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2005-2006 Hall of Fame Inductees

Joseph Bellamah     Gene Braught     Ralph Burford     Marion Busby

  Pete Cisneros         Don Fleuriet          Joe Frank         Art Guajardo

  Roque Guerra       Pat McNallen     James Murphy     L. M. Snavely

 Robert Vizzetti          (Click a name to jump to their biography)

Joseph Bellamah

Joe's parents came to the United States in 1910 from Lebanon. His father was a lawyer and an interpreter, but had to work in a factory in the states. Joseph L. Bellamah was born March 1, 1917 in Utica, New York. Joe was fluent in French and Arabic before he ever entered school, and says he has tried to hold onto the latter language by reciting his morning and evening prayers in that tongue.

Joe Bellamah's musical odyssey began in Amsterdam, New York when he was assigned a flute in the junior high school band. After a couple of weeks of disliking the flute, he took it back to the director and said, "I want to play the trumpet". Play he did! He was a member of the All-State Band and Orchestra, and he played professionally in New York City as a free-lance musician. While in New York he lived in the Sloane House YMCA for $.75 a night while playing dance jobs at the Waldorf Astoria, the Hotel Pierre, and the Hotel Pennsylvania as well as at the Wurlitzer Academy of Music where he also taught trumpet in the mornings.

This phase of Joe's musical life came to an abrupt end after developing a serious case of sinus. He was told to move to a place like San Antonio and to quit playing the trumpet. Joe moved to San Antonio in 1943. Six months later his musical life was reborn. He was determined to play again, so by invitation from the conductor; he joined the San Antonio Symphony. With his health and musical prowess restored, Joe began packing to return to New York City when he received a phone call from a very persistent Weslaco school superintendent seeking a high school band director. Joe began his school teaching career at Weslaco High School where his bands consistently won Sweepstakes awards. He was one of the founders of the "Pigskin Jubilee" which is still held annually. Joe also met his wife in Weslaco and all thoughts of returning to New York ceased.

Eight years later, the Bellamahs moved to Alpine where Joe directed the Sul Ross State University Band for eight years and completed a Masters degree in Music. In 1961, Joe began a 19 year stint as band director at Texas A & I University where he ascended to the rank of full professor. Throughout the years, he continued to conduct clinics and adjudicate throughout the country, to teach privately, to travel with high school jazz groups to Europe and Asia, and to perform. He was the first President of the Texas Chapter, Catholic Band Directors National Association, and served on the National Board. He established the San Antonio Jazz Festival, and he was also a trumpet clinician for the Selmer Company.

Dr. Bellamah was honored by Texas A & I University when they named the music building "The Joseph L. Bellamah Music Building". TBA honored Joe as Bandmaster of the Year in 1991. His honorary affiliations include: Alpha Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Beta Mu, International Association of Jazz Educators, CBDNA, TBA, TMEA, and the prestigious ABA. He is listed in "Who's Who in the South and Southwest", "Band Bibliography", "Who's Who in Music", and "The World's Who's Who of Musicians'. He is also on the Leblanc Music Educators Advisory Board.

Dr. Bellamah's proudest accomplishments and greatest pride are his former students.

Gene Braught

One of the important facets to remember about the founding of the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association is that Gene Braught was an insufferable Texan. Those of us that were Oklahoma born, Oklahoma bred, Oklahoma educated and, most of all, proud to be band directors in the best state in America, didn't customarily listen with approval to Dr. Braught's stories of "things that were better in Texas."

A significant change in the Pride’s performing style came in 1962, when Gene Graught took over the marching band. He changed the style from pagentry to precision marching, although at times he combined the two styles. The 1960’s saw increasing criticism of marching bands both from the professional world and from college sports fans. Braught increased the number of contemporary works played by the concert band and experimented with different styles in his halftime shows. During this time the Pride performed its most intricate marching routines, creating geometric shapes and lines for dazzling kaleidoscopic visual effects.

