Craig Cantrell, Artistic Director
He received the Associate in Music from Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA, where he studied piano with Dr. David George and euphonium with Brian Lambeth and the Bachelors of Music Education from Kennesaw State University, studying conducting and musicianship with Peter Witte and Alexander Mickelthwate (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra) and euphonium with Michael Moore (principal tuba – Atlanta Symphony Orchestra). Other influential musicians with whom he has worked include Mr. Mercer Crook, Dr. Tom Barnett and Paula Peace in performance; Dr. John Shipp, H. Robert Reynolds, Allan McMurry, and John Lynch in conducting; and Marianne Ploger in musicianship.
Mr. Cantrell maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout the state. He has conducted performances with the bands and wind ensembles at several high schools and universities. He has also guest conducted the Northeast Georgia Wind Symphony and the Army Grounds Force Band (Ft. McPherson). He has participated in many conducting clinics and workshops, including the University of Georgia Conductors Workshop, the Georgia State Conductors Symposium, and the Columbus State University Conductors Workshop. He has received the prestigious Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association on three separate occasions and is a proud member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity.
Ensembles under Mr. Cantrell’s leadership have been featured as a featured performing ensemble at the University of Georgia January Music Festival (JanFest) (2011), the Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic at Troy University (2012), the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference (2015), and the University of Alabama Band Festival (2015). His bands have traveled to perform in numerous national events in New York City, Washington DC, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Marching Bands under his leadership have won numerous class championships and recognition at various marching contests throughout the state.
In addition to his teaching duties, he is affiliated with professional organizations which include the National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and the National Band Association. He also conducts the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Summer Community Theater Orchestra. He served as vice chair of GMEA District Fourteen, and has served as District Chair and member the Band Council for the GMEA District Nine. He resides in Gainesville, GA with is beautiful wife, Michelle and his wonderful step children Tyler and Julia.
Vicki Pinson, Associate Conductor
Elden Moates, Associate Conductor
Elden Moates is a Northwinds charter member and member of the Board of Directors. He is a member of the Horn section and serves as Horn section leader. He joined Northwinds the first year of inception when Ron Evans founded the North Georgia Wind Symphony, which is now The Northwinds Symphonic Band.
Mr. Moates presently serves as the Facility Coordinator for the Fannin County High School Performing Arts Center in Blue Ridge where he also served as Director of Bands at Fannin County High School. He has served the Fannin County School System since 1975.
Mr. Moates obtained the BS and MS degrees in music education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He earned the Educational Specialist degree in music education from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, where he studied with legendary band conductor William D. Revelli.
Mr. Moates has been chosen as Star Teacher twice for the Fannin County School System. Some of the highlights of his tenure with the Fannin County Band program include a State Senate commendation, a resolution from the House of Representatives, a performance in the State Capitol, a performance at the White House in celebration of the “200th Anniversary of the White House”, participation in the 2002 New Year’s Day Parade in London, England, performances at Pearl Harbor and Waikiki, and the commission project: “Motion” by Brian Balmages.
Mr. Moates, a Georgia Certified Adjudicator, is also listed on the state adjudicator lists of Alabama and South Carolina. He has served as an Honor Band clinician for many districts in Georgia, Jacksonville State University and the University of Georgia. He served as guest conductor of the International Horn Society’s 31st Annual Symposium. He was featured in the Band World Magazine as one of the ten annual recipients of the “Legion of Honor” awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. In January 2003, Mr. Moates served on the panel of International Adjudicators for the London New Year’s Day Parade and Concert Festival in London, England.
Mr. Moates has served as State Chairman of the Band Division and as President of the Georgia Music Educators Association. Other professional affiliations include membership in The National Association for Music Education, Fannin County Association of Retired Educators and Phi Beta Mu Professional Bandmasters Fraternity. During the summer he serves on the staff of the University of Georgia Marching Band and Summer Music Camps.
His professional affiliations have included: Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Phi Mu Alpha, and Phi Beta Mu professional fraternity. He resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia with his wife of 45 years, Judy, who is also a music teacher. They have two sons, Michael (39), a graduate of the University of Georgia and David (33) also a UGA graduate.