Remembering former Ocean Springs High Band Director Joe Cacibauda


As we first told you yesterday, former long-time Ocean Springs Band Director Joe Cacibauda passed away at the age of 70 from lung cancer.

Joe Cacibauda, better known as Mr. Joe, was the band director of Ocean Springs High School from 1984 to 2015. He was not just a beloved musician and teacher, but a mentor to so many. Director of Bands Mohamad Schuman said, “The thing that I gained most from Mr. Joe, other than his musicianship because it was superb, but it was a fact that I always had so much respect for him because it was evident that his students loved him and as a teacher, that is what I want to emulate.”

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After his farewell concert for his retirement in 2015, the Ocean Springs band hall was dedicated and named in his honor. Kevin Shira, the assistant director of bands, student-taught with Mr. Joe. “If he had a bad day, I never saw it. He did a really good job of always, if a rehearsal didn’t go as well, he hid it from the kids. Everything was always positive. He was strict and he ran a very tight ship and the kids respected that and worked hard to show him that.”

Although the current band students at Ocean Springs High School were not able to experience Mr. Joe’s leadership in person, his legacy continues to live through his memory here. OSHS Registrar and parent of a former band member Patricia Grigsby said, “You see videos of the final concert or the final this and with Mr. Joe, there will never be a final. He will live on in everybody’s heart.”

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Gabrielle Cox is native to Hammond, Louisiana where she attended grade school, high school, and college. Gabrielle was an all district athlete for the girls soccer team at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. After high school, she went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish at Southeastern Louisiana University. She was a reporter and anchor for the Southeastern Channel where her and her team received a number of awards, including a Suncoast Emmy for a live football game broadcasted by ESPN+ in which she was the sideline reporter. Gabby has had a life full of traveling and is blessed to have family placed all over the world. However, the aspect that makes Gabby standout is that she has a brother with Autism and that is nonverbal. Gabby plays a huge part in the role of her brother’s life and quotes that she would not be the person she is today if it was not for him.