While serving as Drum Major of the Crockett High School Band in Austin, Texas, Gary Faust was inspired to pursue his career by Ms. Paula Crider. Mr. Faust received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1983 from the University of Texas and began his career as the Assistant Band Director at Anderson High School. After two years at Anderson, Mr. Faust served as Graduate Assistant Director of Bands and Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he received his Master of Music degree. Mr. Faust then went on to serve as Head Band Director at Dobie Middle School, Reagan, Georgetown, Mesquite, and Travis High Schools and is most proud of the success he and the students enjoyed at each of those schools.
While at Mesquite High School for 10 years, Mr. Faust took one of the smallest and weakest 5A band programs in the Metroplex and built it into one of the largest, most successful, and most dynamic programs in that area and in the state. Not only did the Mesquite Band enjoy success at all UIL events, it was very successful at every local marching festival and at national music festivals in Louisiana, Colorado, Tennessee, Florida, and South Padre Island. In addition to the group's success at Mesquite, the individual students were highly successful at All-State auditions and State Solo & Ensemble.
Mr. Faust is particularly proud of the number of students majoring in music at many great music schools throughout the nation, and many of these students are on full scholarship. Before arriving at Akins, Mr. Faust was a full-time student at the University of Texas, pursuing his PhD in Education Administration and was also the Head Band Director at Travis High School. While maintaining a 4.0 average academically, he was able to lead the Travis Band to its first ever Area Marching Advancement, its first Sweepstakes in over 20 years, and its first All-State Student in many years.
In 2008, Mr. Faust was featured in the national School Band and Orchestra magazine's feature "50 Directors Who Make a Difference", having been selected from music educators througout the United States. Below is the text of the article:
"KEYS TO SUCCESS: I believe that this career is not for me, meaning I am not a trophy chaser. I am in this career for the kids. I am not concerned about my image or ego, I simply believe that this career of music education is a vehicle to help kids get to a better plac ein life. It is a vehicle to help kids develop the characteristics necessary for a productive and successful adult life. It is the reason many of my kids come to school, and it is what they dream of every night. The kids will not remember the plastic trophies, but will cherish the journey to schieve them and the musical and artistic experience associated with the performance that earns these awards.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU: I was fortunate enough, in high school, to have one of the best music educators in our career decide to invest in my life: Ms. Paula Crider, formerly of the University of Texas and of Austin's Crockett High School. I can't imagine what my adult life would be like if I had not been a part of her band and had she not chosen to make something of me. Because of this fortunate interaction and influence by her, I chose to give back to my world by doing the same thing for the kids who I would be fortunate to teach. The other piece of inspiration is that most people in our career believe that the only programs that have potential are those from affluent and Anglo communities. Successful music education programs are expensive, but there are ways around that issue. However, I believe and practice the idea that God did not discriminate when he disseminated talent and intellect. I was told that the kids at Akins High School could not be successful on the highest level, and now I enjoy proving to the world that they are completely wrong in thinking such a thing.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: When I got a call and learned that one of my greatest students, a very poor, underprivileged African-American student, was now the principal trumpet for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Also, when my marching band made it to the top-10 finals at the Texas UIL State Marching Contest. I was told by numerous colleagues it could never happen."
Mr. Faust is proud and excited to be the Director of Bands at Akins High School. He plans for the Akins band to compete for and achieve the highest honors for any high school band in the nation, and together the students, staff, and parents are accomplishing just that! Go BIG and BOLD!