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About Mona Shores Bands

Mona Shores Public Schools is committed to inspiring excellence, building character, and impacting the future through academics, arts, and athletics.  The Sailor Marching Band has strived to be an intersection of these three disciplines. As a group of committed musicians, scholars, and athletes, the Sailor Marching Band has been entertaining audiences in a variety of venues--competitive, non-competitive and community--for more than five decades. 

The Sailor Marching Band is part of a comprehensive music department instructing over 600 students a year in band, choir, orchestra, music theory, music technology, and guitar.  The performing arts department in Mona Shores is proud to be represented by over 60% of our total student population. The Mona Shores Band has represented our community in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Canada, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Scandinavia, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Greece, and China.  The marching Sailors were among 11 bands selected internationally to perform in the 2016 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, and most recently performed in a Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom parade in Orlando, Florida in 2017. 


Mr. Jason Boyden High School Director of Bands


Mr. Boyden is in his 27th year of teaching, and has directed the Mona Shores Band Program since the fall of 2003. He is a 1992 graduate of Mona Shores High School and went on to receive his Music Education degree from the University of Michigan in 1996. While at U of M, he played in the University’s Concert Band and Philharmonic Orchestra and sang in the Michigan Men's Glee Club.  


After college, Mr. Boyden moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to serve as a Band Director in the Clark County school district. During his five years in Las Vegas, Mr. Boyden held positions as the President of the Clark County Band Director’s Association, Chairman of the All-State Band and as the Treasurer of the Nevada Music Educator’s Association. He then went on to serve as a graduate assistant at the University of New Mexico where he earned a master’s degree in 2003. While in New Mexico, he was also the assistant band director at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque’s northeast heights.  


Currently at Mona Shores, Mr. Boyden directs the Mona Shores Marching Band and the high school Wind Ensemble, and teaches AP Music Theory.  He also works with the 6th grade brass students and assists with the 7th grade band at Mona Shores Middle School.  He is a member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Michigan Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association.

Mr. Justin Sarns Associate Director of Bands


Mr. Sarns is currently in his tenth year as a music educator, and in his ninth year at Mona Shores.  He has taught at all levels from elementary to high school. Prior to his appointment as a band director he served as the elementary music teacher at Ross Park and Churchill elementary schools, where he founded the Mona Shores Children’s Choir.  Mr. Sarns graduated Cum Laude from the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University with a degree in Music Education. While at GVSU he served as Drum Major and Teaching Assistant for the Laker Marching Band, in addition to playing in the Concert Band, Jazz Ensembles and singing in Varsity Men.  He also directs the Allendale Jazz Orchestra, a community jazz group based in Allendale, MI, as well as performing with BBOP in Zeeland.


At Mona Shores, Mr. Sarns directs the High School Symphonic Band, the Jazz Ensemble and Sailor Brass, as well as serving as the assistant director for the Sailor Marching Band.  He also teaches Intro to Electronic Music and Guitar classes at the High School and the middle school percussion classes.  Mr. Sarns is  the advisor for the high school chapter of the Tri-M National Music Honors Society.

Mr. Sarns is a member of the MIchigan School Band and Orchestra Association and the Michigan Music Educators Association. 

Ms. Nikki Sanford Middle School Director of Bands, Associate Director of Bands 


Ms. Sanford is in her fourth year teaching and is excited to begin her first year with the Mona Shores Band Program. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Michigan State University. While at MSU, she was an active horn player in the College of Music performing in the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and the Honors Brass Quintet. Ms. Sanford spent her college career as a member of the Spartan Marching Band and served her final two years as Drum Major. Throughout her time at MSU, Ms. Sanford worked at the MSU Community Music School as an assistant in the Music Therapy Department and ran Early Childhood Music classes.

After college, Ms. Sanford served as the Assistant Director of Band and Orchestra at Birmingham Public Schools in Metro-Detroit. During her time there, she taught MS/HS band, marching band, MS orchestra, pep band and jazz band. In the summer, she instructs conducting and leadership camps for high school drum majors around the midwest.

At Mona Shores, Ms. Sanford directs the middle school 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands. At the High School, she assists the Sailor Marching Band, teaches Intro to Electronic Music, and directs the Sailor Steel Band. She is a member of the Michigan Band and Orchestra Association.

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