Emmanuel Ross

Emmanuel Ross
Director of bands at Union County Public Schools

Bachelor of Music Education, UNC Charlotte (2012)

Hometown: Shannon, NC  

Emmanuel Ross became a band director right after graduating with honors from UNC Charlotte, where he was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. As a co-lead band director for the Porter Ridge school cluster in Union County, his responsibilities include leading a dynamic marching band, three concert bands, a jazz band, percussion ensembles, a pit orchestra, and winterguards at Porter Ridge High School, as well as assisting with the band students at Porter Ridge Middle School. 

Under his direction, his students and bands have performed at the Lincoln Memorial during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Universal Studios Stars Program, the Charlotte Hornets, SEDBA and SCDBA District Bands, the United States Army All-American Marching Band, and have toured abroad in Spain, Morocco, and Italy. He has also served as chairman and clinician for Celebrate the Arts, North Carolina‚Äôs largest student arts festival.

Emmanuel holds professional memberships with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the National Association for Music Education and the North Carolina Music Educators Association and was also a member of the final class of the United State All-American Band Director Academy in 2018.  In addition to his educational achievements, he is also an accomplished composer for the marching arts and has been the Residential Life Coordinator for the world-renowned Duke University Talent Identification Field Studies Program. 


How did your education at UNC Charlotte prepare/shape you? What are some of the key things you learned?

UNC Charlotte music education prepared us to be strong teachers, not only just musicians. It becomes clearer to me every year just how strong the music education program at UNC Charlotte truly is. There has never been a time in my career where I have said "They didn't cover this in college." The rigor and diversity of the education at UNC Charlotte truly allowed us to see music education done in variety of situations that still inform me until this day. It was also obvious, especially in the music education program and applied lessons (Emmanuel studied saxophone with Dr. Will Campbell), that the school was here to teach the whole student. That has truly informed how I view my classroom long after leaving the hallways of Robinson. 

Do you have any particularly special memories of your educational experiences?

The most special memories I have from UNC Charlotte come from the environment that my professors and instructors created for us. While the coursework was rigorous and at times hectic, some of my favorite memories come from the willingness of the faculty and students to engage in real, honest, and candid conversations about anything. Many of these conversations birthed numerous "one-liners" or "fun facts free of charge" that many of my colleagues still use daily! Those candid conversations are some of the most meaningful I've had in my education and career, and I wouldn't change them for the world. 

What advice do you have for current music students?

Step outside your comfort zone. Your years at UNC Charlotte will inevitably be some of the only times where you have this much time to practice, take risks, meet new people, and collaborate so freely. Step outside your comfort zone, and make sure you cherish the time you have to do all of these things. This could be the last time you get to purely focus on making music for music's sake. Milk it for all its worth.