Band Staff

Nicholas Garofalo - Director of Bands

Nicholas Garofalo, originally from the Metro-Boston area completed his bachelors of music education at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in May of 2006. Mr. Garofalo has arranged, adjudicated and instructed many high school bands in the Tennessee and Georgia region including: East Ridge High School, Notre Dame High School, Red Bank High School, The McCallie School, Warren County High School, Model High School, Northview High School, and Hixson High School.

After graduating from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; Nicholas became the Assistant Band Director and Percussion Specialist at Chattahoochee High School and Ocee Elementary School in Alpharetta, Georgia. After numerous budget and financial situations Nicholas recently became the Director of Bands and no longer teaches at Ocee Elementary. 

In 2006 Nicholas was the Front Ensemble Director for the Chattanooga Independent Percussion Ensemble based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee placing 4th at Winter Guard International World Championships for there inaugural year. After his work with Chattanooga, he became an instructor for Atlanta Quest Indoor Percussion ensemble from Atlanta, Georgia with yet another World Finalist title in W.G.I. In the summer of 2007 Mr. Garofalo joined the instructional staff of the Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps. During 2008 he assumed the Music Director position for the drum corps leading the ensemble to a Gold Medal in the “A Class Division” at the Drum Corps Associates Championships.

Mr. Garofalo is a currently a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Georgia Music Educators Association, Winter Guard International, Member at Large for the Southern Association for the Performing Arts and The Music Educators National Convention. Nicholas is a percussion and music ensemble adjudicator through the United States Scholastic Band Association and is also a Vic Firth Educational Team Member.

Leslie Baker - Woodwind Instructor

Photo for Leslie coming soon!

Ms. Baker is proud to have been a member of the marching band staff at Chattahoochee High School since 2003.  Ms. Baker graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and she earned her Master’s degree from Emory University.   Her “day job” is teaching gifted students at Taylor Road Middle School, and when that job ends, you will find her at Chattahoochee working with the woodwinds and helping with the on-field instruction.  Growing up, Ms. Baker was fortunate to live in an area where instrumental music was a part of the elementary school, and she began playing the flute in the fifth grade.  She also plays piccolo and alto flute.  In addition to the occasional solo gig, she especially enjoys playing in pit orchestras for local musical productions.  As well as working with the marching band students, she is also the director of the Taylor Road Middle School Flute Choir and the Chattahoochee High School Flute Ensemble. 

One of her favorite things when she was in high school was participating in the nationally-recognized, award-winning Barbe High School Band of Blue from Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It is a privilege for her to continue working with students in an activity that she loved so much.  Who would have thought that one could still be doing marching band after all of these years?

Chris Beville - Percussion Instructor

Chris Beville received his undergraduate degree in percussion performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  In the summer of 2001 Chris Began his DCI career with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps out of Casper, Wyoming.  Chris spent the next two summers with the Phantom Regiment, under the tutelage of Brian Mason. 

In October of 2004 Chris moved to Germany where he earned a performance certificate under the tutelage of world-renowned performers Bill Molenhof  and Herman Schwander.

In May of 2008 Chris received his Masters Degree in percussion performance from Georgia State University under the tutelage of Stuart Gerber.  Chris is currently a freelance percussionist and educator in the Metro Atlanta area.


Mark DiClaudio - Brass Instructor

Mark grew up in Middletown, Maryland and is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Prior to entering Peabody, Mark marched as soloist with The Cadets of Bergen County in 1989 for their Les Miserables show.

Upon graduation from Peabody, Mark accepted a position with The 1996 Rafael Mendez Competition winning - Monumental Brass Quintet - performing 120+ times a year in many of this country’s most prestigious venues and alongside many of the world’s most famous performers.  While with The MBQ, he performed live on radio and television as well as for three US Presidents.  Later, Mark performed as Associate Principal Trumpet of The York Symphony in Pennsylvania and the 2nd trumpet of the Harrisburg Opera and Principal Trumpet of the Loudoun Symphony in Virginia concurrently.


Kimerie Swift – Colorguard Instructor

While growing up in Marietta, GA, Kimerie first joined color guard as a student at Pope High School. It was there that her passion for the art form began. After high school, she continued to perform as a member of Infiniti Winter Guard, The Spirit of JSU Drum and Bugle Corp, and the Kennesaw State University Dance Company.

​Kimerie was on staff as a technician and choreographer for North Cobb High School between the years of 2001 and 2008. She played an integral role in the modern development of the outdoor program, and the establishment of both their middle and high school indoor programs. During her time at North Cobb, both the fall and winter programs grew to consistently receive top honors within their class of competition.

​Since the fall of 2008, Kimerie has been the Color Guard instructor for the Alpharetta High School Raider Guard.

​Kimerie is pleased to be joining the Chattahoochee High School Color Guard staff in the winter of 2012. ​In her available time, Kimerie builds on her teaching experience through consultation work with various programs throughout the state of Georgia.

Some of her more recent consultations have been with the Chattahoochee High School, North Forsyth High School, and Johns Creek High School Fall and Winter Guards. 


Samantha Fields – Colorguard Instructor

Originally from Dallas, TX, Samantha Fields grew up around the Color Guard activity because of her marching band and color guard family. She was involved in middle school and high school Color Guards throughout her grade school education.

After high school, Samantha went on to march Ars Nova World Independent Winter Guard for three years. She also participated in DCI with The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009, then with The BlueCoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, winning the DCI bronze metal and returning to the BlueCoats in 2011.

Within Samantha’s years of performing, she also taught multiple Color Guards in the DFW metroplex including, Timber Creek High School for three years and Highland Park High School for one year. In 2012, she moved to Georgia to continue her college education at Kennesaw State University as an English Education major. She has been teaching with and assisting Kimerie Swift at Alpharetta High School and here at Chattahoochee High School for the fall of 2012, and winter of 2013.


Matthew Howell - Percussion Instructor

Matthew Howell has been involved in the marching arts since 2000. Matthew marched with multiple organizations, including the University of Memphis Marching Band, Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps, and Gateway Indoor Percussion.

Since aging out of the performance realm, Matthew quickly transitioned onto the other side of the performance arena into teaching. He has had the pleasure of teaching at many outstanding programs, including Collierville High School, Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, Gateway Indoor, Tyler Junior College Indoor and Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010.

Currently, Matthew is working with Chattahoochee High, Forsyth Central High and Decatur High schools, all in the metro Atlanta area. In addition, Matthew is working with the drumline at Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps for the summer of 2011.

Outside of the marching activity, Matthew enjoys playing pool, hanging out by the river, and playing with his dog, Julian. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA with some awesome roommates