Ed Downs is one of the co-founders of the Highland Youth Performance Ensembles. Over the past four decades, Ed has been involved in all aspects of the indoor and outdoor pageantry world- performer, instructor, designer, adjudicator and educator. Ed has collaborated with some of the finest designers and technicians in the country and with some of the top-ranked bands and indoor programs. He has designed and produced championship programs throughout the eastern United States and is often sought as a clinician and adjudicator for local and national events.
Ed graduated from Glassboro State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and earned his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration of School Administration from Rowan University. Mr. Downs has taught music at all grade levels in the public school system and is the Director of Bands at Camden Academy Charter HS. This is a position he has held since the school opened 17 years ago. The music program includes the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Academy Percussion Ensemble and Cougar Marching Band and Drill Team. Several of the school programs have been recognized locally and regionally for their excellence. The Symphonic Band and Academy Percussion Ensemble has been recognized for Superior Performance in both the Camden County and NJ State Arts 4 Teens Festivals.
Through Mr. Downs' vision and leadership, the Highland Youth Performance Ensembles has expanded from a single performance group supporting a high school marching band into four performance groups focusing on education in the performing arts for members ages 6 through 22. The performance groups have constantly finished among the top units in the state, regionally, and in WGI. CoMotion was with 2011 WGI Independent A Colorguard Silver Medalist, 6-time Tournament Indoor Association Atlantic Coast Champion. and 13-time TIA Region 1 Champion. HYPE JV has won 4 Atlantic Coast Championships and 5 Region I Championships. HYPE Cadets has received Superior Gold Medal Ratings in each Atlantic Coast Championship appearance. And the newest edition to the HYPE groups, InMOTION Wind Performance Company was the 2017 TIA Atlantic Coast Champion and WGI Eastern Regional Champion.