Jay Champion, Choral Director
Kacy Bishop,
Assistant Director
700 Old Mountain Road, Kennesaw, Georgia 30152
Phone: 678-594-8224 / Fax: 678-594-8226

Dr. Lenora Nyeste, Principal

Proud to be selected to perform at the
2010 and 2019 GMEA Statewide In-Service
and 2012 Inaugural Georgia State University
Invitational MidSingFest

J. Champion, Director

    Joseph Albert Champion was born and raised among very strong choral traditions in Edinburg, Texas. His music education started at age 6, when he began taking piano lessons with Alice Hury. He joined the choir in the fifth grade. His middle and high school directors were Viginia Adair, Barbara Fairbanks, and David Custer. In addition to many musical activities he was also a member of the basketball team and track and field team. Mr. Champion graduated as part of the first graduating class of Edinburg North High School in 1992.
    After offers from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, Mr. Champion left Texas to study music at the Louisiana State University School of Music in Baton Rouge, LA. At LSU, Mr. Champion sang in the acclaimed LSU A Cappella Choir, acclaimed as one of the premier collegiate ensembles in the country, for four years under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Fulton. As a part of the LSU A Cappella Choir, Mr. Champion gave invitational performances to standing ovations in March, 1995 in both the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the DAR Constitution Hall at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Washington, D.C. and in June, 1994, they sang the featured concert of the 50th anniversary celebrations of D-Day at St. Mary's Cathedral in Southhampton, England. He also proudly sang in the LSU University Chorus, and LSU Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Sara Lynn Baird. He studied private voice with Prof. Robert Grayson, composition with Dr. Stephen David Beck and Dr. Dinos Constantinides, and jazz improvisation with Dr. Bill Grimes. While at LSU, Mr. Champion served as Vocal Representative to the School of Music College Council, Composition Representative to the School of Music College Council, and President of the American Choral Directors' Association Student Chapter. As a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he served as President of the Beta Omega chapter  and as Collegiate Province Representative of Province 14.
    After much hard work and lots of tailgating at LSU football games, Mr. Champion received a Bachelor Degree in Music Education as a voice major in 1996, and a Bachelor Degree in Music as a composition major in 1997. He earned his Master's Degree in Music Education, and Education Specialist Degree at the University of Georgia.
    Mr. Champion taught middle school chorus and general music at McKinley Middle School in East Baton Rouge Parish for one year before deciding to move to Cobb County in efforts to live life and see the world. He served as choral director at the West Cobb School for its two-year run, and in 2000, became the Director at Lost Mountain Middle School.
    Mr. Champion has always been involved in Music Ministry. His professional music ministry career began at age 15 when he began playing piano on Sunday Mornings for a Salvation Army Church in McAllen, TX. While at LSU, he served as cantor and pianist for Christ the King Catholic Student Center, where he eventually served as Music Director. As Music Director, Mr. Champion developed the choir into it's largest size in years, and composed and arranged for a string quartet on a weekly basis. After singing and playing for several churches in the Atlanta area, Mr. Champion has served as Associate Director of Music for Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta from 2004 to 2016. He currently serves as part of the music staff at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Marietta.
    Since arriving in Atlanta in 1998, Mr. Champion has sung with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus. As a part of the chorus, he has sung under the direction of Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Roberto Abbado, William Fred Scott, Norman Mackenzie, John Nelson, Yoel Levi, Marin Alsop, Howard Shore, and John Adams. Has sung on the ASOC recordings of Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony, Mass in G Minor, and Serenade to Music; Orff's Carmina Burana, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Berlioz's Requiem, Golijov's Oceana, Mozart's Requiem, Theofanidis' The Here and Now, Sibelius' Kullervo, Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Gandolfi's QED Engaging Richard Feynman, and Puccini's La Boheme. The Sea Symphony recording won three Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, and Best Engineered Album. The Carmina Burana was nominated for Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album. As a result of this recent acclaim, Mr. Champion traveled with the ASO Chorus to Berlin for performances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem in December 2003, Berlioz' Requiem in May 2007, and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in December, 2010. The chorus has given one or two performances a year at Carnegie Hall in New York since the early 2000's. Several memorable performances include April 2004 for a repeat performance of the Sea Symphony, Mozart's Requiem with the ASO Chamber Chorus and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall in October 2005, and Verdi's Requiem at Carnegie Hall in March 2006. The ASOC finished the 2005 season with the North American premiere of the Lord of the Rings Symphony in June 2004 with Oscar-award winning composer Howard Shore conducting. Other memorable performances include a special a capella concert by the Chamber Chorus at the Ojai Festival in California in June 2006 and a reprise of the Sea Symphony for the ACDA National Convention in Miami in 2007. Mr. Champion is a member of Coro Vocati, Atlanta's premier chamber choral ensemble.

