Ms. Erica Ashford is in her sixth year as Band Director at King Middle School and Mercer County Senior High School. For eleven years, she taught choir and music at KMS and served as Assistant Band Director at MCSH. Ms. Ashford was the 2014-2015 recipient of the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award for King Middle School.
Ms. Ashford is originally from Harrodsburg and graduated in 2001 from Mercer County High School. She was a member of the Mercer County Marching Band from 1997-2000 where she was trumpet section leader and Drum Major for two years. She received her Bachelors of Music Education from Morehead State University in 2005 and Masters in Music from Morehead State University in 2009. At Morehead State, Ms. Ashford was a member of the MSU Trumpet Studio, Symphony Band, Jazz I Ensemble, and MSU Marching Band where she served as section leader and Drum Major. She studied conducting with Dr. Susan Creasap and Dr. Richard Miles and trumpet with Greg Wing.
Ms. Ashford has been an active arranger and drill writer for various marching bands and winter guards around Kentucky since 2007. She also is a member of The Louisville Winds, a community band based out of Louisville.
Mr. Adam McRay is in his sixth year as Music Teacher at King Middle School and as Assistant Band Director at Mercer County Senior High School. This is his sixth year teaching, but seventh working in the Mercer County District; he substitute taught and worked previously with the Mercer County Band.
Mr. McRay is originally from Harrodsburg and graduated in 2010 from Mercer County Senior High School, where he was a member of the 2005 and 2006 KMEA Class 2A State Championship Bands. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education from Morehead State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014. While at Morehead State, Mr. McRay was a member of the Trumpet Studio, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and performed under the baton of Dr. Susan Creasap and Dr. Richard Miles in concert ensembles. Mr. McRay studied trumpet under Greg Wing and private conducting and score study under Dr. Richard Miles.
Mr. McRay is engaged in performing in other various ensembles throughout the community, including the Advocate Brass Band, which regularly performs at the Great American Brass Band Festival.
Jeremy Ellis is a 2016 graduate of Mercer County Senior High School. Jeremy was a member of the MCSH Marching Band from 2011-2015. Jeremy played bass drum and tenors during his time in the marching band and was section leader his senior year. This is his fifth year as an instructor for the Mercer County Marching Band.
Jeff Meadows was the Band Director at Mercer County Senior High School for 18 years and retired in 2016. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehead State University and graduate degree from the University of Louisville. He marched in several drum corps in the early 1980s, and was a percussion instructor and writer for other marching bands before becoming the band director at Mercer County Senior High School. Before becoming the band director at Mercer County, he was the assistant band director and percussion instructor at Meade County High School. Currently, he works as an active marching band judge around the state.
Nathan Wilkerson is in his ninth year as percussion arranger for the Mercer County Marching Band. He is a graduate of Hart County High School and Campbellsville University. He is an active percussion writer and clinician for several groups around the state including KMEA state finalists Anderson County and Glasgow High School.
Rachel Harrison is a 2016 graduate of Estill County where she participated in the marching band and winter guard where she won a state championship in 2015. This is her fourth year as an instructor at Mercer County.
Dr. Colby Norton is a 2005 graduate of Mercer County High School. Receiving his Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas, Colby Norton started his playing career with multiple big bands including the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra, The MetroGnomes and the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors. Almost simultaneously, he was a regular member of the Lexington Brass Band and Lexington Philharmonic. Mr. Norton has presented multiple recitals throughout the nation and has had the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall, Jazz at the Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. He frequently composes/premiers new works for the bass trombone with multiple ensembles as well as teaches privately throughout Kentucky.
The Mercer County Band has a long tradition of excellence on and off the field. The Mercer County Marching Band was the KMEA State Champion in Class AA in 1996, 2005, and 2006. They have been a KMEA State Finalist in 1991, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2019, and 2021. They have also received distinguished ratings at KMEA concert festival.