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MS Band: Preparing for Fall 2021

A picture of our middle school band directorsA welcome message from your Middle School Band directors: 

"Let us be the first to say "hello", and welcome to middle school in Garland ISD! We are excited to meet our newest middle school students and parents. We know that this stage of life can be challenging for many and we are here
to make your transition into middle school as seamless as possible.

Joining our Band family will look a little different during this time of social distancing. We have provided information below that will inform you of everything you need to know to get started."

Want to know more about our programs? See the Band section on our music page.


Our bands are made up of a combination of Brass, Woodwind and Percussion instruments. Players choose their instruments based on personal affinity, cost and preference. Learn more about them below:


Woodwind instruments are played by blown air, causing a reed to vibrate.


fluteThe flute is a beautiful and popular instrument. Unlike the other woodwind instruments, sound is produced by blowing air across a tone hole much like blowing across the opening of a glass soda bottle. Students with certain lip shapes may find it easy or difficult to make a sound on the flute.


oboeThe oboe is a double reed instrument, played by blowing through two reeds that have been tied together. Independent learners do well on the oboe since there are only one or two oboe players per band. The oboe is GISD provided, but families must purchase reeds that will need to be replaced every 1-2 months.


bassoonThe bass counterpart of the oboe, the bassoon is also a double reed instrument. Independent learners do well on the bassoon since there are only one or two bassoon players per band. The bassoon is GISD provided, but families must purchase reeds that will need to be replaced every 1-2 months.


clarinetThe clarinet is a good choice for most students and liked by many students because of its pretty, mellow sound. Students must be able to cover holes with their fingers similar to the recorder. Many students know about the clarinet because of Squidward, although they will sound much better than him once they learn to play.


saxophoneAlthough it is made of brass, the saxophone is considered a woodwind instrument because it is played with a single reed like the clarinet. Because of its use in jazz and 80s pop music, the saxophone is one of the most popular band instruments. It is also the most expensive instrument that GISD does not provide.


Brass instruments are played by blowing through the lips, causing them to vibrate.


trumpetThe trumpet can play many styles of music including jazz, pop, mariachi, and classical. Made popular by the bugle calls used to announce races or military maneuvers, the trumpet is a popular choice amongst many students. Students with certain lip shapes may find it easy or difficult to make a sound on the trumpet.

Horn (or French Horn)

french hornOften called a French Horn, many students are attracted to the horn through movies like “The Avengers” and “Star Wars,” in which the horn is prominently featured. Because it can produce a wide range of tones, the horn requires a good ear. Good singers often make good horn players. The horn is provided by GISD.


tromboneLike the trumpet, the trombone is a very versatile instrument that is found in many styles of music. Because of its long slide, the trombone can make unique sounds often heard in movies and cartoons. This makes the trombone a popular choice for many students. When played well, it is the strongest sounding instrument.

Euphonium and Tuba

tubaThe tuba is a good choice for active students because it is the main bass instrument of the band and gets to play almost all of the time. Tuba players are issued a second instrument to keep at home as a practice instrument. The euphonium has a similar range and feel as the trombone but has valves like the trumpet and is smaller than the tuba. Both instruments are provided by GISD.


Percussion instruments are instruments that are played by shaking or hitting. 


snare drumPercussionists learn to play all of the percussion instruments, not just the drums. The ability to keep a steady beat is a must. We have 10-12 spots available for the 40-50 students that are interested.

Students wishing to be selected for our percussion class will be required to come to a separate percussion night. A secondary or first choice instrument will be selected at the instrument drive in case a student is not selected to play percussion. More information will be provided at the instrument drive.

Band Program

The Garland ISD offers a comprehensive program of band instruction for grades 6-12. Most instruction is during the regular school day, enabling our student musicians to also fully participate in other activities including athletics, cheerleading, drill team, clubs, and student government. The band program includes a broad spectrum of activities and is designed to grow with and continue to challenge the student musician.

Beginning Band

Band instruction is first offered in the sixth grade. During the first year, students study tone production, fingering, rhythm, instrument care, and basic musical terms. Performance skills on simple melodies are developed and students are given several opportunities to perform in concerts and local band contests. Students are scheduled into “like-instrument” classes rather than a full band. The small class allows for more individual attention from the teachers. Limiting the class to one or just a few similar instruments is an efficient teaching method that accelerates the learning process. Participating in an optional private lesson program can further accelerate and enhance learning. While 6th grade is the ideal time to begin band instruction, enrollment in Beginning Band is open to all interested middle school students. However, students are encouraged to join in the sixth grade in order to begin instruction with their grade level peers.

Concert Band

After the initial year, students are assigned to one of three performing concert bands (Honors, Symphonic, and Concert) based on their mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Further musical study in a concert band continues through high school and satisfies the state fine arts requirement for high school graduation. All of the instruments of the band will now be present in class, enabling students to focus on improving their ensemble skills while working collaboratively with their classmates. In addition to further development of individual and ensemble musical skills, these bands offer a variety of performance opportunities including concerts, pep rallies, football games, and UIL contests.

