OS High dedicates band hall in honor of former director

Published: May. 4, 2016 at 9:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2016 at 9:54 AM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - "Stability, love, family, and a legacy. All of those things are Mr. Joe," said Ocean Springs High Principal Dr. Vickie Tiblier.

Staff and students say former Ocean Springs High School music teacher Joe Cacibauda rarely toots his own horn.

Affectionately known as "Mr. Joe", Cacibauda served as the school's band director for 31 years. 

"He's one of those heroes we have who doesn't talk about what he does. He just helps children and we are blessed," said Ocean Springs Schools Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter.

After expanding the band program from less than 100 students to nearly 300 a year, Cacibauda retired in June 2015.

"Everything you do takes heart. Band directing is about our students. The true trophies are the ones that we guide and direct onto the correct path; that's what I learned from Mr. Joe," said Ocean Springs High Assistant Band Director Nathan Pepper.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered on the west side of campus to dedicate the band hall after their beloved former band director.

"Humbled and grateful, and you get that tinge of pride to see your name on a building. That's some kind of awesome. I'm glad I could be part of their lives and whatever help I could be to them," said Cacibauda.

Those who attended the ceremony say the band hall is a fitting tribute to a man who has instilled the love of music in more than 6,000 students.

"He inspired me to continue on with the love of music and made me realize everything you do, you need to do all of it," said senior Savanna Habighurst. "He's truly inspirational. He's one of my heroes."

Under Cacibauda's leadership, the school's marching band and wind ensemble won numerous awards and national honors, including performing for three presidents. Before he led the band program in Ocean Springs, he taught music at Biloxi, Bay St. Louis and St. Martin high schools.

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