The Thomas County Board of Education has named a successor to Thomas County Central High School band director Michial Mayhall, who will retire at the end of the current school year.
Jeffery “Lance” Gainous, a native of Cairo, will assume the role in the fall.
Gainous will take the helm of the entire band program, which is comprised of a marching band, a symphonic band, a concert band, percussion ensemble, jazz ensemble and a color guard involving more than 200 students. His employment was approved Tuesday.
Gainous graduated from Cairo High School in 2000. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Troy University in Troy, Ala., in 2005. In 2013, he also earned his Master’s in Music Education from Auburn University.
Hstarted his career as band director in 2005 at Russell County High School in Seale, Ala. Gainous helped grow that program from 40 musicians to 80 in only three years. Under his direction, the marching band, as well as the concert bands, received superior ratings at various festivals and contests.
Gainous comes to the Thomas County School System from T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, Ala., where he served as band director since 2008. His bands at T.R. Miller earned straight superior ratings, receiving “Best in Class” awards and being selected and performing for halftime at the BCS championship game in New Orleans. The band program flourished under his supervision, growing from 70 to more than 100 musicians.
Gainous has played the trumpet since he was in the sixth grade. He enjoys being involved in the community and will be performing in an upcoming concert at the Brewton First Baptist Church where is currently a member. He is also a cofounder, associate conductor and performer with the Escambia County Community Board in Flomation, Ala.
“I’m excited about coming back to south Georgia,” said Gainous. “It will be tough to leave the students in my current band program, but it will be great to be close to my parents, who live in Cairo. My wife, Rachel, is from Whigham, and we look forward to raising our two sons in such a wonderful community.”
Gainous is also looking forward to working with Mayhall and Central musicians.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a program that has so much tradition and great student musicians,” Gainous said. “I feel blessed to have the chance to work with young people and help them be the best they can be.”
Mayhall is eager to help Gainous.
He said, “I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Gainous for a very smooth transition. I’m optimistic about the future for the band program under his direction.”