John Barnes - Band Director
John Barnes teaches instrumental music at Parkway South High School in the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, Missouri. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Mr. Barnes grew up in a musical family, performing music from an early age in church, school and the community. He taught grade school music for a short time before moving to the St. Louis area to teach in East St. Louis, Illinois. Mr. Barnes taught for thirteen years at East St. Louis Sr. High School, elevating the music program to one of the best among urban St. Louis high schools. Under his direction, students routinely earn seats in regional honor band festivals, top ratings at state adjudications and awards in local contests. Many of his students went on to pursue university degrees on music scholarships earned while a student at East St. Louis Sr. High School.
John earned his Bachelor degree of Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is working towards his Master's degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Illinois Music Education Association, an active music arranger and performer in the St. Louis region. John is a self-described 'foodie,' and enjoys frequenting local music venues and restaurants.
Lisa Kinworthy - Assistant Band Director
I grew up in central Missouri--Tipton and California MO--to be exact. Attending California High School, I started marching band in the 8th grade as one of only five 8th graders allowed to march. I marched snare drum for 5 years at California. I also was in choir, drama, played volleyball, ran track and played basketball. I was a member of the Missouri All-State Choir in 1990 and 1991 and went to Europe with the Sound of American Honor Choir in Band as one of 2 students from Missouri. We spent 3 weeks in France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium giving performances and touring the countries. My favorite spot was the Medieval Torture Museum in Rothenberg Germany. It gave me many ideas for effective discipline :)
After high school I attended Southwest Missouri State University (now known as Missouri State) and took a leisurely 6 years to complete an undergraduate degree of a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Instrumental and Vocal Certification. While you may be thinking that took too long, I knew I had my entire life to work and I got to go to Disney World EVERY YEAR, perform and attend the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention, The 76th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. I've traded 4's with Louis Bellson and played with John Pizarelli, Clark Terry and sang back up for Barry Manilow and was on the Kenny Rogers Christmas Special. I got to attend the International Thespian Festival playing percussion for an original musical: The Red House and performed with the Flute Ensemble at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention in Chicago (NOT as a flute player).
After graduation in the fall of 1997, I substitute taught for a semester and got my 1st band director job at Washington Junior High in the Mehlville School District. After one year I was asked to move to Oakville High School as the Assistant Band Director. Not a good fit--that brought me to Parkway where I have been since the fall of 2000. During my time here, I have adopted the percussion class and turned it into a program, earned a Master's Degree in Music Education from UMSL (while pregnant), had a baby (who is now 14) and completed 30 more hours of continuing education to get as far as I can go educationally that will still do me any good. With any luck, I will be here for a minimum of 11 more years--its up to you to decide whether that would be good luck or bad luck.
Favorites: My primary instrument is percussion and to specialize further, I LOVE timpani. If I wasn't teaching music, I would be doing something with college basketball, I can't seem to give this up. I am a "never say die" Mizzou fan and and unreasonably loyal Duke fan. I avoid movies if I can, I'd rather read a book. I love trips because I can read forever.
My favorite part about teaching is the wide variety of people you meet whether it be students or their parents. I get to share music with them and the comraderie from the different backgrounds that comes together at a festival just warms my little heart.
Greg Hamilton - Show and Drill Director
It's my 30th year of teaching, 21st in Parkway, and 9th doing the marching band at South High. My favorite shows while at South have been Rhythms of the City (2008), Machine (2013), and Five (2016). I think this years show has potential to be the best of them all. I have a B.M. (education) and M.M. (Performance) degree from SIU-Edwardsville.
I marched in the Blue Devils in 1975-1977. We won 2 DCI championships. I've been writing drill for marching bands since 1998 and have 7 schools (other than South) that I am writing for this year. I also taught and designed indoor drumline shows from 2000-2010. Several of the groups were finalist at WGI championships. I started writing drill totally by accident as the school I was working at in 1998 had the drill writer quit and the band director asked if I would like to write the rest of the show. I did and the rest (as they say) is history.
I currently judge marching band shows in the fall (I'll be judging 4 this year) and judge indoor drumline shows in various circuits (last year I judged in Missouri (MCCGA), Indiana, and North Carolina during the winter. Drumline season runs at the same time as the winter guard season. I've been married for 35 years (yes, my sweet wife has put up with me for that long!). I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids. I really love doing this activity and working with the kids. To see how the kids bring a bunch of notes on a page and a bunch of dots on a drill chart to life is the most rewarding thing of this job. To see how these kids develop as musicians, marchers, and people (in some cases over 7 years, if they started with me at South Middle) is also very gratifying.