An ensemble led by Northwestern State University alumnus Jim Gist has been selected to participate in one of the largest band and orchestra conferences in the country.
The North Forney (Texas) High School Percussion Ensemble has been invited to perform at The 74th Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference on December 16-19 in Chicago.
Gist said the mission of the North Forney Percussion Ensemble is “a relentless pursuit of excellence.”
“The students set a goal in August 2019 to compete at a national level, and they have been committed to the process throughout the school year.” he said. “Even in these uncertain times we are living in, I am confident our students will rise to the challenge and commit to performing at a high level as we take our relentless pursuit of excellence to this national stage. We are proud to be North Forney Falcons, and I am certain we will represent our school community well in Chicago in December.”
Gist, a 1999 graduate of Northwestern State, earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While a student at NSU, he was a member of the NSU Wind Ensemble, Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, and the NSU Percussion Ensemble.
“I give a lot of credit to my time at NSU for forming me into the percussion director I am today,” said Gist. “The faculty including Mr. Bill Brent, Dr. Jeff Mathews, and Mr. Ken Green invested in me and had great influence on my career as both a teacher and musician.”
Gist earned a Master of Percussion Performance degree at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He is assistant band director and percussion instructor at North Forney High School in Forney, Texas, where he has taught for the last 11 years. Gist previously served as the drumline instructor at Baylor University, adjunct professor of percussion at East Texas Baptist University and percussion coordinator/assistant band director at both Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, Texas and North Lamar High School in Paris, Texas.
Gist plays percussion at Lake Pointe Church and has performed with multiple groups including the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys arranging percussion music, writing marching band drill and teaching percussion camps throughout Louisiana and Texas. Gist is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Texas Music Educators Association. Gist has been married to his wife Megan, a 1998 Northwestern graduate, for 21 years. They have one son, Jake, who is 13.