A native of Shenandoah, VA, Mr. Sampson holds a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University and Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Central Michigan University. As a member of the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, Mr. Sampson served as drum major for the 400-member band. He has also performed in the Lord Mayor of Dublin's New Year's Day Parade, the 75th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and for the inaugural parades for President Bush (2001) and Governor Mark Warner (2002).
From 2004-2009, Mr. Sampson was band director at Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, VA. His concert and jazz ensembles consistently earned "Superior" and "Excellent" ratings at state and regional festivals. The RCHS bands traveled to festivals in New York, Orlando, and Williamsburg, earning first place in their division for three consecutive years. At RCHS, he also directed the Marching Wildcats, who also received high honors at local and regional competitions.
In 2010, he returned to his hometown to teach at Elkton Middle School in Rockingham County and help plan for the opening of East Rockingham High School.
Mr. Sampson has also written drill for marching bands at Page County High School, Alleghany High School, and Buffalo Gap High School; and served as Assistant Director from 2007-2010 for the Stonewall Brigade Band in Staunton, VA--the oldest continuous community band in the nation supported through municipal funds.
During Mr. Sampson's tenure at J.R. Tucker, the band and orchestra, in conjunction with choral director, Mr. Clint Miller, has earned the Virginia Music Educators' Association "Blue Ribbon Award" for 2011, 2012, and 2014--the highest annual award for music departments in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mr. Sampson is a member of National Association for Music Education, Virginia Music Educators Association, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association, and the Virginia Education Association.
summa cum laude from James Madison University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He studied clarinet with Dr. Janice Minor and Dr. Stacy Christofakis, and performed in some of the top ensembles in the School of Music, including the JMU Wind Symphony, the JMU Symphony Orchestra, and the Marching Royal Dukes, where he served as a clarinet section leader for two years. He also worked on the marching band staff at the JMU Summer Band Camps for two years. Austin is excited for the opportunity to work with the Marching Tigers to help them prepare for their upcoming season!