New year, new director


Anna-Lisse Lenard, Reporter

Michigan City High School is changing for the better in more ways than one, and this year, the music department is getting a lift from the addition of the new band director: Frank Gast.

Gast has been working with bands for 13 years. “I have taught in both Arizona and Indiana, teaching Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Concert Band, Mariachi Band, and everything in between,” he stated. “I have taught award-winning programs and have taken groups all over the country.” He was last in Kouts where he turned a small band into a larger, much more successful one.

Not only has he had much experience with teaching music, but he has a way of knowing what level bands are at and how to take them further. Gast’s teaching consists of much patience, kindness, and a charisma that encourages students to want to learn. Lauren Goolsby, student and color guard member said, “I really like our new director. He is very organized and makes sure we are always prepared and ready to strive to be our best.”

He has been interested in music since he had instructors himself. Gast explained, “Growing up I had excellent experiences and tremendous band directors as my role models. I really wanted to share this with students of my own. Music is a passion.”

Gast wants to pass on the passion from his past directors and he has done just that. “He has done a good job so far and the students have accepted him well,” said Asim Hoskins, member of drumline. “Mr. Gast is a cool guy and I look forward to continue working with him.”

The director’s job consists of running the whole band department. He has just finished out a successful marching season, will begin pep band and jazz band soon, work individually with students for upcoming ISSMA solos, and teaches all levels of band class. On top of it all, he has worked to repair and replace many of the school’s instruments and cleaned the band room from top to bottom.

Although it is only the beginning of the year, Gast already likes it here at the high school and has become well acclimated.
When asked about his students, he said, “I have enjoyed the acceptance of the students so far and the ‘want to’ they have shown to be successful. Growing up not too far from here, I have always enjoyed the Michigan City community. I enjoy teaching in a larger program where I feel I can make an impact.”

Gast has big plans for the MCHS Band Department and the music and people skills to accomplish this.  “I want to see our band program flourish in all areas of music. I want to be able to share life-long memories and positive experiences through our program. The sky is the limit in what I think we can accomplish together,” he explained. “I have no plans on leaving MCHS any time in the near future. I already feel at home.”

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