A native of Powder Springs, Georgia, Doug Cowden has an extensive music background, both as a performer and director. From 1994-96, he performed with the UT-Chattanooga Marching Band and, in 1997, was honored to perform with the seven-time world champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois.
From 1997 through the present, Mr. Cowden has instructed at many Atlanta-area and Middle Georgia high schools. Among his experience are stints at McEachern, South Gwinnett, Shiloh, The Wesleyan School, Central (Macon) and Crisp County before becoming the founding director of both the Mercer University Pep Band and the Mercer University Marching Band in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Mr. Cowden then went on to become Chimera's founding director in 2014.
In 2001, Mr. Cowden instructed with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps and in 2018, returned to Rosemont to serve as Assistant Tour Manager for the Cavaliers.
He has also been privileged to have studied under and worked with some of the country’s foremost music instructors, including Anthony J. D'Andrea, Peter Temko, Tim Salzman, Mike Warney, Jeff Fiedler, Freddy Martin, Ken Bodiford, Michael Martin, and Kevin Leboeuf.
Mr. Cowden is a 1994 graduate of McEachern High School. After attending UTC, He earned his degree from Kennesaw State University in 2004.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHER / DESIGNER
Mr. Smith, a co-founder of Chimera, enters his 5th year as lead designer. He is an innovative designer and choreographer that continues to push the envelope in creativity and is instrumental in developing talent here in Middle Georgia.
He attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he performed on Tuba as well as in the colorguard. In 1998, Mr. Smith performed with the 7-time World Champion Cavaliers Drum & Bugle corps where he was awarded the Spirit of Disney Award for assisting in saving the life of a young child. He also performed with the word class Chimeras Winterguard in Nashville, Tn. from 2003-2004
He returned to UTC where he became the head designer and instructor for 10 years before bringing his talents to Middle Georgia as Head Choreographer and designer for Chimera.
Since then, Mr. Smith had set the standard for innovation and creativity in the region, leading Chimera to 2 circuit championships and a silver medal in 3 years of competition.
INSTRUCTOR / ASSISTANT DESIGNER
Miss Hailey Thomas returns for her 5th season with Chimera as instructor and assistant designer. For the 2020 season however, Hailey is teaching part time as she is hurriedly preparing for her December wedding to her fiance, Hunter Stringer.
Prior to joining the Chimera instructional staff, she performed as a founding member of Chimera and also served as captain.
After exhausting her eligibility, she went on to lead the award winning colorguards at Howard and Lee County High Schools.
Miss Thomas is a 2015 graduate of Mercer University, where she earned a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and then followed up that success by graduating from Middle Georgia State University in 2018 with a Nursing degree.
She is a native of Mansfield, Ga. and when she isn't teaching with Chimera she works as a labor and delivery nurse in Macon.
WEAPONS / FLAG TECHNICIAN
Miss Brianna Monroe brings her considerable talents to the Chimera staff in 2020 as a part time instructor focusing on weapon and flag technique. Prior to joining the Chimera instructional staff, she performed as a 4-year member of Chimera, winning two gold medals in the process, and also served as captain her last two years. She also marched with Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps where she performed on the flag and weapon lines and served as captain her final year.
She is currently serving as the head Colorguard Instructor for the Jones County High School Marching Greyhounds in Gray, Ga., which is her alma mater.
She is a native of Gray Ga. and is earning her degree in Early Childhood Education from Central Georgia Technical College. She is engaged to David Holland and busily planning her wedding later this year.