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Robert J. Cowles, assistant conductor

Robert J. Cowles served as Director of Bands at Walton High School in Cobb County from the school’s opening in 1975 until his retirement in 1999.  Prior to his arrival at Walton, Mr. Cowles held positions at Griffin Middle School (Smyrna, GA) and Grady High School (Atlanta, GA).  Bands under his direction received consistent superior ratings for over 20 years. 

At his retirement in 1999, the Walton Band Program consisted of the marching band, four concert bands, and two jazz ensembles.  Under Mr. Cowles’ direction, bands at Walton performed as guests of Valdosta State University, the University of Georgia, and Florida State University. The marching band also performed in Thanksgiving Day parades in Philadelphia and New York (Macy’s).

He served the music education profession in many capacities over the years.  These include GMEA District Instrumental Chair, District Jazz Chair, All-State Organizing Chair, State Marching Band Chair, and State Music Selection Chair; GAJE’s Vice President; and Phi Beta Mu Secretary /Treasurer. 

Mr. Cowles’ professional affiliations include MENC, IAJE, NBA, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He has served as clinician and adjudicator in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Massachusetts. 

He was named to the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Legion of Honor as one of America’s 10 best band directors in 1998 and was named Georgia Music Educators Association outstanding educator in 1998.  He was also presented with the Georgia Music Educators Association Distinguished Career Award at their in-service conference in January of 2016.


Mr. Cowles currently teaches saxophone and serves as guest clinician and adjudicator for high schools and middle schools throughout Georgia and the Southeast.  He also performs with the rock band “Back In Time,” the saxophone quartet “Swingin’ Quavers,” the Cobb New Horizons Band, and he plays saxophone in the Cobb Wind Symphony as well as serving as their assistant conductor.  Most recently he was named as the assistant director of bands at Walton High School for the remainder of the 2016 school year.  He resides in Marietta with his wife, Bette.

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