*Release courtesy of Brazosport ISD
The Brazosport ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the new Brazoswood auditorium in honor of longtime Buccaneer Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey.
Initially, retired band director Brian Casey addressed the Board twice seeking to name the auditorium after his mentor and best friend, longtime Head Band Director at Brazoswood, Mr. Jim Koch. Although the idea was a good one, others thought that there was something missing. Since Mr. Casey original request, BISD has received requests to consider naming the New Brazoswood HS Auditorium after both longtime Brazoswood Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey.
The duo of Jim Koch and Brian Casey has been an undeniable team of musical excellence. Mr. Koch and Mr. Casey, collectively, served the band students harmoniously at Brazoswood High school for more than 60 years, winning numerous awards and accolades. After retirement, Jim Koch served as a BISD Trustee while his close friend, Brian Casey, continued to lead the successful Buccaneer Band program.
“I cannot think of two more deserving recipients of this honor than Jim Koch and Brian Casey,” said Superintendent Danny Massey. “These two built a powerhouse music program that has positively touched the lives of thousands of Brazoswood students.”
Now, this musical partnership did not just happen, No, Jim Koch, or Jimmy as he was known back in the day, started his career at Brazosport High School in 1977 where he was an assistant for four years. He worked with George Mitchell who was like a second dad and great mentor. In 1981, Jim moved across the district to Brazoswood High School and was an assistant for three years. In 1984, at the age of twenty-nine, Jim became the Director of Bands at Brazoswood High School, one of the youngest to serve as a head director at such a young age. Jim went on to hold that position for the next twenty-six years.
And “One of first and best things,” Jim said that he did in his new role was to invite a new Sam Houston State University graduate, Brian Casey, to join the Brazoswood and staff. Thus began a lifelong musical collaboration and dear friendship as they worked side by side to run the Brazoswood Band program. The two brought in numerous talented educators to work with their students. Some stayed for a few years and others are still working in the program. They also brought parents – creating one of the strongest support groups for student musicians around the state. And this legacy continues on.
From Award winning Marching competitions to Symphonic performances, Brazoswood has led the way. The Brazoswood Bands consistently earned UIL sweepstakes, TMEA recognitions and National acclaim for their multifaceted music programs.
In 2010, Jim chose to retire and dedicate his time, as a private citizen, serving as a BISD Board Trustee and as the Board’s President. At this time, Brian Casey took over as the Director of Brazoswood Bands, a position he held until his retirement in 2017.
Together, the Koch & Casey Buccaneer Bands have excelled at every level. They’ve earned 33 UIL Sweepstakes Awards, advanced to the Texas State Marching Contest 17 times. Were the only Texas band to be awarded a UIL State Medal to every performing member at UIL Wind Ensemble Contest! Their bands hold the Region records for the number of Solo and 1st Division medals awarded a band program. Their bands were consistently named Bands of America Marching finalists. Their entire Symphonic Bands were awarded UIL Outstanding Performer Medals at the State Wind Ensemble Contest. And they have had the most students placed in All Region Jazz Bands throughout the years and earned numerous Grand Championships at Jazz Festivals around the state.
The musical union of Jim Koch and Brian Casey has seen the Brazoswood bands earn many awards and accolades. They have won awards together and separately, but through it all, it has always been Koch & Casey. Even in retirement, both men still play a large role in the success of the music programs in the Brazosport area.
To honor the dedication and outstanding leadership of Brazoswood Band Directors Jim Koch and Brian Casey, the BISD Board named the new Brazoswood Auditorium, to be open next fall, the Koch & Casey Auditorium.