guard.
In the fourteen years that Ola High School has been open, the Ola High School Band has established a tradition of excellence and school pride. Participating in concerts, music festivals, honor band clinic, chamber concerts, marching competitions, parades, and football games, the Ola High School bands are recognized in the community and around the state for their superior performances. The marching and concert ensembles consistently earn high marks at Georgia Music Educator Association events, as well as Bands of America regional performances.
Todd Manson, Director of Bands
The 2020/21 school year is Todd Manson’s fifteenth year as the Director of Bands at ola High School in Henry County, Georgia, where he serves as the Fine Arts Department Chair. Originally born in Port Charlotte, Florida, Mr. Manson holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Troy University (2001) and a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Georgia (2007).
Before serving as Ola High School’s inaugural band director, Mr. Manson spent five years at Jonesboro High School in Clayton County, Georgia, with two years as the Assistant Director of Bands and three years as the Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chair.
Under Mr. Manson’s direction, the Ola High School Bands have continually earned top honors at concert, marching, and GMEA-sanctioned events. The Ola High School Marching Band has been honored as regional and super-regional finalists and class champions at multiple Bands of America Competitions. The Ola Marching Band has had the privilege of performing at the Magic Music Days Parade in Orlando, Florida (2008) and the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (2010). The Marching Mustangs had the great honor of marching in the 2012 Lord Mayor’s New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. In 2015, the Marching Mustangs traveled to Hawaii for the 74th annual commemoration of Pearl Harbor's attack, with performances at the USS Missouri, USS Arizona, and the Waikiki Holiday Parade. The Marching Band most recently traveled to Hollywood, California, to participate in the 2017 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
The Ola High School Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Symphony consistently earn superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations on the concert stage. The Wind Symphony has had invitational performances at the Georgia State Capitol (2009), Kennesaw State University’s Concert Band Invitational (2014), the 66th annual University of Georgia’s Janfest (2016), the 32nd annual University of Alabama Honor Band Clinic (2017), and most recently the 46th annual Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University (2019).
Mr. Manson is a five-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence (2004, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019). He holds professional affiliations with MENC, NBA, Percussive Arts Society, and GMEA. He resides in McDonough, Georgia, with his wife, Deborah, and his children, Ethan and Avery.
Joshua Singleton, Assistant Director of Bands
Mr. Singleton is a native of Asheville, North Carolina. He attended Appalachian State University where he earned his degree in Music Education in 2017. During his collegiate experience, Mr. Singleton served on the leadership team for the Marching Mountaineers for 3 years and performed with multiple ensembles. After graduating ASU, Mr. Singleton served as a band director at White Oak High School in Jacksonville, NC.
Mr. Singleton is an active member of Drum Corps International. He was a member of the Boston Crusaders in 2016 and the 2017 Jim Ott recipient, Carolina Crown. He is now in his third year on the educational staff at Legends Drum and Bugle Corps as a visual instructor.
Currently, Mr. Singleton is in his third year of teaching and going into his first year as the Assistant Director of Bands at Ola High School. Mr. Singleton is an active member of NAFME, NCMEA, and a proud alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Emma Barfield, Director of Color Guards
Emma is an Ola High School alumni and spun with the Ola Colorguard for 4 years during all 8 seasons. After graduating, she performed with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps for the summer and Edge Independent during winter. Currently, Emma attends Georgia State University as a film major and hopes to work in the film industry in the future.
This will be Emma's third year on the Ola Bands Staff and she is excited to spend this fall with Ola and make the best of our 2021 season!