Heather Holmes

is in her 23rd year of teaching and serves as Director of Bands at Oak Mountain Middle School in Birmingham, AL. The OMMS Band program is the largest band program in Shelby County and has approximately 330 students. The bands consistently perform at a high level and receive regular superior ratings. During the school day, Mrs. Holmes teaches three Beginner Band classes, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Advanced Band.

Mrs. Holmes received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Alabama. She achieved National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music in December 2022. Mrs. Holmes is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership at the University of Montevallo. Prior to her appointment at Oak Mountain Middle School, she served as the band director at her alma mater, Brooks High School, for five years.

Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Holmes serves as Recording Secretary for the Alabama Music Educators Association and Secretary for the Shelby County Band Directors Association. She is a member of the OMMS School Leadership Team and was named Oak Mountain Middle School’s Teacher of the Year in 2016. Mrs. Holmes is active as a guest clinician and conductor for middle school bands throughout the region.

Her professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, American School Band Directors Association, Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama Bandmasters Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Holmes sings with the First Baptist Pelham Church Choir and helps direct the Children’s Choir. She resides in Birmingham with her husband, Jason, and their two children, Ella and William.

Mr. Chanse Nelson has been working with the bands of Oak Mountain since 2014. He began his work with the Spirit of Cahaba Marching Band and then was brought on as the percussion specialist at Oak Mountain Middle School in 2016. In addition to the OMHS and OMMS, Mr. Nelson has served as the percussion specialist at Thompson Middle School, Leeds Middle School, and Helena High School. He also holds a private studio of approximately 20 students who compete at the highest levels in the state.

Mr. Nelson received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance and is currently in the final stages of completing his Master of Music Education Degree, both from Samford University. While studying at Samford he held the principal chairs in both the Samford University Wind Ensemble and Samford Orchestra. He also participated with the Samford University Marching Band for 2 years where he held the position of Drum Captain.

When not teaching Mr. Nelson can often be found gigging in the greater Birmingham area. He has played for artists such as the Celtic Women, The Temptations, Bo Bice, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Yolanda Adams. He also often plays percussion and bass guitar at Meadowbrook Baptist Church.

Mr. Nelson is a member of NAfME, the Percussive Arts Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda.