Dustin King

Director of Bands

Originally from North Carolina, Dustin King is a graduate of Western Carolina University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. At WCU he served in leadership positions for the 2009 Sudler Trophy recipient “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band under the direction of Bob Buckner. While a member of this organization, Mr. King served as the alto saxophone section leader and the woodwind coordinator. Mr. King was the principal saxophonist for the WCU Wind Ensemble and was involved in saxophone quartets. In 2010 he was recipient of the distinguished Maxie Beaver Excellence in Music Education award given by the WCU School of Music. During his undergraduate studies, Mr. King served as a student conductor with the WCU Symphony Band and a guest saxophonist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra.

In the fall of 2010, Mr. King began a graduate assistantship with the University of South Carolina Band. He worked extensively with the “Mighty Sound of the Southeast” Marching Band and the USC Symphonic Winds. A student of Dr. Clifford Leaman, Mr. King was involved in the USC Saxophone Choir and leader of the freshman saxophone quartet.

In May 2012, Mr. King received his Master’s of Music Education degree. Upon completing his graduate work, Mr. King accepted the position as Director of Bands at Batesburg-Leesville High School. The band under his leadership has received numerous awards including: 2nd & 3rd place finishes at the SCBDA State Marching Band Championships, 3rd place winterguard finish at the SCBDA Winterguard Championships, Superior ratings at the SC Concert Performance Assessment, and the Outstanding Performance Award. In addition to these accolades, the BLHS Panther Band was one of sixteen American marching bands to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade on January 1, 2015.

In June 2016, Mr. King began his tenure as Ridge View HS Director of Bands. While he is not leading the band, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kristen, son Evan, and the family dog, Bentley.

Leah Turner

Assistant Director

Leah Turner is in her 21st year of teaching and her 13th year as Director of Bands at Kelly Mill Middle School in Blythewood, SC.  She began her career in Spartanburg School District 7 teaching at five different elementary schools, Carver Junior High School and assisting at Spartanburg High School.  From 2000-2006, she served as Associate Director of Bands at Sumter High School in Sumter, SC.  Bands under her direction have consistently earned Superior ratings at state and national festival, including the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational in Chattanooga, TN.  On two previous occasions, her bands have been featured ensembles at the South Carolina Music Educators In-Service Conference: once in 2003 with Sumter High School and again in 2008 with Kelly Mill Middle School. 

 Mrs. Turner graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1998 from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and earned a Master of Music with an emphasis in Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in 2011.  In 2006, she earned her National Board Certification in Music/Early Adolescence through Early Adulthood and earned recertification in 2016.  She is sought after as a saxophone clinician and as a guest conductor.  Mrs. Turner has conducted numerous honor groups of both high school and middle school levels across South Carolina and Georgia.   She currently serves as principal alto saxophonist for the Palmetto Concert Band and has performed three times at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic with this group, 1999, 2008, and 2016.  Mrs. Turner has received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence on two occasions and is currently the President of the South Carolina Band Directors Association.  Her professional affiliations include the National Band Association, the American School Band Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, the South Carolina Music Educators Association, the South Carolina Band Directors Association, and Phi Beta Mu. 

 Mrs. Turner resides in Lugoff and has two children, Hannah and Grant.  

Wesley Hipps

Associate Director of Bands - Director of Percussion

Mr. Hipps is a graduate from Western Carolina University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Industry.   At Western Carolina University Mr. Hipps performed and held percussion section leader positions for the Pride of Mountains marching band under the direction of Bob Buckner and Matt Henley.  While at WCU he studied percussion performance under Dr. Mario Gaetano and performed with the percussion ensemble, wind ensemble, concert band, Gamelan ensemble, and various other chamber percussion performance groups.  In 2001 he was a member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corp and performed under the direction of percussion caption head Clint Gillespie. 

Before joining the Ridge View team as Director of Percussion studies, Mr. Hipps created the world percussion and percussion ensemble classes at Dent Middle school in Richland School District Two.  Over the past 11 years, the world music ensembles have been recognized across the southeast and regularly receive superior ratings at the South Carolina Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion steel band festival.   As World Percussion specialist at Dent middle school Mr. Hipps directed the Blue Diamond Steel band, Percussion Ensemble, Brazilian Batucada Ensemble, and the Afro/Caribbean ensembles.   Mr. Hipps lives in Columbia, SC with his wife Andrea who is also a music teacher in Richland School District Two.  In his free time, Mr. Hipps enjoys the sport of triathlon with his wife.  Over the past 5 years, he has finished six IRONMAN distance triathlons.