Educator, conductor, clinician, and lecturer Alfred L. Watkins, retired band director at Lassiter High School, in Marietta, Georgia, enjoyed a storied 37-year career that surpassed even his “wildest dreams.” Hailing from the small-time of Jackson, Georgia, and an alumnus of Florida A & M University (FAMU), Watkins built an outstanding and multi-faceted high school band program of international stature. The program was anchored by outstanding concert bands, which provided strong backgrounds for a lifetime of excellence and artistic appreciation to his over 10,000 former students.
Ensembles under his baton are recognized for their sonorous sound, excellent intonation, impeccable precision, and meaningful musical interpretations. His bands have performed four times at the Midwest Clinic, National Band Association Convention, National Concert Band Festival, and GMEA. The Trojan Marching Band performed four times in the Tournament of Roses, three times in the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parades, and has been viewed on television by over 1.5 billion people. The Trojan Band was named Sweepstakes Winners in 103 of 110 competitions entered included being named the Bands of America Grand National Champions on two occasions.
Watkins is a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the FAMU Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, the Bands of America Hall of Fame, and the Phi Beta Mu Georgia Bandmasters Hall of Fame. He has received 16 Certificates of Excellence from the National Band Association and is the recipient of the Edwin Franko Goldman Award, Sudler Order of Merit, Legion of Honor Award, and the Turnkett Leadership Character Award. He holds the unique distinction of having led bands that received the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Flag of Honor, Sudler Shield, and Sudler Silver Scroll Awards.
Watkins is Co-founder, Musical Director, and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony, an award-winning all-adult community band based in Marietta. He is also Co-founder and President of the Minority Band Directors National Association. The $1.5 million Alfred L. Watkins Band Building at Lassiter bears his name. He and his wife, Rita live in Atlanta. They have two adult sons, Christopher and Jonathan.