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 Cordé

Assistant Director

Leah Cordé is a native of York, SC and a graduate of York Comprehensive High School. Mrs. Cordé attended the University of South Carolina and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education. Her saxophone teachers include Dr. Cliff Leaman and Mr. Doug Graham. Mrs. Cordé began her teaching career in Spartanburg School District 7. There, she taught band at Carver Junior High School, five elementary schools, and served as the Colorguard Instructor at Spartanburg High School. From the fall of 2000 to the spring of 2006, Mrs. Cordé was the Associate Director of Bands at Sumter High School. During her tenure there, all three concert bands and the marching band consistently received Excellent and Superior ratings at SCBDA events. Bands under her direction have performed at the South Carolina Music Educators Association Convention as well as the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational. Mrs. Cordé is currently the Associate Director of Bands at Kelly Mill Middle School. Mrs. Cordé is a member of the National Band Association, the International Association for Jazz Education, the Music Educators National Conference, the South Carolina Music Educators Association, the South Carolina Band Directors Association and Pi Kappa Lambda. As a saxophonist, Mrs. Cordé is an active member of the Palmetto Concert Band. She, her husband Chris and their daughter Hannah, live in Columbia, SC.

Brian Wargel

Assistant Director

Brian Wargel is a 1996 graduate of Lexington High School in Lexington, SC and a 2000 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Mr. Wargel holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and is currently in his eighth year of teaching. He is formerly the director of the Clovis High School Freshman Campus Band, Marshall Junior High Bands, Assistant Band Director to the Clovis High School Band program in Clovis, NM and Kirby Middle School in Memphis, TN. Bands under his direction have earned consistent superior ratings at both the district and state levels. Mr. Wargel has studied trombone under Ed Anderson, Carl Lenthe, M. Dee Stewart, and Charlie Vernon. He has performed with Star of Indiana’s Brass Theater, The Mercedes Knights Memphis big band, the Bellvue Baptist Church Orchestra, and the Clovis Community Band. He is a member of Music Educators National Conference (MENC), South Carolina Band Directors Association (SCBDA), and the International Trombone Association (ITA). He currently lives in Columbia, SC with his wife Jennifer and three children, Christopher, Emma and Piper.