Director of Bands
Christopher Jones was appointed Director of Bands at Richland County High School of Olney, IL in 2016. He conducts the Symphonic Band, Honors Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, & the Marching Tigers. In addition to conducting, Mr. Jones teaches music theory, music history, & he provides in-class lessons to middle school band students.
He earned his Bachelor of Music and pursued a graduate degree in Instrumental Conducting at Eastern Illinois University. He has had the privilege of working with students of all ages throughout his career. He taught at Iroquois West CUSD and Virginia CUSD, in which he taught elementary music, bands through grades 5-12, high school choir, percussion ensemble, & several music electives. Mr. Jones has also served as adjunct faculty at Olney Central College.
Throughout his career as an educator, Mr. Jones had the honor of serving within the Illinois Army National Guard. He was the commander & conductor of the 144th Army Band, currently stationed in Chicago. He retired from the National Guard in 2017 with 23 years of service. During the course of his career, CW3 Jones (retired) was awarded two National Defense Medals, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, an Army Service Medal, & the Meritorious Service Medal.
Jay Vaal is the drumline instructor for the Marching Tigers at Richland County High School in Olney, IL. He helps the drumline prepare for parades, football games, competitions, special performances, fundraisers, and other various events. The drumline often performs at various events at RCHS as well events at Richland County Middle School, St. Joe School, and other venues throughout Richland County. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Vaal also assists the director and assistant director with various aspects of the marching band performance, such as the visual and general effects component of the marching show.
Mr. Vaal earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Indiana State University and his Masters of Education degree from Indiana Wesleyan University online program. He completed many continuing education credits through Indiana University Southeast. Mr. Vaal’s professional career started in Southern Indiana at an adult, male correctional facility, at which he taught inmates math, science, and English. Upon moving to Olney in 2005, he taught math at Robinson High School for 3 years, then was hired at Olney. He also taught for 2 years at Flora High School before returning to RCHS in Olney. In all his experiences, Mr. Vaal has had the privilege of teaching all levels of mathematics.
In addition to teaching math at RCHS, Mr. Vaal also teaches for the Trio Upward Bound program. This program meets after school for tutoring sessions and provides qualified students with additional help in all academic areas. Mr. Vaal also teaches for this program during the summer months of June and July. Courses taught during the summer include sophomore math, junior math, senior math, and Robotics.
Mr. Vaal enjoys teaching students in a variety of settings. Outside of the school environment, he is very committed to spending time with his family (Sarah, Sam, Claire) and making lasting memories. Some of his hobbies include being outdoors, woodworking, landscaping, golfing, card playing, and playing volleyball. With family, math, and music, Mr. Vaal has a life of opportunity, fulfillment, and pleasure.
Richland County High School Bands
Richland County CUSD #1
1200 E. Laurel St. Olney, IL 62450
Ph: (618) 393-2191 ext. 3153
Fx: (618) 395-1256
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