    In 2002, Mr. Champion completed the soundtrack to Daryl Hury's one-man production of "2001 Reasons to Live", a self-told story of Mr. Hury's survival of a brain tumor. In doing so, Mr. Champion has worked with Todd Weaver and other members of popular Atlanta rock bands  to create new arrangements of songs including  American Pie, Back In Black, Rusty Cage, Love and Happiness, Just Like A Woman, and Peace Frog, to name a few. Active as composer and arranger, Mr. Champion's recent compositions include "Gesu Bambino" performed by Cantamos! under the direction of J. Hooper at the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech with featured bass soloist Morris Robinson of the Metropolitan Opera Company; and "Orange You Funky?", premiered by the LMMS Chamber Orchestra at the 2010 GMEA In-Service in Savannah, GA under the direction of guest conductor, Joe Tarentino.
   Mr. Champion is a frequent presenter at colleges, workshops, and conferences. He has presented reading sessions for middle school ensembles, grading and assessment in the choral classroom, and how to learn music quickly and effectively. He was a contributing writer to "Growing Musicians: Teaching Music in Middle School and Beyond" by Dr. Bridget Sweet, Associate Professor of Music Education at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
   He is in demand as a choral clinician, and guest speaker about the use of technology in the music classroom. In 2003, Mr. Champion was featured in the "Spotlight" section of the Fall issue of Georgia Music News, the official publication of the Georgia Music Educators' Association (GMEA) describing Mr. Champion's use of Technology in the Music Classroom. He has taught classes to his peers on the use of technology in the music classroom. In 2010, he was a presenter at the Ohio MEA convention held in conjunction with the National Convention for the Technology Institute for Music Education (TI:ME) on how to start an Electonic Music Ensemble. Mr. Champion also serves as Camp Director of Encore Choir Camp, a four-day camp for singers grades 6-10 at Emory University featuring some of the best choral directors in the state of Georgia.



Kacy Asher Bishop, Assistant Director

  Kacy Asher Bishop, Assistant Choral Director, has been singing as long as she can remember.  Raised internationally on ARMY military bases, Ms. Bishop has the opportunity to hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at age 3, which she still remembers.  Upon returning to the States, Ms. Bishop joined chorus at Edwards Middle School under the direction of Mr. Dan Mitchell, and continued under Mrs. Mary Lynn Luke at Heritage High School.  She is Rockdale County’s first 6 year chorus all state student and had the great honor of singing the Mozart Requiem under Maestro Robert Shaw.  In high school, Ms. Bishop was also a wrestling manager for 4 years, participated in marching band (playing sousaphone) under Mr. Greg Gajownik, and was a member of the Thespian Troupe, performing in at least three productions a year.  Her senior year, Mrs. Bishop was featured as Cinderella in Sondheim’s Into the Woods which won One Act competition at the State Level and was performed as the opening show at Thespian Conference.
     Mrs. Bishop received vocal and theater scholarships to Shorter College, where she received her Bachelor’s of Music Education.  She studied under Dr. Brian Horne, Dr. John Ratledge, and Dr. Martha Shaw.  As part of the renowned Shorter Chorale, Ms. Bishop had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall in January 2000, and toured Eastern Europe in the summer of 2002.  Ms. Bishop studied at Regent’s College in London, England in 2001-2, focusing on theater history, musical theater performance and critique, and Shakespearean studies.  
Mrs. Bishop took over from Dan Mitchell at Edwards Middle School in Conyers, GA for the 2003-04 school year, where she inherited a strong choral program and met her future husband.  They moved to Cherokee County the following year, where Ms. Bishop began working at Creekland Middle School.  During her 9 year tenure, she grew the program from approximately 70 students to over 300, and took over 100 students to All-State Chorus.  She participated in LGPE, earning superior ratings in both performance and sight reading.  Ms. Bishop participated in Disney Magic Music Days three times during her time at Creekland, earning first place (8th grade) and third place (7th grade) in 2012, third place (8th grade) 2013, and second place (8th grade) in 2014.  Ms. Bishop was asked to conduct the Cherokee County Middle School Honor Chorus in 2013.  She also was the director of after school plays, including Into the Woods, Jr., Fiddler on the Roof, Jr., Honk, Jr., The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Oklahoma, Jr., Murder Most Fouled Up, Pirates of Penzance, and others.  In addition to school theater, she was often found at the Canton Theater working as music director and/or acting in productions including Little Shop of Horrors, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Some Enchanted Evening, The Ant and the Grasshopper, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumors.  Ms. Bishop also received her Masters of Music Education from the University of Georgia, graduating in 2009.  She was featured in Georgia Music News (GMEA publication) for her musical theater program at Creekland in the fall of 2009.
     At the end of the 2014 school year, Ms. Bishop made the decision to stay at home with her then 2 and 1 year old.  Never one to stay “unbusy”, she was soon hired by Marietta High School as a contracted Music Director for their three musicals during the 2014-15 school year.  With director Jacob Garcia, they produced Shrek, Little Shop of Horrors, and the Shuler Award winning Hairspray (best actress).  She also became the choir manager for the Greater Atlanta Girls’ Choir, under the direction of Jenny Piacente, Mallory Jett, and Lydia Grant.  She also taught private voice lessons through her home studio as a teacher with Ponier Music.  She also rejoined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus as a soprano and was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in April of 2016.
     Ms. Bishop was offered the position of Assistant Choral director before the 2016-17 school year and is proud to be an Eagle!  Working with Mr. Jay Champion, the LMMS choirs have consistently received superior ratings at LGPE, have increased the number of students being accepted to All State Chorus, and will be performing at the 2019 GMEA Inservice Conference with the 8th grade chorus.  With the encouragement of that year’s 8th grade class, she started an afterschool drama program, which has produced Beauty and the Beast, Jr., Legally Blonde, Jr., The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery, and will be putting The Music Man, Jr. on the boards this November, along with Murder Most Fouled Up in February.  And just for fun, she and her husband decided to start their Specialist’s Degree in Instructional Technology at Kennesaw State University, where they anticipate graduating in December of 2019.
     At the end of the 2016-17 school year, Ms. Bishop was offered the opportunity to teach both chorus and drama.  She is entering her second year of this “best of all possible worlds” and looks forward to many more.