Dr. Joshua D. Blair, Director of Bands
Joshua D. Blair received his undergraduate degrees in political science and music from Stetson University in 2004. While at Stetson University Dr. Blair performed and studied under the baton of Dr. Bobby Adams. He completed his Master of Music degree with concentrations in instrumental conducting and saxophone performance from the University of South Florida in 2007 and his received his Ph.D. in Music Education with a cognate in Instrumental Conducting from the University of South Florida in 2018. Dr. Blair has studied saxophone with Professor Jim Bishop, Dr. Jonathan Helton, Professor Valerie Gillespie, and conducting with Joseph Kreines, Dr. William Wiedrich, and Dr. John Carmichael.
Dr. Blair has taught at Sarasota High School, Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts, and Walter L. Sickles High School where he was responsible for the marching band, concert bands, jazz band & combos, percussion & chamber ensembles, and AP music theory. Under his direction these ensembles received numerous superior ratings and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and 2012. While at Plant City High School, the band has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall twice (2016 & 2020) and has seen a large growth in the program.
Dr. Blair has also served on faculty as saxophone professor at Florida South Western State College, guest conducted the Southwest Florida Youth Symphony, and played with the Florida Wind Band from 2009-2019. He is also a member of the Florida Music Educators Association, The Florida Bandmasters Association, The National Band Directors Association, The National Association for Music Education, The College Band Directors National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Delta Sigma Phi.
Dr. Blair enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, and playing golf.
Aidan Conerly, Assistant Director of Bands
Aidan Conerly is a graduate of the University of South Florida where he earned a degree in Music Education in May of 2019. During his tenure at USF he performed with the USF Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. He also served as the principal tubist for the Venice Symphony 2016-2019.
Mr. Conerly has taught private lessons in Hillsborough County since 2015, served as a low brass clinician, and began his teaching career full time at Plant City High School where he is the Director of Orchestra and Assistant Director of Bands in 2020. Mr. Conerly also teaches guitar, keyboard, and AP Music Theory.
Paul Gavin, Percussion Arranger
Paul Gavin is a drummer, teacher, composer, and arranger in the Tampa Bay area. Paul graduated in 2015 from the University of South Florida with a degree in Jazz Studies, with coursework in classical percussion and music education. Since graduating he has made his entire living playing, teaching, and writing music. This season Paul enters his third year as the percussion arranger for the Raider Regiment.