Bay High’s Million Dollar Band Director Moving on After 13 Triumphant Years


Bay High school will lose two great educators at the end of the school year. 

The Million Dollar Band director Nicholas Efstathiou and his wife Kelly, who teaches television production at Bay High will be moving to Georgia. 

When Efstathiou walked into Bay High’s band program 13 years ago, he had his work cut out for him. But as a 26-year-old Bay High alum, he was able to connect with the 20 some band students and begin growing back the program. 

“We told them to bring a friend to the band and we started teaching them instruments and by the first football game we had about 60 kids in the program,” said Efstathiou.

The Million Dollar Band went on the win awards, play at events and parades across the country and even internationally. But to Efstathiou it’s not about the recognition. 

“It’s more than music, it’s more than a Friday night football game or sitting in a concert, it’s what we can really teach the youth to be successful,” said Efstathiou.

He sets high expectations and focuses on relationship building.

“You can build that relationship with any organizations and set goals that are obtainable and achievable and keep on pushing,” said Efstathiou.

Friday he broke the news to the band, now at more than 100 members, that this will be his last year. He’s moving to Georgia to be closer to family and to bring his wife Kelly, who has her own rising music career, closer to Nashville. The local Christian Country group Kelly and Cori have landed on national music charts for their first radio single “Take Me Back to Church,” said Efstathiou.

Efstathiou said it’s their faith that has led them to where they are. 

“I strongly believe that God leads us and I’m the vessel that is teaching them through music education,” said Efstathiou.

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