Last night saw the first halftime performance of the Mineola Yellow Jacket Band under the direction of Chris Brannan. The first movement of “A Brave New World” was met with a standing ovation from the crowd. It was an encouraging sign for the award-winning director that looks to show Mineola and the band members themselves that the Yellow Jacket Band is its own entity and a Yellow Jacket force in its own right.
Brannan began his musical career as a trumpet player. By the time he was a sophomore in high school, he knew he wanted to teach music. He earned a music scholarship to Texas A&M Commerce and graduated in 1994 with a music education degree. Brannan begins his twentieth year of teaching in his third district this year. He led the Clarksville middle school and high school bands to their first UIL Sweepstakes in the history of the school and advanced to state twice. His work with Queen City resulted in three UIL State Marching Championships and two State Honor Band Championships.
Professionally, Brannan was recognized as the 2012 Cass County Teacher of the Year, and is a former ATSSB Region Coordinator. He is also an honorary member of Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity, and a member of Texas Music Educators, Texas Association of Small School Bands, and Texas Bandmaster Association. He also serves as a UIL Judge for marching and concert bands in Texas, and has presented several band clinics at the TBA Bandmasters Convention in San Antonio.
Mr. Brannan looks forward to seeing success after seeing the students respond to his teaching and being happy about what they’re doing in the Band program. He is excited about a spring trip to Corpus Christi or Galveston that’s in the works, as it will be a first-time experience for most of the students. The trip will be planned around a performance at a local festival or workshop.
The community is encouraged to come see the halftime shows at the home games this season. The show, written specifically for marching band by Steve Martin, Aaron Hines, and Dan Bryan is called “A Brave New World” and features four movements. “Mad World” was performed last night, and “Dream World” will be performed on September 20. “Uncharted World” and “Wonderful World” will be performed on October 11 and 18, respectively. December will give the community an opportunity to see the Yellow Jacket Band perform a Christmas concert.
This Jacket fan plans to be at all the home games this season to listen to the “Swarm” just as much as I’m planning to watch the action on the field.