Joel Quina was playing drums for stage shows at Busch Gardens when an unexpected opportunity arose to become the new band director at J.W. Mitchell High School. It was a good gig for Quina, 23, who stepped in to a ready-to-roll band program. Former director Josh Sall left the band in amazing shape, Quina said.
"He set me up for success," Quina said. "The band was healthy and ready, so the transition has been easy."
It also helped that Tom Viking, the band director at Seven Springs Middle School, prepared band members during their first week of camp.
Pasco is a comfortable spot for Quina, a drummer who got the itch to direct while coming up through the local school system. His parents had once been students in the Gulf High band program. At age 5, Quina started taking lessons from Hudson Middle band director John Keon. He went on to play for Keon as a student at Hudson Middle and finished out his high school career at River Ridge High. In December of 2010 he graduated cum laude from the University of South Florida.
Now Quina becomes Pasco's fourth homegrown high school band director, joining William Rutherford (Gulf High), Brian Schmidt (Fivay High) and Russell Schmidt (Zephyrhills High).