(from the Oklahoma Bandmasters Hall of Fame)

Ralph Burford

Ralph Burford was born April 30, 1915 in Milton, Kansas. At age 12, he began his band career when he took his first trombone lesson from H. C. Patton. His lesson was the B-flat scale which was drawn out on the back of a postcard, and his teacher told him not to return until he could play it. He learned the lesson and ended up playing in the Milton High School Band and the Conway Springs Municipal Band.

Ralph received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wichita in 1938 and he accepted the job teaching music at Clearwater, Kansas where he taught for three years. In 1941 he accepted a music position with the public schools in Indianapolis, Indiana as supervisor of 17 high school and junior high school orchestras. On December 8, 1941, Ralph was called into service as a second lieutenant and served in the Pacific theatre and was the recipient of the Bronze Star. In 1946, he was separated from the service with the rank of Major. He returned to the teaching field as band and choir director at Mexia High School in Texas. In 1947-48, the Junior Chamber of Commerce named Ralph the “Outstanding Man of the Year” award. After one year, he had shown outstanding teaching to the music students on the community.

In 1948, Ralph accepted the high school band job in Edinburg where he developed an outstanding instrumental program in both band and orchestra. In 1958, the band was selected what has become known as the honor band and they played their concert for the TMEA convention in Galveston. From 1948 to 1965, the Edinburg band compiled a record of 57 first divisions at UIL, Buccaneer, and Tri-State in Enid, Oklahoma. The marching bands received top ratings for seventeen consecutive years. In 1959, Ralph was honored by The School Musician as one of the top ten directors in their series “They Are Making America Musical”. During these years in Edinburg, Ralph found a balance between service to the profession and service to the community. In 1962-63, he was President of the Kiwanis club and in 1964-65, Ralph served as President of the Texas Bandmasters Association.

In 1966, the Burfords moved to Pasadena, where Ralph became the Director of Music Education. Under his direction, the music department, with its faculty of 81 teachers, developed an outstanding program. Ralph continued his community service as a member of the Kiwanis club, serving on the board of directors and was an active member of the First United Methodist church. In 1972, he was named “TBA Bandmaster of the Year.”

Texas and the band world lost a valued member on May 18, 1992. Many former friends and colleagues stand in tribute to a great teacher and friend, Ralph Burford.

Marion Busby

Marion Busby was born in Spur, Texas in 1919. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Baylor University, and his Master of Music degree from Texas A & I University.

His teaching career started at Lockhart, Texas in 1940. He then moved to San Benito where he directed the high school band for three years. While there he founded and organized the Pigskin Jubilee Marching Contest for the Valley bands.

He served in the United States Navy from 1944-1945.  He spent one year with Southern Music Co. of San Antonio, and then returned to teaching.

In 1946 he became Director of Bands at Taft High School in Taft, Texas and remained there for 10 years. During his tenure, his bands received consistent First Divisions in every category. It has been said that when the Taft High School band traveled, schools had to be closed, because virtually every person in school was in the band.

In 1956 he moved to Weslaco, Texas. His Weslaco High School bands were twice named Honor Band by TMEA, and on four different occasions at the Buccaneer Days Music Festival they were named Outstanding 3A Band.

Marion Busby was Director of Bands at Del Mar College from 1963 to 1967. In 1967, he became the Supervisor of Music for the Corpus Christi schools until his death in 1970.

Marion Busby was President of TBA in 1953-54. He was posthumously awarded Bandmaster of the Year in 1977. His picture with his baritone appeared in the original Victor Band Method Book as an example for correct posture.


Pete Cisneros

Mr. Pedro “Pete” Cisneros was born in Ozona, Texas on January 28, 1934.  His parents were Mr. Reyes Cisneros and Mrs. Chita Cisneros, owners of a local grocery store.  Mr. Cisneros attended elementary through high school in this community and excelled as a musician and as an athlete.  Pete, as he prefers to be called, became an All-State saxophone player, as well as an All-State football player.   This was a remarkable feat, as times were difficult, especially for a young Hispanic male.  Mr. Cisneros never allowed this to get in his way, as he would constantly be challenged, and was always trying to be the best that he could be.

