Immediate Press Release
April 20, 2021
New Director of Bands for ECS System
It has been thirty-one years since the EHS administration has selected a new leader for the Betsy Band. After an extensive search to find the best-qualified person to fill the shoes of Perry Elliott, Jonathan Valentine was chosen as the best fit to lead the Betsy Band for future success. Jonathan Valentine accepted the position as Director of Bands for Elizabethton City School System. He will take the baton from the legendary Perry Elliott in summer 2021 to prepare for the fall 2021 school year in the Elizabethton City School System.
Jonathan Valentine brings a strong background in music education and extensive experience with the marching band. Prior to his acceptance at Elizabethton, he was an Assistant Director at James F. Brynes, TL Hanna, and the Director of Bands at Berry Shoals Intermediate school and a middle school Assistant Director at James F. Byrnes High School in South Carolina. Under his leadership, the Berry Shoals 5th and 6th Grade Bands were a consistent winner of the Outstanding Performance Award, a featured performer at the 2014 SCMEA Conference, and a 2019 Division III, high scorer at the National Adjudicator Invitational, held in the Atlanta Symphony Hall. The James F. Byrnes High School rose to become a Bands of America National Semi-finalist and won two 5A State Championships during his tenure. Valentine is a Co-Brass Caption Head of the World Class Drum Corps International Participant Music City Drum and Bugle Corps rising among the ranks of the top drum corps in the world.
He has been a member of the MCDC staff since 2015. Valentine is an active clinician for middle school and high school groups in the marching and concert band mediums. Valentine holds an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina School of Music. He studied Music Education and Saxophone Performance with Clifford Leaman and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida School of Music.
Valentine grew up in Bristol, Tennessee attending Sullivan East High School. He is very excited to be moving back home, where he will be closer to family, and joined by his fiancé Shawnna Kelley. They will be married in November, right after the state championships. Jonathan stated why he accepted the position to be a part of the Cyclone Family, “The Betsy Band program has had a long tradition of excellence. I knew that even when I was in high school. There are not a lot of head director jobs that I ever applied for, but this one has always been on my radar because I want to be in a place that values the band program and it’s obvious that this is true about Elizabethton. It will take a village for this program to be successful, and I wanted to find a place where the whole village loved band as much as I do! I’m happy to have found such a great place to work and am really excited about all of the things that we will accomplish together! Let’s get to work!”