Joe Walker is currently the Director of Fine Arts and Bands for the Godley Independent School District. Mr. Walker joined the Godley team in 2015. He spent his first year in the district as the Director of Percussion before being appointed as Director of Fine Arts and Bands. Under his tutelage the Pride of Godley Wildcat Marching Band consistently earns superior ratings at the UIL Region Marching Contest, and has made three consecutive appearances at the Area D Marching Contest, most recently placing 10th in 2021 area finals competition. He directly oversees the Wind Ensemble, The Pride of Godley Wildcat Marching Band and the 2022 NTCA Silver Medalist Godley Indoor Winds.
Mr. Walker is a 2014 graduate of Missouri State University, earning a B.M.E in Music Education, where he was privileged to study under Dr. Scott Cameron, Dr. Belva Prather and Mr. Jerry Hoover. During his tenure at MSU, Mr. Walker marched with the world-renowned PRIDE Drumline, performing at BOA St. Louis and The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, IL. Mr. Walker was also actively involved in the nationally recognized University Wind Ensemble for five years, playing at the Missouri Music Educators Association State Convention twice. Before graduating, Mr. Walker joined the staff of MSU as a Percussion Instructor of the PRIDE Drumline, leading the drumline in performances as exhibition at the Palen Music Contest and BOA Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, IN.
Mr. Walker is a member of TMEA, TMAA, TBA, ATSSB and PAS. He currently resides in Fort Worth, TX with his wife, Becky, who is currently returning to school full time to become a doctor.
Grayson Hancock - Assistant Director of Bands Grayson Hancock is an Assistant Director of Bands at Godley Independent School District. This is Mr. Hancock's third year with the Pride of Godley. He takes part in the instruction of the High School Marching Band, assists with High School concert bands, directors the Godley Middle School Concert Band, and instructs all level brass including all beginner high brass classes. Prior to coming to Godley, Mr. Hancock was a Marching and Music Technician, Indoor Winds Instructor and private lesson instructor specializing in brass and visual movement for the Whitesboro Bands during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. During his time at Whitesboro, the Pride of Whitesboro achieved a Silver Medal finish at the 2019 UIL Texas State Marching band contest. Several students under his instruction achieved Superior ratings in Solo and Ensemble, made All-State Band and marched DCI World Class drum corps. And prior to his time at Whitesboro, Mr. Hancock was the Abilene Christian University Basketball Band Director for the 2017-2018 NCAA Division I basketball season.
Mr. Hancock is a proud 2017 graduate of Abilene Christian University having a Bachelors in Music Education. He studied trumpet with the Dr. David Amlung and the late Dr. Mark Wilcox and was under the band direction of Dr. Steven Ward and Dr. Brandon Houghtalen. Mr. Hancock was the President of the ACU Big Purple Band and Trumpet Section leader 2 consecutive years, Co-Principal for the ACU Orchestra and served in various other leadership positions. He was a member of the ACU Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Trumpet Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and performed with various musicals and operas. Mr. Hancock performed with the ACU Wind Ensemble at CBDNA and with both the Wind Ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble at TMEA. Mr. Hancock was a member of the Abilene Civic Orchestra, performed with The Temptations in 2016 and was also a 2015 and 2016 Lead Trumpet for Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps.
Mr. Hancock is a member of TMEA, TBA, ATSSB, International Trumpet Guild and Crossmen Alumni Association.
Michelle Slayton - Associate Director of Bands, Director of Middle School Bands
Michelle Slayton is an Associate Director of Bands and Director of Middle School Bands for Godley Independent School District. This will be her third year in Godley and has eighteen years experience as a band director in Arkansas. She will teach The GMS Honor Band, The Godley High School Symphonic Band, beginning clarinet, and assist The Godley High School marching band.
Prior to coming to Godley, Ms. Slayton served as the Director of Bands for Gentry Public Schools and as Head Middle School Band Director for Siloam Springs Public Schools in Arkansas. Her bands have earned Superior ratings at Region Assessment, Solo and Ensemble, as well as placed in All-Region and All-State bands. Ms. Slayton earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Arkansas where she performed in Carnegie Hall with the University of Arkansas Wind Symphony. She also marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland with the Razorback Marching Band. While at the University of Arkansas, Ms. Slayton studied under W. Dale Warren, Tim Gunter, Robert Umiker and Stan Morris. She was a member of Tau Beta Sigma and Sigma Alpha Iota sororities.
Ms. Slayton earned her Masters of Music degree from Missouri State University where she performed with the Missouri State University Wind Ensemble at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention. She studied with Belva Prather, Jerry Hoover, and Mike Lomax.
