Welcome to Band and Orchestra!

  • Welcome to South Bay Elementary's Band and Orchestra Page! We are excited to have your students in our classes. Click the links on the left side of the screen for more information.

Grant Sears, Orchestra

  • Room: #140 - Orchestra Room
    (360) 412-4800


     Hello and welcome back to the start of another great school year!    I am looking forward to working with a new crop of orchestral musicians!   Hopefully by now, you should be dusting off your instrument, getting the bow re-haired, new strings put on, and practicing and getting excited for another terrific year in orchestra.   


    A couple of reminders:

    Please carefully read and understand the opperations of the NTHS orchestra by downloading the orchestra handbook available on this website.   Parents will need to print and sign the last page and send hard copy to school with your child by Friday, September 6th.    Also, please take a look at the Performance Calendar, this has important information for all musicians on performance dates throughout the school year.


    Parent Open House is on Wednesday, September 11th.    I would very much like to encourage all orchestra parents to come to this and find out what's going on at school and in orchestra.


    Finally,   Please know that I am here to help your child in any way that I can.    Please don't hestitate to contact me if you have any questions at all.    The best way to contact me is through my school email address.  


    Best wishes and good luck for a terrific start to the school year.


    Very Sincerely,


    Grant Sears, Orchestra teacher at NTHS, PG and So. Bay



Professional Biography

  • I am in my 35th year of teaching, 34 of which have been in the North Thurston Public Schools. I presently teach orchestra at North Thurston High School, South Bay, and Pleasant Glade schools.  I have a bachelor of Music from Washington State University (Yes I'm a Coug!) and a Master of Arts in Music from Pacific Lutheran University. I absolutely love teaching orchestra and strive to instill a love and committment for playing a stringed instrument throughout a student's life.     I do this by modeling excellence through positive energy, commitment toward my students, and dedication to the craft of teaching.    My lovely wife, Cheryl, is a 4th grade teacher at Evergreen Forest elementary.  She is an amazing person and is always an inspiration to me.    I also have 2 beautiful grown daughters, Jessica and Christine, who are equally amazing people.    


    • 7:30am  -  NTHS, Symphonic Strings
    • 8:29am  -  NTHS, String Orchestra
    • 9:33am   - NTHS, Camerata
    • 11:30am - Pleasant Glade Elementary Strings
    • 12:50pm  - South Bay Elementary Strings

Darren Johnson, Band


    • Jazz Band - period 0
    • Symphonic Band - period 1
    • Concert Band - period 2
    • 9th Grade Band - period 4
    • South Bay Elementary

Professional Biography

  • Teacher - North Thurston Public Schools 1996 - present
    Teacher of the Year - Chinook Music Educators Association 2018
    Oregon Band Directors Association - 6A Certified Adjudicator 2011-2015, 2016-2020
    Educator of Excellence - Washington State University 2006
    Teacher of the Year - North Thurston High School 2005, 1999
    Best of Western Washington - Best Teacher - King5 Evening Magazine 2003
    Master of Music - University of Arizona 1995
    Bachelor of Music - Washington State University 1992
    Composition Studies - Charles Argersinger, Daniel Asia, William Penn, Greg Yasinitsky
    Conducting Studies/Clinics - Eugene Corporon, Dennis Fisher, Michael Haithcock, David Holsinger, Keating Johnson, Gillian MacKay, Sarah McKoin, Allan McMurray, Gerard Morris, H. James Schoepflin, Jack Stamp, Robert Taylor, Mallory Thompson
    Clarinet Studies - Jerry Kirkbride, H. James Schoepflin
    Publications - More Than Just Minutes: Using Practice Charts as Tools for Learning, Music Educators Journal 2009