Jazz Division

Nick McDonald, Jazz Education Chair

Mr. McDonald is the Director of Bands at Tuscaloosa County High School. He serves as Chairman of the Jazz Education Division of the Alabama Bandmasters Association. Prior to the opportunity to work in Tuscaloosa County Schools, Mr. McDonald taught in south Alabama for 10 years. He received a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music Education from Troy University, and is currently pursuing National Board Teaching Certification. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. McDonald serves in the 151st Army National Guard Band since 2009. He lives in Northport with his wife and three children.  You can contact Mr. McDonald at njmcdonald@tcss.net

Kelvin Benion, Jazz Education Chair Elect

Kelvin Benion is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and a graduate of Huffman High School, where he was an active member of the band program, which was under the direction of Clifford M. Winter, III. In high school he played the Tuba and was selected to perform in many honor bands including the Alabama All-State Blue and White bands. After high school, Kelvin chose to continue his education at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina where he was a member of the Marching Band,Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble and received Bachelor of Arts In Music Merchandising and Management. (1992) 

While in college Kelvin started the jazz group “Tekneek”. The group would later evolve and released two chart topping and award nominated albums, “Point Of View” (1998) and (“Joyride”). (2004)  Kelvin started his teaching career in 2010 at W. J. Christian School (Birmingham City Schools) followed by being the assistant director at Minor High School (Jefferson County Schools), where his band claimed Three National High Stepping Championships. He also directed one of two very high performing jazz bands. After spending three years with Minor High School, Kelvin started and directed the band program at Mae Jemison High School (Huntsville City Schools) in Huntsville, Alabama for one year. Kelvin is now the current Band Director at Clay Chalkville High School in Clay, Alabama (Jefferson County Schools)  In 2014, Kelvin released a solo project entitled “Got to Get It” with the title track featuring “Eric Essix.” In 2020, Kelvin produced several songs for the FOX Soul network while also landing smooth jazz placements with the Perpetual Music Group. 

Kelvin has worked and performed with many great musicians, producers, and entertainers like: Ben Tankard, Henry Panion III, Phil Davis, Milton Davis, Mike Phillips, Dennis Edwards, Me’lissa Morgan, David Peaston, Stevie Wonder, Ernie Watts, Jessy J, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Essix, and Kim Scott just to name a few. Kelvin is married to Crishina Benion (20 years) with 3 children, Jeseca Spencer (Step Daughter), Kennedy, and Kaleb. Kelvin Benion is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity. You can contact Mr. Benion at kbenion@jefcoed.com