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Howard University Appoints Chancellor Mills as New Director of Bands

Chancellor Mills

WASHINGTON – Howard University has named Chancellor Mills as Director of Bands in the Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, Office of Choirs and Bands. Mills will direct the “SHOWTIME” Marching Band, Concert Band and Pep Band. He has been serving as the assistant band director of the Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band for the past two years, and as an arranger and drill designer. With over 20 years of extensive teaching experience in directing, quality instrumental conducting and a deep passion for music education, Mills adds to Howard’s rich band legacy and will set the tone for a new era.    

Mills brings many accolades and experience to the position and emphasized the importance of collaboration, music selection, and the student experience. He is eager to continue recruitment efforts with the stated goal of maintaining “SHOWTIME'S” national and international profile. In his new role, he will stretch the cultural, artistic, and aesthetic range of performance experiences to which students are exposed. 

Mills has arranged for several bands in the United States over the last decade, including three high schools in the South. Mills began his teaching career in 2001 at Lutcher High School in St. James Parish, La.  He later moved to Atlanta in 2006, where he was appointed director of bands at Banneker High School, where he had a vision to engage in community outreach and unite smaller band programs in south Fulton County, Ga.  In 2009, the Fulton County Public Schools District completed the construction of Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Ga., where Mills was appointed the school’s inaugural band director. Within two years, Mills significantly increased student participation through heavy recruitment efforts, earned consistent superior ratings on the local and state level, and grew the band program by 50%.  

During his 12-year tenure at Langston Hughes, the band performed during the Sugar Bowl and the Champs Sports Ball halftime shows, at Mardi Gras parades and received first place honors at the 2017 Festival of Gold Concert in Washington, D.C.  

In addition to the numerous accolades received by the school community, the concert and symphonic bands earned excellent and superior ratings at performance evaluations each year. Before relocating to Maryland in 2021, Mills served as the senior class advisor and was awarded the Langston Hughes High School Teacher of the Year. To promote music advocacy in public schools, he also taught private lessons at the Maryland Music Academy in Columbia, Md.  while serving as the director of bands at Thomas Viaduct Middle School (TVMS) in Howard County.  

A native of Baton Rouge, La.  and a skilled trombone player, Mills earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Southern University and A&M College. While at Southern, he performed as a member of the world-renowned Southern University “Human Jukebox” Marching Band and Wind Ensemble under the direction of Isaac Greggs, Ph.D., Carnell Knighten, and Lawrence Jackson. Shortly after graduating from Southern, Mills earned a Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Mills is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Phoenix, pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction.  

Mills is a member of the National Association for Music Educators, Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. During his leisure time, Mr. Mills enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with his wife, Melonie, and their children.