“Throughout my life, I hear about how hard work, not talent, creates success. However, this program is where I first recognized living examples of this, and it has struck me as more true than I previously thought. I enjoy and have been amazed by the family-like feel to the band.
Whenever I am at school, I see the band hall as a home-base, with the rest of the school revolving around it. Of course, this maybe because of how often I go there … there is a quality that makes this band special, and I hope it stays that way … Twenty years from now, I want to be able to look back and remember being a part of this program.”
KEVIN YANG - FRENCH HORN, Varsity Marching Band/Wind Ensemble/Full Orchestra/TMEA All-Area Band Musician
"The Johnson Band is built on people that I model myself after because of their ability to achieve success through hard work and discipline. I have come to see beauty in stretching what an organization is capable of, and I find happiness based purely on other people’s approval or praise to be shallow compared to the knowledge that a person is capable of anything they set their mind to.
The nurturing environment fostered my ability to take on critical responsibilities, and I apply the skills I acquired to my academics every day. Being a part of such a determined group of people, committed to core values and self-improvement, was an enriching experience. The program’s focus on educating the leaders of the future engrained in me the tools I needed to earn a 4.0 GPA and become a supplementary instructor by my second semester of college.”
GARRETT BLEVINS - BASS TROMBONE & BARITONE, Winner of 2013 NEISD Principal’s Award, Summa Cum Laude Graduate, Varsity Marching Band, Full Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble
"Let's talk band. In the middle of my high school career, I didn't know if I wanted to continue doing band. I was being pulled apart in a lot of different ways in different opportunities for band as well as a variety of academic teams and my own personal projects, and just didn't know if I wanted to keep up such an intense balancing act. The band directors convinced me to stay, and it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
I learned so much beyond anything musical in band (though I still utilize an incredible amount that I learned musically). I could have gone and just done personal projects and academics, but I would not have received the life lessons in dedication, leadership, and character that I received because of band. I learned a good connotation of the word "unreasonable.
I learned that you can't please everyone, but you might as well try (starting with yourself). I learned to keep an open mind and be humble, because someone is better than you. I learned that the process is more important than winning, that your attitude outweighs your talent, that living life is better when your happy, and a slew of other intangibles that I'm now putting toward both Computer Science and Music Production. I greatly appreciate these lessons, but I value the relationships I made with other incredible students, teachers, and coworkers through the band experience above all else, and I will never forget my band family (I'm even imagining several of whom rolling their eyes as they read this and think how dorky I am, to which I just smile).”
THOMAS CARDWELL - TRUMPET, Winner of UT-Austin President’s Scholarship, Winner of 2013 NEISD Superintendent's Award, Summa Cum Laude Graduate, former Drum Major of the Marching Band and Principal Trumpet of the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Full Orchestra
"During my three years of band, I learned a multitude of lessons that are still very applicable to my life today. One of the most important lessons I have learned was how to be a leader amongst my peers. In the band program, I learned what it meant to be a leader and how to conduct myself inside the band hall, in school and in the community. I got the opportunity to learn from older members in the band before it was my time to step up and be a leader in the program.
This leadership experience gave me great confidence as I entered the next chapter of my life. As I transitioned into college, I already felt confident in assuming leadership positions in various organizations that I became a part of. I have no doubt that my experience in the Johnson Band gave me a solid foundation to be a great leader and an even better person. I continue to use the lessons I learned from the directors and my peers in all facets of my life from academics to relationships to dealing with the obstacles that life throws at me.”
MICHAEL JOSEPH - TENOR SAXOPHONE, Former Woodwind Leader of the Varsity Marching Band, Tenor Saxophone in the Wind Ensemble & Jazz Band
“In high school, band and my directors have taught me life lessons that I apply every day. The most important lesson I have learned is to have a strong work ethic. The band directors believe it is important to never settle for anything less than the best and push us to go beyond our capabilities, making us better both as a band and individuals.
I have learned to strive for perfection, but in the end, to be happy with the final product and that we did everything in our power to be the best. I have adopted these same ideas in my academics and activities. I have learned to excel in everything I do, even when I think I cannot go on and feel like giving up. I developed confidence in myself, because my band director instilled determination in me.”
DANIEL KIRMSE - TRUMPET, Former Trumpet in the CTJ Varsity Marching Band/Wind Ensemble/Full Orchestra/Jazz Band/TMEA All-Region Band Musician
“I have learned that one of the most important ideas to fulfill a sense of accomplishment is by first crafting goals. Creating a pathway of goals has helped me to come to know the feeling of direction. Through the challenges I have faced in band, I have felt the sting of failure, heard the cry of determination, and caught a glimpse of accomplishment.
I have learned the only failure in life is the failure to try. If it were not for band, I would not be who I am today. I have grown exceedingly in my understanding of motivation, capability, respect, inspiration, and in handling the challenges that life constantly throws at me. I maintain my focus, values, and norms and through band, I have found who I am.”
KRISTEN KNOTT - CLARINET, Former Clarinet Section Leader in the CTJ Varsity Marching Band/Wind Ensemble/TMEA All-Area Band Musician