Alfred L. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony (1999), an all-adult community band formed in Marietta, GA. In 2013, he concluded his 37-year career as a high school band director, serving as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia for 31 years and at Murphy High School for six years. Mr. Watkins is a 1976 cum laude graduate of Florida A & M University. Concert bands under Watkins’ direction have performed at the Midwest Band Clinic five times, at the MFA National Festival six times and 30 concert performances at state, regional and other national conferences. The Lassiter Percussion
Ensemble has also performed twice at the Midwest Clinic and once at PASIC and the Lassiter Winter Color Guard was named a two-time WGI World Champions.
The Lassiter Marching Band was the 1998 and 2002 Bands of America Grand National Champions and has won nine BOA Regional Championships. Under Watkins’ leadership, the marching band also participated in the Tournament of Roses Parades four times and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on three occasions.
The band program at Lassiter has received both the Sudler Flag of Honor for outstanding high school concert bands and the Sudler Shield for outstanding high school marching band. Combined with the Cobb Wind Symphony receiving the Sudler Silver Scroll Award for
outstanding community bands, Mr. Watkins is one of the few conductors to hold three Sudler Awards simultaneously. He has conducted bands in 38 states, including guest conducting 23 All- State High School Bands. In 1987, he was the founder of the Symphonic Band Camp, an intense 3-day weekend designed to simulate symphonic and chamber music in the local school. He is also a Co-Founder of the Minority Band Directors National Association (2011).
Mr. Watkins has been selected as a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the Florida A & M University Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, the Bands of America Hall of Fame and is the 2021-2022 Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster of the Year. Watkins has received ASBDA Edwin Franko Goldman Award, was a recipient with the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor, is a Midwest Legend and has received the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award. He has served as the Guest Conductor of the World Youth Wind Symphony at the Interlochen Arts Camp and has served as co-conductor of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” on the West Lawn at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.