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. The Sailor Marching Band has been selected and will return to Ireland for the 2020 Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Mr. Jason Boyden High School Director of Bands
Mr. Boyden is in his 24th 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 teaches the 6th grade beginning brass, 7th Grade Band percussion, directs the Mona Shores Marching Band and the high school Wind Ensemble, and teaches Introduction to Electronic Music. He is a member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Michigan Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association.
Mr. Gregory Nimtz Middle School Director of Bands
Mr. Nimtz has taught in the public schools for twenty-two years as an instrumental music teacher and is in his 19th year with the Mona Shores Band Program. He attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education. While at WMU Mr. Nimtz was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, an honor society for musicians, and Alpha Lambda Delta, an organization associated with WMU’s honors college. Additionally, Mr. Nimtz earned a Master’s Degree in Conducting from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.
As a performer, Mr. Nimtz has played saxophone, flute and clarinet for a number of years, and as a composer and arranger, his works have been performed at MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festivals at the District and State levels in addition to regional concerts and events. Mr. Nimtz has shared the stage with international performers such as Mel Torme, Marie Osmond, George Thorogood, Counting Crows and regional groups such as the Truth in Jazz Orchestra, the Hip Pocket, Big House Blues Band, and the Groove Solution.
As a teacher, Mr. Nimtz leads the 6th grade flutes & clarinets, 6th grade band, 7th grade band, 8th grade band, high school Jazz Ensemble, and assists with the high school marching band and Symphonic Band.
Mr. Justin Sarns Assistant Director of Bands
Mr. Sarns is currently in his seventh year as a music educator, and in his sixth 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. 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.
At Mona Shores, Mr. Sarns directs the High School Symphonic Band, the MSHS Guitar Program, the 8th Grade Percussion Ensemble, the 6th Grade Saxophones, the 6th Grade Percussion, and MSHS Sailor Brass. Mr. Sarns also assists with the MSHS Sailor Marching Band. He is also the advisor for the high school chapter of the Tri-M National Music Honors Society.