1959 - 2015
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Nov. 22, 1959 - Feb. 17, 2015

Heaven's marching band has a new director. Beloved Austin band director Gary Faust died Feb. 17, 2015.

In 1977-78, Gary served as a drum major at Austin's Crockett High School, then home to one of the best band programs in Texas, under legendary band director Paula Crider. That inspired him to pursue a career teaching music. Gary earned his Bachelor of Music degree in 1983 from the University of Texas and was a member of Longhorn Band. He remained a passionate "Lifetime Longhorn."

Gary began his career as the assistant band director at Austin's Anderson High School. Next, he served as graduate assistant director of bands at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, where he received his master's in music. Gary then came home to Austin, serving as head director at Dobie Middle School. Over time, he would serve as head director at three area high schools: Reagan, Travis and Akins and assistant director at Georgetown H.S. Gary also transformed Mesquite High School in North Texas into one of the most successful 5A band programs in the state. Gary was particularly proud of the number of students who majored in music at great music schools throughout the nation. Many of those students earned full scholarships.

After Mesquite, Gary returned to UT and pursued his Ph.D. in education administration. While working as a full-time student, he served as the head band director at Travis. Gary maintained a 4.0 grade point average at the same time he led Travis to its first-ever Area Marching Contest and first UIL Sweepstakes in more than 20 years.

Gary's next move was to Akins High School, where he led the Eagle Band to the State Marching Band Championship finals in 2006 and earned 10 consecutive UIL Sweepstakes awards. He also inspired hundreds of students to pursue a college education, and that work was featured in the 2013 PBS documentary "Marching to Nowhere."

With his accomplishments, Gary could have worked anywhere, but he was drawn to communities with fewer resources where kids faced steeper challenges.

"I guess I just ended up at places where people think the kids can't succeed," Gary told PBS. "And that's just never been a part of me. I told them we're going do this. We're going do it right. We're going to do our best, and we're going try and be the best."

A legion of loyal former students - people who got to know him over 30 years of teaching - love "Mr. Faust" dearly and miss him.

Gary, or "Guzzy," is survived by his mother Geraldine Faust; sister Terri Johnson; brother-in-law Tracy Johnson; nephews Hunter Johnson, Tome Johnson and Scooter Faust; niece Brandi Faust; his dear cousins Ray, Danny and Royle Faust and many others; and his babies Brice, Grayson and Tessa.

His father Sam Faust and brother Sammy greeted Gary in heaven.

A celebration of Gary's life is scheduled for Sunday, March 29, at 4 p.m. at the AISD Performing Arts Center in Mueller, 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Longhorn Alumni Band Scholarship Fund at PO Box 302611, Austin, TX., 78703

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2015.
Celebration of Life
04:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
February 23, 2015
The family, friends, students, and colleagues of Gary Faust have my deepest and sincerest sympathy for his passing. Gary will be missed dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tom Waggoner
February 23, 2015
My sincere condolences to the Faust family. May God Be with you all during this time.
Sylvia Limon
February 22, 2015
It was a pleasure to know Gary.
Elaine Hower
February 22, 2015
What an honor it is to be the first to say something on this Memorial Book.

Gary, as I've said before Thank You for everything. You made me a better person, by demanding excellence and teaching me how to get there.

Until We meet again...Watch Out For That TREE.

MMB 1993-1997
Euphonium Section Leader 1995-1997
Sarah Moore
February 22, 2015
Gary was my good friend for forty years. I find it impossible to believe that he is gone, but I know very few people who leave a legacy as great and widespread as his. Rest in peace, my dear friend. We will all love and miss you forever.
Michelle Morrison
February 22, 2015
Gary in November 2014
Vicki Ray-Brizendine
February 22, 2015
I consider myself lucky to have known Guzzy 51 years. Our families have spent many amazing years together, some of the funniest involved Guzzy. His infectious laughter and incredible sense of humor led to many memories that I will cherish. Most recently, he went to see my Dad with my sister and I at a nursing home shortly before he died in November. After visiting we went out for dinner and drinks. I laughed till my sides hurt reminiscing about the times we were younger and the pranks we used to pull, or those that were pulled on us. We had good times together, and we shared heartbreak together as well. I loved Gary like a brother. My memories are held close to my heart, I will also hold that "laugh" to cheer me up when I think about him, but for now, my heart is broken. I love you so much my dear friend, thank you for being a part of my life, it is richer because you were in it. I am certain that Heaven's angels are being assembled into the greatest band with you at the helm. I know you will meet me with horns blaring in beautiful harmony but until then know you made a difference in more lives than you ever knew! on sweet angel.
Vicki Ray-Brizendine
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