NISD mourns passing of former band director

NISD mourns passing of former band director
Posted on 02/04/2021
NISD mourns passing of former band director

Glynn Wells, who led Nacogdoches High School’s Golden Dragon Marching Band for 18 years, extending its run of show-stopping routines and award-winning performances, died Wednesday.

The loss of the former director was keenly felt by Jacob Weems, the current band leader at NHS. When Wells retired in 2018 after leading the band 18 years as director he was replaced by Weems, who not only worked as an assistant for the longtime director but was also a student in the Dragon program. In fact, Weems had Wells as a director from sixth-grade on through graduation in 2005.

“He’s been the number one go-to guy for the Nacogdoches band program,” Weems said Thursday morning. “It’s just a huge loss for the band community.”

The current senior class would have been freshmen during Wells’ final year as band director, Weems said.

Wells, a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, came to NISD in 1990 and took over as head band director in 2000, following Jim Hagood. In the 1980s, the NHS band began a long streak of top division ratings at marching competitions, something Wells extended and built upon during his time at the high school. Last fall, under Weems, the band earned its 40th First Division rating since 1980.

On Wednesday, NISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, who’s in his first year with the district, said he didn’t know Wells personally but recognized the type of leadership he provided for the NISD band community.

“Band directors like Mr. Wells have an iconic presence that spans generations of students,” said Trujillo. “The influence they have on children simply cannot be overstated. And even though he had retired earlier, his presence will be missed dearly by our band program.”

Wednesday evening, hundreds of former NHS band students took to social media to post tributes and share memories of Wells. Weems said he was in eighth-grade when Wells moved to the lead position at NHS. That group of students, from the early 2000s, are “just flabbergasted,” he said.

Well’s absence will be felt immediately, Weems said. The former director was set to help NHS host the Region 21 Solo & Ensemble contest this weekend, a competition Wells has been involved with for years.

“He will definitely be missed at that contest,” Weems said.

On Thursday, NISD counselors were available throughout the day at the high school for the students and staff that knew Wells.

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