Nicholas W. Blackwood - Director of Bands

Nicholas Blackwood is a music educator with 8 years of experience within CMS. Mr. Blackwood taught general music at Rama Road Elementary, and assisted band directors at middle and high schools through his time there. Most prominently, he was a percussion instructor and technology specialist at Providence High School for the “Pride of Providence” Marching Band. He also taught the Providence after-school Jazz Band for several years. 


Mr. Blackwood has over 10 years of professional performance experience ranging from performing with large Concert Bands and Orchestras to smaller venues like churches and museums. He sings with his wife at Providence United Methodist Church for their traditional service and also plays drum set and handles sound design for their contemporary services.

Ava Frankel - Color Guard Coordinator

Ava Frankel is the Color Guard Coordinator at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC.  Having worked with the program as a technician for both fall and winter seasons since 2017, she took on the lead role in 2019.  As a performer, she has been a member of DCI World Class Finalist Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps since the summer of 2017.  Additionally, she has performed as a member of WGI World Class finalist Etude Winter Guard since the winter of 2018.  Ava is a graduate of Green Hope High School in Cary, NC, where she was a member of both their Marching Band and Varsity Winter Guards and was a member of their student leadership team for three years.  As a senior, she was awarded the WGI scholarship for the A class.  As a student at Green Hope, she served as a choreographer and instructor for their junior guard.  Currently, Ava is a student at UNC-Charlotte majoring in social work with plans to seek a doctorate in physical therapy.  She enjoys volunteering in inclusive classrooms, providing one-on-one support for children with autism. 


Will Keith - Percussion Studio Instructor

Will Keith is a freelance percussionist and educator from Rock Hill, SC. In addition to his work with Providence, he is also an adjunct professor of percussion at Winthrop University. An active performer, he has a long association with the Carolinas Wind Orchestra and is a founding member of the chamber ensemble Percussionism. Will is a former member of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and has previously instructed the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Rock Hill High School, South Pointe High School, and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education at the University of Kentucky, and a Masters of Music from Winthrop University.