A Neshoba County native has returned home from Texas to help direct the Philadelphia High School Band.

Sidney Hamilton, a 1978 graduate of Neshoba Central High School, is the new associate director of the "Pride of Philadelphia" band.

He is returning home after living in Angelton, Texas, for a number of years.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the children in Philadelphia Public School System," said Hamilton. "I appreciate Dr. [Terry] Larabee and Mr. [Jason] Gentry giving me an opportunity to become a part of Philadelphia Schools."

Hamilton served in both band and administration positions in Texas.

After graduating from NCHS, he attended East Central Junior College and Mississippi State University, graduating in 1984. He also served as a graduate assistant during his time at MSU.

After completing graduate school, Hamilton decided to follow MSU Director of Bands James Hejl to Texas.

"I wanted to work for Hejl," he said. "He didn't have a position at the time at Angleton, but he got me on at LaMarque Independent School District."

He eventually joined Hejl's staff at Angleton High School.

After his stint there, Hamilton and he and his wife thought it was time to come home.

"We put our service years in at Texas and we wanted to come back and work in Mississippi," he said.

Hamilton said he was proud to be able to work with a fine band program as Philadelphia and is glad to work alongside associate director Wayne Benn.

"Mr. Benn knows the program," he said. " He's been active in Mississippi. Mr. Benn is being a great mentoring type person to help me get to know the place."

Hamilton said the students at Philadelphia have been great.

"Mississippi kids are some the sweetest, politest and hardworking kids," he said. "I told them I want them to continue to be polite and courteous."