Band Directors

Director of Bands

Dr. Carson Vermillion

Carson Vermillion serves as Director of Bands at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, TN. His duties include the direction of the Hilltopper Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Ensembles and the oversight of the operations of the Science Hill Band Department.

Dr. Vermillion holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Appalachian State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was a conducting student of Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo. Before joining the SHHS faculty, Dr. Vermillion served as Associate Director of Bands at Northern Arizona University.

Originally from Lenoir, NC, Dr. Vermillion enjoyed a successful career as a middle school and high school band director for several years. Under his direction, ensembles consistently received superior ratings at state and regional concert and marching festivals. Dr. Vermillion’s professional affiliations include the Tennessee Music Educators Association, East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, American School Band Director Association, Music Educators National Conference, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Kappa Kappa Psi.


Assistant Band Director

Mr. Seth Wallingford

Seth Wallingford serves as the Assistant Band Director at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, TN.  His duties include the direction of the Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles. Mr. Wallingford also assists with the Hilltopper Marching Band as well as the Indian Trail Middle School Band.

Mr. Wallingford holds a Bachelors of Music in Instrumental Music Education from Carson-Newman University and a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University. He has completed Orff-Schulwerk Certification through the University of Kentucky as well as Masters+ coursework through Vandercook College of Music.

Beginning his career as an Elementary Music Teacher, Mr. Wallingford had the privilege of serving students and families at Lincoln Elementary School in Kingsport, TN. It was there that he also had the honor of being named “Teacher of the Year.” Prior to his appointment at Science Hill, Mr. Wallingford served as the Band Director at Rose Park Middle School in Nashville, TN. Under his direction the Rose Park Band received superior ratings in concert performance and sight-reading at the regional Concert Performance Assessment. Now in his 10th year as a Music Educator, Mr. Wallingford is excited to be back in his hometown of Johnson City and is eager to help each student come to know just how loved, talented, and significant they truly are! GO TOPPERS!


Director of Percussion

Mr. Morgan Tao

Morgan Tao serves as the director of percussion at Science Hill High School. For several years, he was a freelance performer and teacher in several programs across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has a M.M. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he was a Teaching Assistant and taught the UT Steel Band. He holds a B.A. in Music Studies with a performance certificate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Tao has an extensive background in education and marching arts, having taught and given master classes all over the greater Austin area. He was a member of the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps from 2015-16. He has instructed many front ensembles including Travis High School, LBJ High School, McCallum High School, Alvin High School, and McNeil High School.

Mr. Tao has a passion for chamber music, both in teaching percussion ensembles and also performing. He is a founding member of the Cue Percussion Quartet, based in Knoxville, TN, as well as the Left/Right Percussion Quartet in Austin, TX.

In addition to his classical percussion background, Morgan has an eclectic passion for world music. He devoted the majority of a summer  to studying gyil, the West African xylophone, and West African drum and dance in Ghana. He has been a member of Austin Samba, the world’s largest samba school outside of Brazil, and currently is a member of Zabumba Asheville Samba in NC. He has also performed regularly with “The Pans of Texas”, and the Inside Out Community Steelband in Austin, TX.