In Memory of Doug Fischer



Beloved Pioneer Middle School instrumental music teacher Doug Fischer was just 59 years old when he passed away June 13, 2018. Doug worked in public education for 36 years – 28 of those as band and orchestra teacher in the Tustin Unified School District. He joined  TUSD in 1990 as a band teacher at both Columbus Tustin Middle School and Tustin High School. In 1992, he became the band director solely at Tustin High and remained at the school for seven years. During his tenure there, he doubled the size of the school’s marching band and incorporated an award-winning pageantry unit.   

In 1999, Doug moved to Pioneer Middle School and helped open the new school as its band and orchestra director. He taught instrumental music at Pioneer for 19 years. Mr. Fischer started the school’s instrumental music program, which began with 70 students and grew to more than 300 musicians, including an 80-piece string orchestra – one of the largest in Orange County. Over the years, many of his students have been selected to several prestigious music groups, such as All-Southern California Middle School Honor Band, All-Southern California Middle School String Orchestra, and All-Southern California Middle School Honor Full Orchestra. A number of his students also have made their careers in music.

Doug was named TUSD Teacher of the Year in 2004 and represented the District in the Orange County Teachers of the Year Program. He was also selected as Outstanding Music Educator at the World of Music Festival, was a member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, and served as band director for the Wildwood Music Institute, a summer music camp for students. Most recently, Mr. Fischer was honored as a quarterfinalist for the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year award. The impact he has had on music education for Tustin Unified students is immeasurable, and he will be sorely missed.

The Tustin Public Schools Foundation has established the Doug Fischer Memorial Music Fund in his honor, to be used to benefit music students in Tustin Unified.