Ms. Slayton is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Arkansas Bandmasters Association, Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, Arkansas Winds Community Band, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the Association of Texas Small School Bands
David Kennedy - Percussion Director, Director of Jazz Band
David Kennedy joined the Godley ISD band program in 2018. Mr. Kennedy directs all levels of percussion in Godley ISD. His students participate in marching percussion, indoor percussion, all- region, solo and ensemble contests and percussion ensemble festivals. The Godley High School Percussion Ensemble placed 1st at the 2019 Eaton Percussion Festival in their classification. The Godley Indoor Percussion Ensemble competes in the North Texas Colorguard Association where they are consistently ranked at the top of their class, earning the silver medal in 2022. The Pride of Godley Marching Band advanced to the UIL 4A Area D Finals Marching Contest for the first time in 2021.
Mr. Kennedy started the Godley Jazz Band in 2020 where it has grown into an elite big band. The ensemble regularly performs in the community as well as multiple festivals a year. Kennedy has placed students in the ATSSB Region 30/5 Jazz All - Region Band with multiple earning 1st chair and advancing to Area.
Prior to Godley ISD, Mr. Kennedy was the Assistant Band Director at Brock ISD for 3 years. While teaching in Brock ISD, Kennedy directed the middle school varsity ensemble, all levels of percussion as well as various beginning band classes. During his time at Brock ISD, the band program advanced to the 3A Area Finals Marching Contest and had many students advance to the State Solo and Ensemble competition. The middle school varsity band earned their first sweepstakes award under his direction.
Mr. Kennedy earned his M.M. in Performance in 2015 from Texas Tech University while studying with Dr. Lisa Rogers and Mr. Alan Shinn. He earned his BA in Music in 2011 from Coastal Carolina University where he studied with Dr. Jesse Willis. While in school, Kennedy performed with the top percussion ensembles, orchestras and wind ensembles. He was also a member of world music ensembles such as the PAS Award winning Calypsamba. Mr. Kennedy marched as a member of the 2010 Boston Crusader’s Front Ensemble. He subsequently taught with the Racine Scouts in 2012 and Coastal Surge in 2013 and 2014.
David Kennedy is a member of TMEA, ATSSB and PAS
Caleb Hunter - Colorguard Director
Caleb Hunter currently serves as the color guard director at Godley and Azle High Schools. He believes that color guard is a means to promote student achievement in their social, academic, and professional lives. Caleb Hunter has worked as a clinician with many programs throughout West Texas, the Texas panhandle, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hunter is passionate about cultivating student development and program achievement at the schools he touches. Hunter believes in teaching young women and men to be confident in themselves and their abilities, and that competitive achievement is simply one tool to accomplish that. Hunter teaches his students self-care, team building, creative exploration, and positive self-talk as they learn the art of color guard and hopes that this influence will permeate other areas of their present and future lives. This brings confidence within his students, and builds strong programming with self-assured and self-reliant performers more prepared to enter the world. Caleb Hunter performed with the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons where he consistently performed in Drum Corps International Finals. In 2015, Hunter received the Madison Scout Guard Member of the Year award. In addition to his drum corps experience, Hunter marched with Black Gold Independent World and Color Guard Theatre Dallas where he advanced to WGI Open Class Finals in 2015 and 2016. Caleb Hunter has served on the North Texas Color Guard Association’s Steering Committee, Nominations Committee, and is now serving on the NTCA Executive Board as the Secretary. Caleb Hunter is currently attending Columbia College in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology, his expected graduation date is December 2021.
Noah Hancock - Director of Beginner Bands, Assistant Middle School Director.
Mr. Hancock is the Beginner Band director and the Godley Bands Representative at the Intermediate Campus. He also assists and co-teaches all middle school bands. This is Mr. Hancock's First year with the Godley Band.
Mr.Hancock was born and raised in Abilene Texas and graduated from Abilene Christian University with a Bachelor in Music Education. Shortly after graduation, he became the ACU Basketball Band Director for the 2018-2019 season in which he had the opportunity to direct the band at the first round of March Madness. Mr.Hancock has spent the past three years teaching as an assistant band director and coding teacher at DeKalb isd where he focused primarily on teaching the low brass beginner class and directing the 7th grade band. He also assisted the Dekalb high school in placing 7th at the UIL State Military Marching Band Competition. Along with teaching, Mr.Hancock played trombone, euphonium, and various percussion instruments with the ACU Wind Ensemble, Jazz band, The Civic Orchestra of Abilene, the ACU Percussion ensemble, and the East Texas Symphonic Band.