Directors & Staff
NLHS Director of Bands
Matt Minick is a 1989 Magna Cum Laude graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelors degree in music education. He also is a National Board certified teacher in adolescent music education. Mr. Minick taught for 11 years at Fieldale-Collinsville High School and George Washington Carver Middle School before moving to Cary High School in NC where he taught for 19 years. Mr. Minick has taught middle school since 2019 in Lynchburg Virginia at Linkhorne Middle School and assisted at E.C. Glass High School until his selection as director at North Lincoln High School. He was a member of the 1987 World Champion Garfield Cadets and writes music arrangements for bands across North Carolina and Virginia. Mr. Minick also judges marching band and concert bands across the region.
NLMS Director of Bands, Marching Band Assistant Director
Mr. Mitchell Stokes is the Director of Bands at North Lincoln Middle School in Denver, North Carolina. He also serves as the Assistant Director of the North Lincoln “Band of Knights” Marching Band. He is a 2016 graduate of UNC Charlotte where he obtained the Bachelors of Music in Music Education. Prior to coming to North Lincoln, he was the Director of Bands at Kennedy Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Stokes has worked with several award-winning marching bands around the Charlotte area, serving as a woodwind and marching technician. Mr. Stokes’ primary instrument is the clarinet and has performed both locally and internationally on the instrument. In 2015 he was selected as a participant in the World Youth Wind Orchestra (WYWO) for the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in San Jose, California. In the summer of 2016 he performed as a part of a quartet at conferences domestically in San Francisco, California and internationally in Glasgow, Scotland for the International Society of Music Education (ISME). Mr. Stokes loves teaching and working with students both in class and within the marching band setting.
Christyl Barber holds a degree in music education from Appalachian State University where she attended from 2003-2007. Ms. Barber works as the percussion director for the North Lincoln “Band of Knights” serving as instructor for marching, concert and Indoor percussion. Over the years, Christyl has helped to establish the award winning North Lincoln Percussion ensemble program at North Lincoln High School. North Lincoln Percussion has received many superior ratings under her direction and instruction including: being named the 2014 CIPA Indoor Circuit, PSA class Champions, 2015 CIPA PSA Bronze medalists and most recently the CWEA Circuit PSA 2016 Silver Medalists. Over the past 7 years Ms. Barber has made a name for herself by writing and arranging percussion books for both the outdoor and indoor arena for a number of schools which include: North Lincoln High School, Chase High School, St. Stephens High School, East Burke High School and Gaffney High School. Over the past 3 years, Ms. Barber has been working as percussion specialist in the schools teaching beginning to advanced percussion to North Lincoln High School, North Lincoln Middle and East Lincoln Middle School students. Ms. Barber has been working as a private percussion teacher giving lessons to students year round in the Lincoln County area since 2008. Many of her students have auditioned and been accepted into honors bands, universities and other higher level performing ensembles.
Color Guard Instructor
Brandon Nichols is an alum of East Lincoln High school and graduated from Western Carolina University with a Music Education Degree in 2015. Currently, Mr. Nichols serves as Director of Bands at Long Creek Elementary School in Huntersville, a performing arts partial-magnet school. Brandon has taught with many programs in the past few years, including the programs at Tuscola High school, East Lincoln High School, Lincolnton High school, and Olympic High School. Brandon has over 10 years of marching band and colorguard experience. While in high school, he marched trumpet in the marching band for four years and participated in East Lincoln Cheval winterguard for three years; making finals at World Championships in his senior year. Brandon marched in the Pride of the Mountains Marching band for three years on trumpet and one year in the colorguard. He also had the honor of marching in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. In the last 5 years, Brandon has marched with WCU Winterguard (2013), Reynolda Winterguard (2014), Olympic Independent (2015), and Etude World Winterguard (2016-2017).
Color Guard Instructor
Brittain Nichols is an alum of East Lincoln High school and graduated from Western Carolina University with a Music Education Degree in 2015. Currently, Mr. Nichols serves as the Music Teacher for both Battleground Elementary and Union Elementary in LCS. Brittain has taught with many programs in the past few years, including the programs at Tuscola High School, East Lincoln High School, Lincolnton High School, Forestview High School, and West Lincoln High School. Brittain has 15 years of marching band and colorguard experience. While in high school, he marched Baritone in the marching band for four years and participated in East Lincoln Cheval Winterguard for three years; making finals at World Championships in his senior year. Brittain marched in the Pride of the Mountains Marching band for four years on Baritone. While at WCU, he had the honor of marching in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Brittain has marched with WCU Winterguard (2013), Reynolda Winterguard (2014), Olympic Independent (2015), and Etude World Winterguard (2016-2017) and is currently the Co-Director for Metanoia Winterguard.
Andrew Quillen was an original member of the North Lincoln Band of Knights and a member of the school’s first graduating class in 2005. He joined the North Lincoln band staff in 2008 as the assistant brass instructor and has been the head brass instructor since 2011. Andrew also currently serves as the public address announcer for the Roundtable Tournament of Bands. He can often be heard at competitions yelling encouragement to the students before and during their performance. In his eleventh year on staff he is looking forward to helping continue the tradition of excellence at North Lincoln.