Upon graduating from Ozona High School, he proceeded to enter Sol Ross University in Alpine, Texas and pursue a career in music education.  Mr. Cisneros played clarinet while attending Sol Ross, and received his bachelor of music education degree.  Once he attained his degree, he entered into the United States Army and became a member of the fifth Army Band in San Antonio, Texas.  After completing his tour of duty, he accepted a teaching position in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District in the Rio Grande Valley.

Mr. Cisneros moved to the P.S.J.A. School District and became an assistant band director during the 1959-1960 school year.  The following year he became the high school band director and devoted a lot of his time in the development of a very strong music program.  He was single during these years, and could devote countless hours to his profession, becoming extremely influential to many young musicians.  The P.S.J.A. bands earned countless 1st divisions and sweepstakes, as well as placing numerous students in the All-Region, Area, and All-State bands.  His bands also represented Region XV as the Region Honor Band in the State Honor Band competitions.  Mr. Cisneros became Music Supervisor for P.S.J.A. School District and served in this capacity until his retirement.

Pete was a member of the Rotary Club, TBA, TMEA, and Phi Beta Mu. He served as Region XV band chairman, hosted countless competitions at his school, and continued on to become the President of the Texas Bandmasters Association. These accomplishments demonstrated his professionalism, persistence for excellence, and his quest for always doing his best at all he attempted.  These qualities he instilled in his students, staff, and peers.

Today, there are many band directors who were his students and they continue to provide the best possible musical education to their students, just as they received the best at P.S.J.A. High School under Mr. Pete Cisneros.  Among these students that are working as educators are Mr. Wilfredo Perez from Edinburg North High School, Mr. Ruben Adame from La Joya High School, and Mr. George Trevino of Lopez High School in Brownsville, Texas.  These three gentlemen are consistent representatives of Region XV at the state level in marching and concert competitions.

Other alumni of P.S.J.A. High School who are teaching include Mr. Eddie Echeverria from P.S.J.A. North High School, Mr. Javier Cantu from Nellie Schunior Middle School in La Joya, Texas, Mr. Rudy Salazar from Crowley High School, Ms. Iris Gonzalez from Hodges Bend, and Mr. Scott Myers from La Joya ISD.  Numerous other students went on to become professionals and serve their communities.  They all remember Mr. Pete Cisneros with love and respect.

Mr. Cisneros married his wife Armandina and they still reside in the Rio Grande Valley.  Pete is and always will be remembered as one of the “Great Valley Band Directors,” who has earned the respect and admiration of all his students, former staff members, and music educators of the “Great State of Texas.”

Don Fleuriet

The La Feria High School Band holds a most enviable record - from 1948 to 1968 it has received only first division ratings at all University Interscholastic League concert and marching contests. Since the beginning of the TMEA Honor Band competitions in 1958, it has been named top AA band in the state each time it has been eligible to enter. It performed at TMEA conventions in Galveston in 1959 and in Dallas in both 1961 and 1965.

Director at La Feria is Don Fleuriet. He is a graduate of Donna High School and Edinburg Junior College and holds a B.B.A., Bachelor of Music, and Master of Music degrees from Baylor University.

Joe Frank

Joseph Frank, son of Frank Frank, a career bandmaster in the United States Army, was born November 11, 1924 in Burlington, Vermont. He started his teaching career as a junior high school band director in Harlingen, Texas in the fall of 1949. He has served music education in Texas and the southwest for over forty-one years as a teacher, conductor, and music administrator.

Joe's instrumental teaching experience encompasses instruction on all instruments with students starting from elementary through university levels. His high school bands at Harlingen and later at Richardson, Texas never received less than a First Division rating in UIL concert performance.