Pep Band

Pep Band is a pre-marching band experience for middle school bands. Students will typically perform at two or three middle school football games, pep rallies, and the very exciting GISD Festival of Bands held annually at Homer B. Johnson Stadium. The band members add to the spirit of these events by performing their music in the stands.

Jazz Band

Depending on the level of student interest, middle school bands may offer an exploratory jazz band experience. This is also offered as an elective choice in high school. Students are taught to improvise solos and play all styles of popular music.

Marching Band

Our award-winning high school marching bands perform at football games, parades, and band competitions at the region, area, and state level. Participation provides many leadership opportunities and may satisfy physical education requirements for graduation.

Guard & Winter Guard

Guard is an auxiliary unit of the marching band and performs at all marching band events. Its purpose is to enhance the performance through visual interpretation of the music. Guard units may also compete independently during the winter months.

Award & Recognition

Students are also encouraged to perform as individuals in Solo & Ensemble Competitions throughout middle and high school. Students also have the opportunity to audition for a position in the GISD Middle School All-District Band. Each November, judges select the top students to perform with the All-District band in January. Band students in grades 7-12 also have the opportunity to do a similar audition at the Region level. In high school, these top performers at the region level may earn a place in the TMEA All-State Band. A number of college scholarships are awarded to GISD’s student musicians every year.

Joining our programs

Orchestra programs are available at four of our middle school campuses. To sign up, please contact your child's school band director to begin the process.

Band directors

screenshot of band directors on Zoom call.

Austin Academy

Mrs. Margaret Wis   Austin middle school band directors                                                    
Google Voice: (903) 502-4071 (call or text)

Mr. Alex Harrison
Google Voice: (903) 600-1074 (call or text)

Twitter: @aae_band 

Austin band page


Classical Center of Brandenburg

Mr. Jim Palmer
jwpalmer@garlandisd.netBrandenburg band directors
(972) 926-2630, ext. 51207

Mr. Jonathan Martinez

Mr. Joshua Gonzalez

Twitter: @ccbms_band
Facebook: BrandenburgBand

Brandenburg band page

Bussey Middle School

Mr. Miguel Morales  Bussey middle school band directors
Google Voice: (903) 502-4342 (call or text)   

Mr. David Cantera

Google Voice: (903) 600-1015 (call or text)  

Twitter: @OwletBand 

Bussey arts page

Coyle Middle School

Ms. Daniela Aguillon Coyle middle school band directors

Mrs. Heather McHenry

Google Voice: (872) 267-2263 (CMS-Band)

Coyle band preliminary instrument selection  
Sign up for instrument selection 

Twitter: @coyle_band 
Facebook: CoyleMSBand 

Coyle arts page

Hudson Middle School

Mrs. Heather Becker Hudson middle school band directors

Mr. Dan Urban

Google Voice: (903) 420-0938 (call or text)

Hudson band preliminary instrument selection
Sign up for instrument selection  

Twitter: @hudsonhawkband 
Facebook: HudsonMSBand 
Instagram: Hudsonhawkband

Hudson band page

Jackson Middle School

Mr. Michael BeasleyJackson middle school band directors

Google Voice: (903) 502-4079 (call or text) 

Jackson arts page

Lyles Middle School

Mr. Cameron Green Lyles middle school band directors

Mr. Shaun Gray

Google Voice: 903-600-0334 (call or text) 

Lyles band page

O'Banion Middle School

Mr. Jayson Burscough Obanion middle school band directors

Mrs. Amy Whitaker

Google Voice: (903) 502-3031 (call or text)

O'Banion band preliminary instrument selection
Sign up for instrument selection  

Twitter: @omsbisonband 
Facebook: OBanion Bison Band 

O'Banion band page

Sam Houston Middle School

Mr. Daniel Najera Sam Houston middle school band directors

Google Voice: (903) 600-0156 (call or text)

Ms. Anissa Macias

Twitter: @shmscoltband1
Instagram: shmscoltband 

Houston arts page

Schrade Middle School

Mr. Kevin Rainey Schrade middle school band directors

Mr. Dino Antonuccio

Phone: (972) 463-8790, ext. 52423

Schrade arts page

Schrade band preliminary instrument selection 

Sellers Middle School

Mr. John Knagg Sellers middle school band directors

Mr. Gary Burch

(972) 494-3337, ext. 51416

Sellers band preliminary instrument selection 
Sign up for instrument selection 

Twitter: @SellersMSBand 

Sellers band page

Webb Middle School

Mrs. Jennifer Harper Webb middle school band director

(972) 675-3080 Ext: 51624

All incoming 6th graders and parents, please view the Webb Band newsletter for more details about joining band.    

Webb arts page