Some of you may have already heard, but I wanted to break the news to the whole band family now that things are official.
Mr. Garica had the opportunity to work much closer to home, and work with his longtime colleague Mr. Kanicki, and took that opportunity.
Mr. Garcia, in the short time that we’ve known each other, we really hit it off. He’s a terrific teacher, talented music arranger, master pedagog, and I was really looking forward to working and learning from him throughout this year. Here’s some parting words Mr. Garcia wanted to say to everyone:
Dear students, family, and friends of the Summit Band,
It has been an amazing seven years here at Summit High School. An opportunity to continue my teaching career for another district has become available, and I have agreed to continue my role as an assistant band director at a new school.
This was not an easy decision and after much debate and discussion, I decided this move would align best with my future endeavors. I apologize that I could not tell all of you in person, but the timing of this opportunity unfortunately did not allow for that to happen.
I am extremely proud to look back over the past several years and see all the great progress we have made together. I only see great things for the program in the future. The groundwork for success has been laid and all it takes is each one of you to push forward with hard work, determination, and a great attitude. It has been a pleasure to have been a part of this community and program. It has also been an honor to teach all of you as well as work with such supportive parents, staff, administration, and booster organization. I wish everyone the best and hope to keep in contact with everyone as we head into the future.
I know the carries a lot of weight in our community, and I understand how difficult this is to process for many of us – a full staff turnaround at a high performing high school band program is a tough pill to swallow. I also understand all the thoughts that could be going through everyone’s heads – What now? What next? Is it worth it? Should I continue in band? I want to let you know that all the feelings you have right now are valid and justified because a change this big is a shock.
As a professional band nerd, we all do band for different reasons. Some of us may do band for other people, but I think deep down – we do band for ourselves. Sure, our friends are there and that’s what makes band more enjoyable, but that’s not really WHY we do band. I think we do band to be a better version of ourselves; to work as a team towards something greater than ourselves; to work on a project that has prolonged gratification in a world of instant gratification; to gain the skills and attributes that set us apart from other people that don’t do band; in essence, to be better humans. Why do music degrees have the highest percentage of acceptance rates to get into medical schools and law schools? Because they know what a band kid can do and what it takes to be a successful band student. There are countless skills we gain from being a part of the band that so many people don’t have the opportunity to get.
As shocking as these changes may be, I want to let everyone know that I will work tenaciously to ensure that the quality of the Summit band program – both musically and culturally – continues to get stronger each and every year. I want us all to look back at the band program several years into the future and be proud of how successful we are despite of these changes. After working with the leadership team today, I can tell you that I am impressed with how wise, insightful, and kind they are to me and to one another. Also, after speaking with Mr. Solis and Ms. Sorensen after rehearsal today, I can confidently tell you they have the student’s best interests at heart and are the perfect people to be in their position.
I feel the band staff that we have in place, although we have huge shoes to fill, all have a matched resolve and vision to create a positive and enriching environment for our students to thrive in.
Summit family, I sincerely hope that you all give this staff a chance to lead and guide this band into the success we all know it can have.
Now, I would like to introduce our new Associate Director of Bands – Ms. Elizabeth Hermanson!
I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have someone like Ms. Hermanson join our staff. Ms. H and I have been friends for over 15 years, and I can tell you that she is one of the most kind, genuine, caring people I have ever known in my life. She is moving to DFW tomorrow and is hoping to meet the leaders, colorguard, and percussion students on Friday, if not sooner – and friends, we’re in good hands. Here is Ms. Hermanson’s bio:
Ms. Hermanson is the Associate Director of Bands at Summit High School in Mansfield ISD. Before coming to Summit, Ms. Hermanson taught in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona for 10 years. She started her career teaching elementary band at Bellair and Mountain Shadows for 2 years. After going full time at Bellair for one year teaching K-6 general music, band, and choir, she decided to make the move the middle school and taught Band, Choir, Orchestra and General Music at Deer Valley Middle School for 7 year. In addition, Ms Hermanson was the Assistant Marching Band Director at Barry Goldwater High School for 8 years where she taught marching band and was actively involved in the Winterguard and Indoor Percussion ensembles.Ms. Hermanson holds a Masters in Wind Band Conducting from Texas Tech University in 2022 where she studied with Dr. Sarah McKoin and a Bachelor of Music Education from Northern Arizona University in 2010 where she studied euphonium with Pete Vivona, David Vining, Christian Carichner, Dr. Kent Eshelman, and Dr Alex Lapins. Ms. Hermanson played euphonium in the top performing wind ensemble at NAU for four years but also played trombone and tuba in various performing ensembles at NAU. At Texas Tech, Ms Hermanson as inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a Music Honors Society. In her undergrad, she was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity for Women, NAU’s collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and NAU’s collegiate chapter of the International Tuba/Euphonium Association. Ms. Hermanson served as president for both Sigma Alpha Iota and the National Association for Music Education chapters.
Outside of school, Ms Hermanson teaches private low brass lessons, is in search of every good coffee shop in the DFW area, and will talk more than you want her to about everything Disney and Harry Potter.
Parent meeting tomorrow. 7:00. Band Hall. See you all there!