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Diane Elaine Gorzycki - Class of 2010

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Diane Gorzycki, an Austin native was born November 9, 1953, the middle of three daughters of George and Pat Gorzycki. She was an artistic and musical child, learning the piano and French horn and deciding in seventh grade to be a band director. Her sister, Linda remembers, “Diane always pushed farther. As small children, we bought some gummed paper strips at the dime store. I made a paper chain; Diane made a bicycle.” A 1971 graduate of Austin High School, Diane received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Texas in 1975. She was president of Jester Dorm, an officer and section leader in Longhorn Band, and a member of Orange Jackets and Mortar Board. Her 31 years as a 4-foot-9-inch band director included Saegert Middle School in Seguin (1976 77), Porter Middle School (1977-93), and Bailey Middle School (1993-2006). She was an Austin ISD Teacher of the Year finalist in 2006. That same year she became Austin ISD Administrative Supervisor of Fine Arts and retired the next year after diagnosis of a rare uterine cancer.

Bands under Ms. G's direction received numerous invitations to perform at music conferences of national significance, including the Music Educators National Conference, the J.P. Sousa Middle School Honor Band Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, the College Band Directors National Band Association Southern Division Conference, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Her bands received honors each year at the Texas UIL, accumulated twenty-eight "Best in Class" honors in major national music festivals, and were selected as finalist in the Texas Honor Band competition. Her band was the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Sudler Silver Cup International Award. Diane was an adjudicator, clinician, lecturer, and director throughout Texas and the United States. She was presented the National Band Association "Citation of Excellence" on three separate occasions, and her bands were the recipient of three proclamations from the Texas State Senate. Each summer she was a guest conductor at music camps including the University of Texas, Texas Tech University, and Baylor University.

Ms. Gorzycki served as a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation "Sudler Cup" Selection Committee, was on the National Band Association Board of Directors as a middle school representative, and was an appointed member of the Texas UIL Prescribed Music List Selection Committee. She was a past state board member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity, Texas Music Educators Association, and Texas Music Educators Conference. She also served as past president, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band. She was the scholarship chairman for Women Band Directors International, a member of Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and Music Educators National Conference, Phi Delta Kappa, and has held lifetime memberships in Sigma Alpha Iota and Tau Beta Sigma.

In 2008, six months after Diane’s death, Austin ISD announced its new southwest middle school would be named after her. Gorzycki Middle School was dedicated the day before Diane’s birthday in 2009.

Diane loved music and found it to be a route to relationships—with middle school students, with parents, with the world. And she gave others her love of music through those relationships. And yet Diane’s life was not just music. She loved her family and friends. She created stained glass pieces and fused glass art. She sang at weddings. She was a Cub Scout Leader. She painted the exterior of her house, rewired electrical outlets, and put up her wooden fence herself. Most of all, Diane was a loving mother to her son Scott Harbour, who meant even more to her than music and teaching.

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