Neil Ruby is in his twentieth year as the Director of Bands and Fines Art Chairman at Central - Carroll High School, in Carrollton, Georgia, earning consistent superior ratings at concert, jazz and marching events. He is also the Fine Arts Liaison for the Carroll County School System. Mr. Ruby received a B.M. Degree in Music Education from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, and a M.M. Degree in Music Education from the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He is a frequent performer, adjudicator and clinician for events throughout the United States.
Mr. Ruby is a former Georgia Music Educators Association State Band Chair. He has served four terms as the GMEA District Seven Chairman and on the Music Selection Committee, Nominations Committee, Marching Band Committee, All-State Committee, and as a Mentoring Teacher for the State of Georgia. He is also a GMEA-Certified Head Adjudicator for the Large Group Performance Evaluations. Mr. Ruby has received the prestigious National Band Association Certificate of Merit for Music Excellence on three occasions. He is a 2012 Teacher of the Year recipient in Carroll County and was chosen as the STAR teacher of Central High School in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2010 and STAR Teacher for the Carroll County School System in 2004 and 2010. Mr. Ruby was also chosen as the Teacher of the Year by the Wal-Mart Foundation and the 2012 STAR 94 “Teachers Make a Difference” recipient as a Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Under his direction, the Central-Carroll Band Program has earned over 500 superior ratings, 200 class placement awards, and 41 Grand Championships in the past 20 years. The Central – Carroll High School Bands have received letters of commendations from both Governor Sonny Purdue and Governor Roy Barnes and two resolutions from the Georgia State House of Legislature. Mr. Ruby and the Central –Carroll Marching Pride have represented the State of Georgia on two occasions in the Tournament of Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Mr. Ruby is an active member of numerous professional organizations including: Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and American School Band Director’s Association. Mr. Ruby attends Midway Church in Villa Rica, Georgia.
Lanae Dickstein – Director of Bands Central Middle School
Lanae Dickstein is in her fourth year as the Director of Bands at Central Middle School and a proud alumna of Central-Carroll High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2014 and a master’s degree in wind band conducting in 2016 from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Since beginning her time at Central Middle School, Mrs. Dickstein has served as an organizer for the 2019 Carroll County Middle School Honor Band and the 2018 and 2019 Georgia Music Educator’s Association Middle School All State Band in Athens, GA. As a French horn player, she serves regularly as a guest instructor and freelance musician.
Mrs. Dickstein is a member of the Georgia Music Educator’s Association and the National Association for Music Education. She resides happily in Smyrna, GA with her husband Matt and daughter Evalyn.
Mr. Christian P. Videtto, Director of Percussion
Christian Videtto is the Director of Percussion for Central-Carroll high School Band Program. Mr. V as he’s known, is a native of Boynton Beach, FL. He is in his sixteenth year of teaching music with a focus in the percussive arts. Shortly after high school Mr. V enlisted in the United States Navy. During his enlistment, he served in various operational positions including, as an S.F. Operator with several Multinational Joint Taskforces for the 2003 Invasion of Baghdad, Operation Iraqi Freedom and later Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served as a special adviser to the Atlantic Fleet Command and played a key roll to help evaluate and institute new security force procedures for all post 9/11 security policies across the fleet. Mr. V attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA majoring in Music Education. He has taught throughout Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Florida receiving multiple superior ratings and high percussion awards in several national circuits in both Marching Band and Indoor Percussion arenas. He has written music for many middle schools, high schools, and colleges including the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. He has had the great honor of being involved with such groups as Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, The Virginia Symphony, and The Savannah River Winds. Mr. V is married to Mrs. Cynthia Videtto, Director of Bands at Bowdon Middle School in Bowdon, GA and has three children Anna(17), Michael(14), and Charlie(2). Mr. Videtto is a proud endorser of Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Sabian Cymbals, and is a member of the Education Team for D’Addario and Co. for Evans Drum Heads.
Lamar Clark - Director of Color Guard
Lamar Clark is the Colorguard Instructor for Central - Carroll High School. He comes to us with over 31 years of experience in the marching arts. In 1989 he graduated from Coosa High School where he was the Drum Major of the marching band. He then went on to become the Drum Major of the University of Georgia Redcoat Band. Growing up a dancer he finally got his first colorguard gig at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga. His reputation grew quickly and he started teaching all over the southeast United States. Taking last place guards and turning them into champions. Regrowing programs with 5 performers to over 60! He has a passion for helping kids be their best self on and off the field. Motivation thru positive encouragement is his motto. His winterguards have consistently placed in the top of their class earning them SAPA circuit medals and a WGI Regional Finalist.
Courtney Zhorela, Associate Director
Courtney Zhorela is in her second year as Associate Director of Bands at Central-Carroll High School and Central Middle School. She is an alumna of Kennesaw State University where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at Kennesaw State, Ms. Zhorela studied flute with Todd Skitch of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Zhorela performed as a member of the Kennesaw State University Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, “The Marching Owls,” and a number of small ensembles.
During her time at Kennesaw State, Ms. Zhorela was an inaugural member and piccolo section leader of the marching band. In addition, she was a founding member and served as President of the Iota Psi Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, National Band Service Sorority. Ms. Zhorela student taught at Hillgrove High School in Cobb County, GA and has enjoyed teaching marching band and flute sectionals with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, East Coweta High School, Alan C. Pope High School, and Barber Middle School.
Ms. Zhorela’s professional affiliations include Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, and the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Riley Mitchell - Instructor
Riley Mitchell is a 2018 graduate of Central-Carroll High School. She was a member of the Central-Carroll Marching Pride throughout her entire high school career. She served as grade representative her sophomore and junior year, Trumpet section leader her junior and Senior year, and Band Captain her senior year. She is in her third year instructing with the Marching Pride. Riley is currently pursuing a degree in music education at the University of West Georgia where she is a member of multiple ensembles.
James Gentry is a 2019 graduate of central high school. He was a member of the Marching Band for five years and Symphonic Band for 4 years, serving as Principal Chair his Senior year. He served as the Percussion Captain his senior year of high school. This will be his first year instructing with the Marching Pride. He plans to attend Life Uuniversity where his goal is to become a chiropractor.