Buies Creek, N.C.—Campbell University Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies Dr. Charles Dwayne Wilson has been named the Mentoring Project Director for the North Carolina Bandmasters Association. As project director, Wilson will research and create a mentoring program designed to enhance director retention across the state and provide a model for Music Education advocacy in the Southeast.
“Though I helped start the mentoring program for the Kansas Bandmasters, I am basically starting from scratch,” Wilson said. “There is no program in the state for music educators right now, so my job is to develop a program that fits the needs of the band directors in our state, using survey research and other research methods, and to match those mentors and first-year teachers who are best-suited to each other.”
Using a methodology called Triangulated Mentoring Associations which he created, Wilson explained that there will be three people involved in a mentoring relationship at all time—the mentor, first-year director and a second or third-year director. The mentors will serve as a sounding board for problems, a resource for needs, and providers of seasoned advice.
“It works like this,” Wilson said. “Suppose you are struggling with how to help your double reed players make reed adjustments. There is some mentor out there with experience who can help. It’s the same for any challenging situation a band director faces—from district requirements and classroom management to instrumentation questions. There is a great deal of real-world experiences that can not be taught or duplicated in a college classroom and this program will help new band directors navigate through those experiences during there first few years of teaching.”
In addition to enhancing director retention and advocacy for Music Education, the goals of the program are to stem director burn-out, provide a positive impact on instrumental Music Education in North Carolina secondary and higher education, and provide students stable and positive musical experiences.
“It is not going to be easy,” he said. “It involves research, collecting data, study and making thousands of phone calls. After we implement the program, there will need to be continuous follow-up each year as mentors continue and new directors join these relationships. But I find that in our field people are willing to help each other.”
Wilson developed a similar program for the state of Kansas when he served on the Board of the Kansas Bandmaster Association during his tenure as Director of Bands for Sterling College near Wichita.
“I feel privileged to help our state,” he said. “I love my field, obviously, so I look forward to helping band directors throughout the state have a successful first-year experience. I remember my first years of teaching and how much help I needed. Then you could find mentors (other band directors) at the local music store on a Saturday morning but now the band culture has changed. We hope to reach out to busy and overwhelmed band directors early in their careers. I hope we can have a positive impact on Instrumental Music across North Carolina.”
Dr. Charles Dwayne Wilson was named Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies at Campbell University in 2000. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Music and Music Education. He went on to earn a Master of Music in Music Education at Columbus State University and completed a Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His professional experience includes guest lectures and clinics in the Southeast and Midwest; serving as a guest conductor for organizations and events such as the North Carolina Pops Orchestra and the Raleigh Mozart Festival; and he currently serves as the artistic director and conductor of the Cape Fear Wind Symphony. Wilson also serves as an adjudicator for the North Carolina Bandmasters District Concert Band Festivals and Solo and Ensemble Festivals for middle school and high school students.