The Directors

Director of Bands

kenneth ruffKenneth Ruff is the director of university bands at North Carolina A&T State University. His band duties include directing the Marching Band, the Symphonic bands, the Concert, and Pep bands. He creates the drill designs for the marching band and is responsible for the organization and planning of the band program.

Ruff holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from North Carolina A&T. He also holds a master’s degree in music education, a specialist degree in education, and a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Prior to becoming the director of university bands at North Carolina A&T, Ruff served as an assistant principal at Eastern Guilford High School in the Guilford County School System. He also served as an assistant director of bands for North Carolina A&T on a part-time basis. Ruff served as director of bands at Eastern Guilford High School and McLeansville Middle School and an associate director of bands at John Motley Morehead High School and Holmes Middle School in Eden, North Carolina.

Ruff is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Fraternity of Music, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority.

Assistant Director of Bands

thomas g. warner juniorThomas G. Warner Jr. serves as assistant director of bands where his primary duties include facilitating aspects of the band related to wind band pedagogy, teaching courses in the Music Department of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and assist the director of bands with all aspects of the university band program which includes reporting within the Division of Student Affairs, Visual and Performing Arts, and the music program. His other duties include composing, arranging and teaching music, conducting music rehearsals with a primary focus on the university marching band, wind ensemble, trumpet choir, brass choir, and pep band. He also assists with student recruitment and consistent communication and implementation of band logistics and national music education standards.

He is a native of Atlanta and a product of Atlanta Public Schools. He is a graduate of Morris Brown College in Atlanta where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in music education. He is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Music in Tallahassee, Florida where he earned a master’s degree in music education. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mr. Warner has been trained classically on trumpet by Phil Elkins, former trumpeter for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, now co-principal trumpeter for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and has also studied under Scotty Barnhart of The Count Basie Jazz Orchestra.

He has been an adjudicator, clinician and musical arranger for surrounding metro Atlanta schools, the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Warner has served as a music educator in metro Atlanta and surrounding school districts. He has served as an assistant band director at South Carolina State University, assistant director of university bands, interim and director of bands at Clark Atlanta University.

His professional affiliations include the Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Band Directors' Consortium where he serves as president of the organization. He has also served as one of the convention coordinators and facilitators and served as an adjudicator and director of the trumpet choir and guest conductor of the All-Star Concert Band in 2015. He is a member of the College Band Director’s National Association, the Minority Band Directors National Association, the International Trumpet Guild, National Association for Music Educators and has served a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the Metro Atlanta Community Band. Other professional memberships include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Fraternity of America Inc., Prince Hall Masonry, John L. Martin Consistory 367A and Al-Karim Temple No. 242 of Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

Assistant Director of Bands

doctor lamon lawhornDr. Lamon Lawhorn is an assistant director of bands at North Carolina A&T State University. His duties within the university band program include the coordination of all aspects of the university band percussion ensembles in rehearsals and field instructions, including drumline, percussion ensembles, and symphonic band. In addition, Dr. Lawhorn teaches courses within the department of music.

Mr. Lawhorn, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, received his Bachelor of Music in music education from Prairie View A&M University, Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of Mississippi and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in percussion performance.

Dr. Lawhorn has performed in various orchestral venues including principal percussionist for the L-O-U Symphony Orchestra, Corinth Symphony Orchestra, and Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, served as artist in residence at the FWISD Creative and Performing Arts Summer Music Camp, and performed in various theatre productions. In addition to his orchestral experience, Dr. Lawhorn has performed with recording artist Matt Magill, “Howlin’ Madd” Bill Perry, The Damnwells, and Colandra McDowell, and toured with the Inner City All-Stars Brass Band and the George Tisdale Band as a drum set artist.

Active within the Percussive Arts Society, Dr. Lawhorn serves as a member of the drum set committee. An avid promoter of educational instruction, Dr. Lawhorn has conducted clinics across North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia and is a sought-after adjudicator in marching and ensemble performances.

Dr. Lawhorn is an endorsee of Beato Bags, Remo Drumheads and Vic Firth Sticks and a member of the Vic Firth Collegiate Educator Team. He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc., and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.