Duncan leaves his legacy at WRHS


Marcus Scott

WRHS Band Director Patrick Duncan at the football game vs. Plant

Patrick Duncan, the highly respected band director at Wiregrass Ranch High School (WRHS), will be leaving at the conclusion of this marching band season. In his time here, the Marching Bulls have gone from a noncompetitive group to a superior-rated, state finalist band. The indoor percussion group, winter guards, and concert bands have grown and improved tremendously as well.

Looking back on the past few years, Duncan remembered his most notable memories.

“One special moment that I had was watching everyone’s face when we went to Tropicana [Field] for state finals for the first time, watching their excitement on the bus ride there and when they first walked on the field,” Duncan described. “Seeing that first group of four-year band seniors graduate last year might be my favorite memory.”

Monica Converse
Duncan with the 2016 drum majors Angela Crespo, Keyelli Bagley, John Mudge, and Alexi Depp

Before becoming the WRHS band director, Duncan worked as an assistant director at a nonprofit drum corps located in Pennsylvania and taught elementary school for a short time. He found that he had more fun being a high school band director.

“I didn’t think that I would become so close to everyone,” Duncan said. “Somehow everybody blindly trusted me in the process of becoming their new band director with very little push back.”

Principal Robyn White, who was hired at WRHS the same year as Duncan, discussed the years with him as band director.

“Mr. Duncan has become a role model for the students of WRHS and a respected teacher/adult in the eyes of the parents,” White said. “I believe that they all appreciate his hard work and dedication to the program.”

With the recent success of the band, White feels confident that the program will continue to grow because of the strong foundation Duncan has created.

“I wish him nothing but success in his new venture,” White stated, “This is another step in his path and will allow him to grow.”

The students in the band program have connected with Duncan and are sad to see him go, including sophomore Joseph Cannella.

“I think I speak for everyone in the program when I say that Duncan means a lot to us,” Cannella said. “We’re definitely going to miss him here.”

Duncan expressed his experience was with no regrets, saying that any mistakes he’d made were just opportunities to learn.

“Wiregrass is an extremely special place, and I want students to walk away from this program knowing that hard work trumps all,” Duncan shared. “We are what our experiences are. They make and shape us, and the legacy we’ve made here will always be with me.”