About Us

 About The Band

Welcome to Northside ISD’s largest 6A band program. The “Panther” Band offers a comprehensive music education in marching, concert, jazz, full orchestra and musical theater.

In just seventeen years the O’Connor “Panther” Band has established a reputation of high musical standards in individual and group performance. You have the opportunity to join this exciting and hard working group of O’Connor’s finest.

The OHS Band Program offers a wide variety of musical experiences including our amazing Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Ensemble II, Jazz Combo, Full Orchestra, Musical Pit Ensemble, PASIC Percussion, Winter Guard I & II and the award winning OHS Marching Band! As an individual you have the opportunity to audition for the TMEA All Region, All Area, & All State Bands & Jazz Ensemble as well as perform a solo or small ensemble at UIL sponsored Solo & Ensemble Contest.

The “Panther” Marching Band has earned seventeen consecutive FIRST DIVISION ratings at UIL Marching Contest, advanced to UIL Area Marching Contest each year eligible, and earned OUTSTANDING Winds, Marching, Music, Percussion, Color Guard, and Drum Major Caption Awards at various marching festivals throughout Texas. These include the Hill Country Marching Festival, Duncanville Invitational, Newman Smith Tournament of Champions, Drums Along the Medina, and the Westlake Marching Festival. The OHS Marching Band has also won the Battle of Flowers Band Festival Parade of Bands Competition, placed 2nd in 2007 and was selected as the 2005, 2009 & 2014 FEATURE BAND for the annual Fiesta event. They have also won Outstanding Drum Majors at this same event two times and 1st place in class 5A in 2011. In 2008, 2010, 2012 & 2014 the O’Connor Band qualified to the UIL Texas State Marching Championships in class 5A & 6A. In 2012 finishing in the top 25 in Texas. In 2014 the band was the UIL Area G Champion!

Our Varsity & Non-Varsity concert band programs perform music from Bach to Sousa, and have earned sixteen CONSECUTIVE UIL SWEEPSTAKES HONORS by earning first divisions at UIL Concert & Sight Reading Competition. This consistency in performance is represented in all three of our concert bands. They were the 2006, 2008 & 2012 TMEA Region 11 HONOR BAND winner—selected to advance to Area.

Our jazz ensembles represent the best in the state of Texas. Our jazz classes offer a challenging curriculum in all styles of jazz and improvisation. They have been selected as the OUTSTANDING 5A Jazz Ensemble at various festivals throughout South Texas and our students have earned more chairs in the TMEA All Region Jazz Ensemble than any other school since O’ Connor opened. We have placed eight students in the TMEA ALL STATE JAZZ ENSEMBLE. In 2003 the jazz ensemble was selected to perform as the centerpiece of the 4th annual Arts Education Day at the Texas Capital in Austin. OHS jazz soloists have earned numerous OUTSTANDING SOLOISTS, MUSICIAN, & ALL STAR BAND honors at every jazz festival they’ve attended. In 2006 the OHS Jazz Ensemble I was undefeated! In 2007 and 2009 the O’Connor Jazz I & Combo were invited to perform at the North Texas Jazz Festival. This by invitation only performance featured the top high school and collegiate jazz ensembles from throughout the United States. They were named “Outstanding” at the 2008 Temple College Jazz Festival. In 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 they were named for Outstanding Performance at the Texas State and Palo Alto College Jazz Festivals. They have also been featured at the Jazzin Along the River Festival performing at the historic Arneson River Theater. In 2012 they were featured at JazzSALive and in 2013 at Fiesta’s Taste of New Orleans. In 2013 they also performed a joint concert with the UIW Jazz Ensemble featuring jazz legend Bill Watrous.

Our Drum line has done a fantastic job these last fourteen years. In 2000, they placed first in their division at the Churchill Drum line Invitational and brought home every caption award. The drum line also has been named OUTSTANDING 5A percussion at the Drums Along the Medina Marching Festival in 2002, 2003, & 2005. Additionally, the drum line has participated in the International Percussive Arts Society Convention (PASIC) Marching Drum line Competition in Dallas TX (01), Nashville TN (02), Louisville KY (03), Nashville TN (04), Columbus OH (05), & Austin TX (06). In 2004 they finished 3rd and in 2005 they were named the PASIC NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in the marching percussion category. They brought home OUTSTANDING Snare Line, Tenor Line, Bass Line, & Cymbal Line as well! In 2006 they were named GRAND CHAMPIONS at the 1st Annual South Texas Drum Line Invitational. They achieved the same in 2010! In 2011 the National Champion Small Ensemble at PASIC in Indiana are from our O’Connor HS Tenor section.

The “Panther” Color guard adds the visual interpretation of the music in the fall and also has an extensive Spring competition schedule called WINTERGUARD. They travel to Houston, Austin, Tulsa, and San Marcos to compete. They have brought home many honors and in 2006 Guard I won 5th Place and Guard II won the National Marching Auxiliary Championships held here in San Antonio. This is a wonderful art form that uses a combination of dance, flags, rifles, sabers, & gymnastics. In 2007 both JV and Varsity Panther Guards were named the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS at this same event. They were also a WGI Regional Finalist in 2007. In 2010 they were the TCGC silver medalists! In 2011 & 2013 JV won the TCGC silver medal. In 2015 the guard has placed at TCGC Regionals in both JV and Varsity events.

Our students also excel in individual events. “Panther” Band members have earned the largest % of students earning chairs in the TMEA All Region Band than any other school in the region since O’ Connor opened. We have placed students in the TMEA ALL STATE BAND & JAZZ ENSEMBLE. All State musicians include Liv Pederson, Brad Schaefer, Melinda Willmann, James Matthews, Justin Crow, Ray Chacon, Matthew Moran, two time member Michael Skutt, three time member Adam Carrillo and in 2014 Taylor Gonzales. Band members have earned literally thousands of medals at UIL Solo & Ensemble since the school opened. Many students also have advanced and performed with great success at the Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest held annually at the University of Texas at Austin.

The “Panther” Band has performed at football games, pep rallies, Christmas & Spring concerts, Battle of Flowers Parade, Fiesta Battle of Bands, Helotes Cornyval Parade, Elf Louise Christmas Parade and takes yearly Spring trips. The band has marched in the Walt Disney World Magic Music Days Parade four times and in 2007 & 2011 traveled to New York City to perform. In 2001 the Symphonic Winds performed with the San Antonio Symphony and a joint concert with the UTSA Wind Ensemble.

We are proud of our band family environment and the fact that our students are active throughout the school. We have band members involved in Athletics (including Varsity), AG, Honor Society, Academic Decathlon, Class Offices, Journalism, Dance Team, Pep Squad, and every club on campus. You name the organization and our students are involved!

Our students excel in the classroom as well. We always have students finish in the top ten of their class and a huge % of the National Honor Society. We are also proud that of the sixteen graduating classes the band has had thirteen Valedictorians and Salutatorians from the program. They are James Blair, Tom Schwartz, Sam McDonald, Shanna Harris, Shane McNamee, Neal Gandhi, Joey McDonald, Katie Bridges, Susan Zhang, Marcel Polanco, Jaaron Botello & Michael Dong. The 2013 Salutatorian was Garrett Scott.

The directors are Roland Sandoval, George G. Garza, Wesley Perkins & Jaime Ramos. Darryl Pemberton is the Color Guard Director and Choreographer. They bring many years of teaching experience and dedication to music education. We look forward to welcoming new members with the beginning of each fall semester.