An exceptional educational festival for your music students in Atlanta!

Festival Staff

Bucky Johnson - Festival Director

Festival Director

Bucky Johnson is Director of Bands - Emeritus at Georgia Tech where he served for 20 years and was the Music Department Chair for 10 years. He also was a high school Band Director for ten years prior to Tech. He founded and served as the Director of the 300 member Atlanta Olympic Band from 1992-1996. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, which named him as Band Director of the Year in 2002 and to the Georgia Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2018. Bucky was the Mayor of Norcross, Georgia for 10 years and was awarded the title of Mayor Emeritus in 2019. Bucky and Janet created the Southern Star Music Festival in 1993.

Janet M. Johnson - Festival Director and Choral Division Chair

Festival Director & Choral Division Chair

Janet M. Johnson is a conductor, clinician, adjudicator and in-service instructor throughout the southeast. She has conducted All-State, Honor and District Choruses as well as presenting sessions for GMEA, ACDA, and SMENC. She taught high school choral music for six years and college choral methods for four years. Janet worked in church music for over 20 years and served as a clinician for national church music camps. She has sung in the Altanta Symphony Chorus for over 25 years.

Dennis Naughton - Instrumental Director and Festival Assistant

Dennis Naughton – Instrumental Director and Festival Assistant

Dennis has been working with the Southern Star Music Festival since 2002. In 2020, he retired from teaching after 30 years and now serves as a clinician and adjudicator around the southeastern US. He began his teaching career in 1990 at East Coweta High School and has served as Director of Bands at Riverwood High School, North Springs High School and Flowery Branch High School. His bands have performed at the University of Alabama Honor Band Clinic, University of Georgia High School Band Festival, Music for All Southeastern Regional Band Clinic and the Kennesaw State University Concert Band Festival. He has received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence 5 times, been the 2012 Teacher of the Year and the 2016 STAR Teacher. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.

Manny Johnson – Marketing Director and Festival Assistant

Manny Johnson – Marketing Director and Festival Assistant

As an entrepreneur, or more affectionately know as Branding Daddy, Manny with his spouse Sheena McFeely, kick started The Pearls, ASL Nook, and the Shay & Ivy's Children's Book to name a few. The entrepreneurial spirit came from his parents, Bucky and Janet, and working with the Southern Star Music Festival for over 20 years. Manny brings 15+ years of experience in Marketing and Customer Service. He attended the University of Georgia, then transferred to California State University Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Marketing.

Wes Johnson – Operations Director and Festival Assistant

Wes Johnson – Operations Director and Festival Assistant

While attending Georgia Perimeter College, his passion was ignited for learning and sharing what he learned and he decided to become a teacher. Wes obtained an Associate's degree in English from Georgia Perimeter College and a Bachelor's in Secondary English Education from Kennesaw State University. He just completed his tenth year as a Language Arts educator in the Gwinnett County Public School system, serving as a high school teacher for six years and a middle school teacher for four years. When possible, Wes has worked alongside his brother, Manny, and his parents, Bucky and Janet, at Southern Star Music Festival for the past fifteen years. He attended numerous choral and band concerts throughout his life and is a recreational drummer. He thoroughly enjoys working with students and teachers, whatever the occasion. 


2024 Southern Star Music Festival
March 15th and 16th 2024 April 19th and 20th 2024
March 22nd and 23rd 2024 April 26th and 27th 2024
April 5th and 6th 2024 May 3rd and 4th 2024
April 12th and 13th 2024
Holiday in the Park 2020 for Choral
December 5th 2020
December 12th 2020

© Copyright 2024.
All Rights Reserved.

Southern Star Music Festival
3473 Clement Trail, Duluth, GA 30096