Mercer Crook ,associate conductor, is a native of Northeast Georgia. He was born and raised in Winder, Georgia, was graduated from Winder-Barrow High School, received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts Degrees in Woodwind Performance from the University of Georgia, and taught at Toccoa High School for one year, before beginning a distinguished 31 year tenure at East Hall High School.
Under Mr. Crook's leadership, the East Hall High School Bands performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, two Cotton Bowl Parades, two Orange Bowl Parades, two Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parades, four National Cherry Blossom Festival Parades, four Macy's Atlanta Christmas Parades, two Gatlinburg Christmas Parades, and the Outback Bowl Parade.
Mr. Crook’s Symphonic Bands were selected to perform for both the Georgia Music Educators Association In service Conference and the University of Georgia January Music Festival. His bands received superior ratings over 90% of Mr. Crook's 31 years at the school.
Mr. Crook currently serves as principal oboist with the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, and as principal oboist and associate conductor of the Northwinds Symphonic Band. He performs with several ensembles and chamber groups throughout northeast Georgia and the Atlanta area. He also serves as an adjunct member of the faculty at Gainesville College, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and directs the woodwind studio, and continues to serve as adjudicator and clinician throughout Georgia.
Mr. Crook is a member of Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu, and has been inducted into the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor. Mr. Crook was selected teacher of the year at East Hall High School three times, and was names Star Teacher in 1996.