About our Directors

Mike Back, Director

Mike Back has been at Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia since 1985, where he serves as the Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chair. Prior to his appointment as Director of Bands, Mr. Back served as the assistant director at Walton for thirteen years. Before coming to Walton, Mike was the percussion coordinator and arranger for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. As a native of Alexandria, Kentucky, Mike attended Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 1981.

Under Mr. Back’s leadership, the band program at Walton has 285 students performing in four concert bands, marching band, two jazz bands, full orchestra and winter guard. The band has received national recognition through performances at Bands of America Regional and Grand National competitions. The band has also marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and is a two-time participant in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. In 2010, the John Philip Sousa Foundation presented the Walton Band with the prestigious Sudler Shield, an international award recognizing marching bands of world class excellence.

Mr. Back is a member of the National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, the Percussive Arts Society, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He also served on the staff of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Marching Band that performed in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Mr. Back has served as a clinician, judge and consultant throughout the United States and is an educational artist for Innovative Percussion. He lives in Marietta, Georgia with his wife Andrea, and their two children, Katie and Connor.

Jeff Pollock, Assistant Director

Jeffrey Pollock was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. Upon graduation from Albany High School in 1988, Mr. Pollock attended the University of Georgia. While at UGA, Mr. Pollock pursued a degree in Music Education, and was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. His trumpet studies include applied lessons and masterclasses with Albert F. Ligotti, formerly of the New York Philharmonic, Edward P. Sandor, and Phil Clark of the Kansas City Symphony. Mr. Pollock’s conducting studies were under Dr. John N. Culvahouse, Jr., Dr. Thomas Joiner, and Dr. H. Dwight Satterwhite. He also served as student conductor of the University’s Trumpet Ensemble and Concert Band. Mr. Pollock holds the degrees Bachelor of Music in Music Education (UGA, 1993), Master of Music in Music Education (Georgia State University, 2001), and Education Specialist (UGA, 2009).

The 2011-2012 school year marked the beginning of his 19th year of teaching, with 12 years completed at Walton.  Previous to his appointment as Assistant Band Director at Walton High School, Mr. Pollock served four years as Assistant Band Director at Dickerson Middle School. Before coming to Cobb County, Mr. Pollock taught in the Winder-Barrow School System and the Bacon County School System.

Mr. Pollock’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, National Band Association, International Trumpet Guild, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Fraternity, and Professional Association of Georgia Educators. His hobbies include scuba diving, hiking, and relaxing with his very spoiled beagle, Herschel.