James Oliver » About Mr. Oliver

About Mr. Oliver

     I began my official teaching career in July of 2008 at Pike County High School in Brundidge, Alabama where I taught band and music for grades 7-12. My passion for teaching band began as soon as I left high school and began teaching marching band at my alma mater, Port Charlotte High School in Port Charlotte, Florida. My high school director, Jose Lopez, was a huge influence on me with his passion for finding the emotion in music and his demand for personal connection to it.
After spending three years teaching marching band in the fall at PCHS, I was given the opportunity to move to Troy, Alabama in 1998 to attend Troy State University on a music scholarship. I was fortunate to be given many opportunities to teach summer high school band camps throughout Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. At Troy (State) University, I was the tuba section leader in the marching band and spent several semesters as the principle tuba player in the symphony band. I was also a member of the pep band and jazz bands. It was during my time at Troy that I began to arrange music and write drill (field formations) for several schools throughout Florida, Georgia, and Alabama - including Troy University. I met my good friend and brother Nick Efstathiou at band camp in 1998, as we were both incoming freshman tuba players at Troy. We went on to become members of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity together and have worked together on numerous occasions before becoming colleagues here at Jeff Davis.
     It was while attending Troy University that I met my wife Courtney on the band practice field. We were married in October of 2002 and welcomed our first child, Lizzie, in 2003. We have two younger boys named Jay and Will that love to play sports and attend Jeff Davis sporting events. My family and I are happy to be here and continue to strive to be part of the community of Hazlehurst.
     In my spare time, I teach a band related activity called Drum Corps that I spent 4 years as a performing member. I have taught 2 different groups - Spirit of Atlanta (2002 Atlanta, GA) and Music City (2016-2019 Nashville, TN). I also enjoy watching my boys play sports and travel for baseball tournaments for both of them. My oldest child just graduated from Jeff Davis HS recently and has begun her college education. The furthest I have ever travelled was to Okayama, Japan in October of 2001 for a week long performing tour as part of a select group of drum corps musicians.