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    “The Bethel Middle School Staff and Students welcome you to our band website. It is our mission to ensure that all students have an opportunity to excel individually and collectively in a standards-based music curriculum under the direction of our highly-qualified teachers. Our hope is that all students will be inspired from their work at Bethel Middle School and become life-long supporters of the arts in public schools across the state and country. Thank you for your support of the Bethel Bands.”

    Todd Sellers, Principal   
    Bethel Middle School
    Bryant School District

    Our Band Directors

    Gregory L. Gordey, Symphonic Band Director and Brass Specialist
    Sotonya L. Gordey, Concert Band Director and Woodwind Specialist
    Jessica R. Chipman, Concert Band Director and Woodwind Specialist
    Jay Chipman, Percusion Instructor
    Stewart Wright, Assistant Band Director

    Gregory L. Gordey is a graduate of Greenwood High School and earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University. Mr. Gordey completed a Masters degree in Secondary Music Education from the University of Arkansas and has several additional hours at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. After 9 ½ years in active duty Military Bands, Mr. Gordey has been in reserve status with the 95th Division Band in Oklahoma City until 2002 and is currently the 1SG of the 106th Army Band in Little Rock since.

    Mr. Gordey taught 8 years in Charleston, AR prior to moving to Bryant, and was the head of the band program in Bryant for 5 years prior to accepting the position at Bethel Middle School in 2006. Mr. Gordey serves as the 8th grade band director, assists both Concert bands and is the beginning band brass specialist. In addition to his work at Bethel Middle School, Gregory has served as the principal Euphonium for the Little Rock Wind Symphony for two years and is principal a Baritone player in the Natural State Brass Band for 3 years.

    Sotonya L. Gordey is a graduate of Van Buren High school and earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University. She earned a Masters in Secondary Education with an emphasis in music from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Mrs. Gordey taught one year at Keota, OK, four years at Hackett, AR and six years at Charleston, AR and was the adjunct flute instructor at Westark Community College for four years. Sotonya has taught in the Bryant School District since 2001 and currently directs the 7th grade Concert Band and Jazz Band at Bethel Middle School, assists with the 8th grade and is also one of the beginning woodwind specialist. Mrs. Gordey has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and also played with the Hurricane Creek Flute Ensemble.

    Mr. and Mrs. Gordey have seven children: Staci Culver, Heather Peters, Kaede Wilson, Justin Gordey, Juanonia Bea Faith Gordey, Gabriel Gordey and Will Gordey. They also have two grand-daughters, Autumn and Gerilyn Rose.

    Jay Chipman is currently the Percussion Instructor at Bethel Middle School and at Bryant High School. He will be teaching Beginning Percussion, Intermediate Percussion, assist the 9th grade band, primary conductor of the High School Symphonic band and Legacy Marching Percussion line. Jay Chipman is a graduate of Osceola High School and earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas State University. He then spent time recording and performing music in Nashville, Tennessee from 1999 to 2002. Mr. Chipman then began teaching as a percussion specialist in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He then spent one year at Hector, Arkansas as director of bands. In 2004, Mr. Chipman accepted a position as Assistant Band Director at Lakeside Schools in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After nine years with the Lakeside team, he was given the opportunity to work at Bryant High School as Assistant Band Director. Mr. Chipman also teaches 7th grade percussion at Bethel Middle School.

    Stewart Wright is a graduate of Arkadelphia High School and earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. He taught for 2 years at Rogers Jr. High in El Dorado, Arkansas and has been teaching in Bryant since 1986 where he conducts the 9th grade band, assists at both Middle Schools and assists with the High School Marching and Concert Bands. He has served as a clinician and judge throughout the state of Arkansas.

    Jessica J. Chipman is a graduate of Osceola High School and earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University in spring 2005. Mrs. Chipman immediately accepted a position with Lakeside Schools as the Middle School Band Director. In 2012, she became the Junior High Band Director at Lakeside. After 8 dedicated years, she became the 7th grade band director, beginning woodwind specialist and assistant to the other bands of Bethel Middle School.

    Mr. and Mrs. Chipman have three children: Hayden, Gracie and Ava.