Destin Middle School is ringing in the new school year with a brand new band director.

After working for the past five years as Niceville High School assistant band director, Patrick Carnahan is ready to take on his own program at Destin Middle School.

“I was looking to taking the next step in becoming a head band director and now here I am,” said Carnahan.

Carnahan grew up in Niceville with musical parents. He first joined a school band in the fifth grade at Bluewater Elementary School.

“I always loved being part of a band and how teachers cultivated me to bring out my musical talents,” he said.

Carnahan continued his musical journey by being part of the bands at C.W. Ruckel Middle School and Niceville High School. While attending a LSU Chamber Winds summer camp, the faculty of Louisiana State University offered him a music scholarship. He graduated from LSU with the bachelor of music education degree in 2012.

“It was a no brainer. I feel like this is what I was called for,” he said. “It’s my passion and what I love to do. … I never looked back since.”

 Carnahan said he's excited to meet his new students and help beginner musicians.

“I want to see them develop the passion and watch them grow as musicians and as people. … That’s my motivation for sure,” he said.

A football game is scheduled a week after school starts and Carnahan said he will do whatever it takes to have the band ready for that night.

“I know the level of excellence that is required and I am ready to take on that challenge,” he said.