The Great Bridge Middle School bands have been under the direction of Michael Oare since 1991. Mark Gerhardt served as assistant director from 1997-2015. After serving in the Chesapeake Schools for 43 years, Mr. Gerhardt retired in 2015. Rob Carroll joined the GBMS faculty in 2015 after serving as Director of Bands at Great Bridge High School for 27 years.
Over the past 40+ years, the Great Bridge Band program has enjoyed tremendous success. Each year, the District IV Middle School Band is been comprised of a significant number of Great Bridge students, often totaling as much as 1/3 of the District Band’s enrollment. The Great Bridge Middle School Symphonic Band has consistently received straight superior ratings at District Band Festival, performing grade III and IV level music.
Additionaly, the Great Bridge Band program has been honored to perform for the VMEA conference on six occasions. The Great Bridge Junior High Band, under the direction of Craig K. Mills, performed in 1981 and 1987. The Great Bridge Middle School Band, under the direction of Michael Oare, was the first group to perform at the 1995 conference at The Homestead. In 2000, Mr. Oare and Mr. Gerhardt presented a session titled “The Three Little Pigs Go To Middle School” featuring the GBMS Band in a recruitment and community service program for pre-school aged students. The Great Bridge High School Honors Band, under the direction of Rob Carroll, performed for the 2002 conference held in Norfolk. Finally, the middle school band was again honored to accept the invitation by VBODA to perform for the 2003 Virginia Music Educators’ Conference.