Mr. Willie Armstead
A native Memphian, Armstead had natural ability as a musician. Mr. Armstead attended Sherwood Middle School and the award winning Westwood High School. At Westwood, Armstead participated in the Concert and Marching Bands and was the percussion section leader. At Westwood he was a part of Marching Bands that marched in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City as well as the equally prestigious Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA. He also was a part of the band that performed on the Late Show with David Letterman.
After graduating from Westwood High with honors, Armstead received several band scholarships. He accepted one of those and attended The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). He then accepted a full band scholarship and transferred to Jackson State University (JSU) in Jackson, MS in 2001. At JSU, Willie participated in the Marching Band, known as the Sonic Boom of the South, the Percussion Ensemble, and the Wind Ensemble. Willie was a part of the drum section feature in the NCAA hall of champions. He performed with the Sonic Boom of the South at the nationally televised NAACP Image Awards which aired on Fox as well as the Emmy winning documentary “Dog Days.” Willie was also named section leader of JSU’s drum line known as War and Thunder. At JSU, Willie was instrumental in the writing of several cadences that are still being used to this day.
Mr. Armstead is a highly sought after instructor, composer, and arranger of percussion music throughout the mid-south.