Jim Gist, email@example.com
Jim Gist is currently in his fourteenth year as a director at North Forney High School where he has served as Assistant Band Director and Percussion Instructor. Currently he serves as head band director at North Forney High School. Originally from Longville, Louisiana, Mr. Gist earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northwestern State University. He also earned a Master of Percussion Performance degree from Texas A&M University - Commerce where he studied with Dr. Brian Zator and earned the Outstanding Graduate Student award for the Department of Music. Prior to joining the North Forney team in 2009 when the school opened, Mr. Gist has served as Percussion Instructor at North Lamar High School in Paris, Texas, Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Texas, and Midway High School in Waco, Texas. He has also served as Drumline Instructor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Adjunct Professor of Percussion at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.
The North Forney Percussion groups consistently earn top honors at both concert and marching competitions. In 2019 the North Forney Indoor Percussion Ensemble advanced to the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, for the first time and earned the title of silver medalist for the world concert percussion division. The NFHS percussion ensemble was selected as a 2020 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble winner in addition to being invited to perform at The Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference that same year.
Jim and his wife, Dr. Megan Gist, live in Rockwall, Texas, with their son, Jake, who is also a percussionist. They enjoy traveling in their RV and exploring the great outdoors.
Mason Jocoy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mason Jocoy is currently in his first year as a director at North Forney High School as well as his first year in teaching. Mr. Jocoy currently teaches the Concert Band class at North Forney. Additionally, he assists with the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band classes.
Mr. Jocoy is a native of Forney, Texas where he attended Forney High School. He went on to earn his Bachelor degree in Music Education in 2020 from Texas A&M University Commerce where he studied under Dr. Jeff Baker. While at A&M Commerce, he had the opportunity to perform under the direction of Mr. Allan Goodwin in the University Symphonic Band. He also had the opportunity to perform with the University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Phillip Clements. While with the wind ensemble, he had the privilege of performing at the 2018 TMEA Convention and Clinic in San Antonio. Mr. Jocoy was a part of the Pride Marching Band for 5 years on campus where he served as an undergraduate intern his final year with the Pride. Mr. Jocoy also had the opportunity to march with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2018 production where he was a member of the euphonium section.
Mason and his wife Samantha Jocoy, who is also a band director, live in Rockwall, Texas with their cat Benjamin. They enjoy traveling and most of all, love to spend time with their family and friends.
Ryan King, email@example.com
Ryan King is in his first year at North Forney High School. Mr. King graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Music Education and a minor in History, where he studied saxophone with Dr. Michael Davis and under the direction of Dr. Eric Nestler. During his time at UNT, Mr. King performed in the Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble under the batons of Dr. Andrew Trachsel, Dr. Nicholas Enrico Williams and Dr. Daniel Cook, serving as saxophone section manager in the spring of 2020, as well as the Wind Symphony for the Conductor's Collegium in the summer of 2022. Mr. King also proudly served as a drum major of the Green Brigade Marching Band for three seasons.
In the marching arts, Mr. King was a member of the inaugural cast of Orion Winds in 2019. He played tenor saxophone, was a featured soloist, and “Best Musical Performer” in the program “Elevate”, which placed 4th at WGI World Championships in the Independent World Class division. Mr. King also marched at The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from 2020-2021, where he played the mellophone. With The Cavaliers, he also performed at the 2022 TMEA Clinic and Convention in “Go Play Outside! The Cavaliers Orchestral Approach to Brass” and a visual clinic sponsored by UDB.
Mr. King currently plays alto saxophone in the Carrollton Wind Symphony and serves as a North Texas Regional Representative for the Young Band Directors of Texas. Outside of band, he enjoys watching sports, trying new restaurants, reading, and playing board games.
Kohei Sakai firstname.lastname@example.org
Kohei Sakai is in his first year as the Percussion Director at North Forney High School. He teaches percussion classes at North Forney High School and also at the feeder middle schools and intermediate campuses.
Originally from Michigan and Ohio, Mr. Sakai came to Texas to attend the University of North Texas where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Percussion. He performed in the marching band, concert bands, various classical and world percussion ensembles, and jazz ensembles. Prior to North Forney, he has worked with several drumlines and percussion groups in the DFW area including Plano ISD, Lake Dallas High School, Aubrey High School, Summit High School, and several other schools in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Outside of band, Mr. Sakai loves good food, sports, animals, Japan, and hanging out with friends and family.