Carmel Bands, Carmel, Indiana

Carmel Middle School Bands


The Performing Arts Division at Carmel Middle School is home to nearly 600 students.  Currently, over 250 students participate in the band program including, Beginning Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band.  Students also participate in Pep Band, Jazz Band, Solo and Ensemble, and many other small chamber ensembles that meet outside the school day.   The CaMS band program strives to set students up with the skills necessary to make them successful adults outside the band room.


Mr. Chris Draybn
Mr. Drabyn is currently in his 9th year as a teacher and first year as director of bands at Carmel Middle School where he teaches beginning band, concert band, symphonic band, general music, and jazz band.  Prior to this he taught from 2004-2012 for the Avon Community School Corporation teaching 5th grade general music, sixth grade band, and 2 high school jazz bands.  Chris is also a free-lance trumpet player, composer, and arranger having previously directed and written for the Swing Shift and Joy Swing Big Bands in Indianapolis.

Chris received his Bachelor of Music Education from Valparaiso University in 2002 and Masters of Music with an emphasis in jazz performance from DePaul University in Chicago in 2004.   He has had the great honor of studying with Charles Steck, Robert Lark, Bill Adam, John Rommel, Larry Novak, Billy Foster, and Mark Buselli.

Chris currently lives in Brownsburg, IN with his wife Emily, daughter Annaliese, Miniature Schnauzer Vonnegut, and baby “Bean” Drabyn (due August 2013!).


Mrs. Becky McElhannon
Mrs. McElhannon (Mrs. Mac) is originally from Evansville, IN and earned her Music Education degree from the University of Evansville as a clarinet major. She taught Instrumental Music in the Evansville Schools for three years before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

While in Dallas, Mrs. McElhannon taught in the Forney Independent Schools for one year and six years with the Garland Independent School District. While in Garland, her bands consistently received “Sweepstakes” awards at the UIL organizational contest. Her bands also earned numerous “Best Band of the Day” awards at the annual Sandy Lake Music Festival in Carrollton, Texas.

Mrs. McElhannon is happy to be back in Indiana teaching Band at Carmel Middle School! Outside of school, Mrs. Mac enjoys spending time with her husband (a retired band director), her cat Mr. Nickleby, and her sister and brother-in-law, who live in Indianapolis. She also enjoys running, reading, and making cupcakes in her spare time.

Awards and Recognitions

Carmel Middle School bands participate in the ISSMA concert band organizational contest where the top band has received a Gold level, first division rating every year since the 1960’s. Under the direction of Mr. Drabyn and Mrs. McElhannon, in 2013, both the 8th grade and 7th grade bands received a gold rating at this contest. The 8th grade band participates in the Music in the Parks festival most years where they consistently earn superior ratings. In 2014, the Carmel Middle school 6th grade band will join the top two bands in competing at the ISSMA contest. The 7th grade band has enjoyed many successes at the IMEA non-competitive festival, as well.  The 8th grade band is a frequent competitor and performer in the Music in the Parks Festivals held in St. Louis and Chicago.

Video and Recordings

6th Grade recordings:
7th Grade recordings:
8th Grade recordings: Let_Evening_Come.wav
Jazz Band recordings: Back_Home_Again_in_Indiana.wav

About Carmel Middle School

Carmel Middle School (CMS) opened in the fall of 1964 as Carmel Junior High, with 900 students in grades 7, 8, & 9. It was the city’s first junior high building. Sixth graders joined the school when Clay Junior High opened in 1974, relieving overcrowding problems. In 1995, freshman moved to the Carmel High School, and Carmel Junior High became Carmel Middle School with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the building. CMS received the Indiana Department of Education’s most recent “Four Star School” designation. There are currently over 1200 students who attend Carmel Middle School.