Welcome to Band and Orchestra!

  • Welcome to the South Bay Elementary's Band and Orchestra Page! We are excited to have your student in our class this year. Look around our team page to get to know how we work as a team to help your musician towards success in school!

Grant Sears, Orchestra

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

     Wow, the year has gone by quickly!   The orchestra has been busy these past few weeks and months.   We just finished a terrific Spring concert on May 22nd.    We had all three of our orchestras perform and I'm so proud of all of my students!    A big thank you to our 20 graduating orchestra seniors.   This has been a very dedicated group and a huge part of our success over the past four years.    I am proud of them and I wish them well as they move on to their next challenges in life. 

    We have several upcoming events this Spring:

    May 31  -   Masquerade  -  A special event/social for all of our music students... they get to learn how to waltz!

    June 1  -   Annual NTHS talent show sponsored by the orchestra at 7pm in the KCPA

    June 3  -  Orchestra Banquet from 5:30  -  7pm in the NTHS commons 

    June 11  -  NTHS graduation at 7pm in the St. Martin's Pavilion.    The full orchestra performs at this event every year.

    June  19  -  Last day of school for students!


    Finally, I would like to say thank you to our orchestra parents for all of your continued support of your child in orchestra at NTHS.   We would not have the program that we do without your amazing support and dedication as well.    It has been my pleasure serving this community as a teacher here at North Thurston High School.   I look forward to many more years of continued success.


     Grant Sears, NTHS orchestra teacher




Professional Biography

  • I am in my 34th year of teaching, 33 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 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. 


    • 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

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


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