While at Harlingen, his band received "the Outstanding Band Award" on three occasions at the Buccaneer Days Music Festival in Corpus Christi. The Richardson High School Band gained a national reputation for excellence under the direction of Mr. Frank. They were selected by tape auditions to perform at the prestigious Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

As a music administrator for the Richardson ISD, Joe developed an organizational format, including teaching methods, which enabled the many fine directors associated with that school system to build their organizations to superb levels of performance.

While serving the Texas Music Educators Association as State Band Chairman, Mr. Frank inaugurated both the state honor band program (which remains essentially in its original format to this date), and the area tryout system for all-state band students.

Since retiring from the public schools, Joe has enjoyed a busy schedule as consultant, clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor.

Art Guajardo

Arcadio “Art” Guajardo, Jr., was born in Pharr, Texas, on March 10, 1934.  He attended Buell Elementary School in Pharr and joined the band program in the sixth grade.  His first instrument was a one-piece metal clarinet, which had a tendency to turn green if it wasn’t cleaned periodically.   In junior high, the 7th and 8th grades were housed in the same building as the high school.  So, the band director, Mr. Edwin Holt, would use the 7th and 8th grades in the high school band for added numbers.  The band hall was an old wooden barracks.

Art graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in 1954.  His band director Mr. Walter Whitlow, and the assistant Mr. David Gamboa, encouraged him to attend VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.  So, Art packed all his worldly possessions in an old cardboard suitcase 7 inches by 15 by 26 (which he still has stored in the garage).  He hitched a ride with a migrant family who was going to Indiana to work in the fields during the summer.  This family of five and Art piled into an old beat-up, two-door 1936 Chevrolet, which would barely make it over the hills.  From Indianapolis he took a Greyhound bus into Chicago.  This was the first time Art had ever been out of the state of Texas.

When Art arrived at the Randolph Street Station, he caught a cab and the driver gruffly asked “Where to, Mack?” Art said “3219 South Michigan,…Mack!”  He looked at Art kind of puzzled and asked, “Are you sure?”  Art told him that was where he wanted to go.  Art wasn’t quite sure why the driver had asked, but he began to get a better picture when the cab stopped in a very rough neighborhood.  When Art paid him his fare, he remembered that in the big cities you tip the driver.  So, he fished in his pocket and took out a fifty- cent piece.  The driver looked at it and rudely hollered “What!  Is this all I get?”  Art yelled back “Well, that’s all I can afford.  If you don’t want it I’ll take it back.”  The driver kept it!

Four years later in 1958, Art graduated from VanderCook and was hired by the Brownsville ISD to be a junior high school band director.  Art was also Bob Vezzetti’s assistant at the high school, instructing all the woodwinds.  He was very instrumental in the high school band’s three performances at the Mid-West Convention in Chicago, Illinois, under the leadership of Bob Vezzetti.  The level of excellence of the Brownsville High School bands, of that early era, was directly attributed to Art’s great teaching of the woodwind sections.

In 1974, Bob Vezzetti became Supervisor of Music, and Art was promoted to head director at the old Brownsville High School, which was re-named Hanna High School, continuing the tradition of excellence at this school.

Under his leadership of forty years, the Hanna High School “Golden Eagle Band” was a consistent Sweepstakes winner, produced many All-State students, and numerous winners of the Outstanding Musicians at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble competitions.  The Hanna “Golden Eagle Band” won competitions in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Chicago, and Florida.   For several years, Art wrote his own drills and arranged the performance music for the marching band. His arrangements and outstanding drill concepts and execution were cutting edge in their day.

Art’s band represented Region XV in the honor band process numerous times, and was a tremendous example for others to follow.  Whenever the band performed at concerts and UIL performances, many directors would attend to experience the beauty and mastery of the performance.  Many directors still remember the great performances at Buccaneer Days Music Festival in Corpus Christi, and the Six Flags competitions in Dallas.

Art was always very methodical and insistent that his band was consistent in all facets of his program.  Many of his students have followed in his footsteps as band directors, and many more continue to be supporters of band and music in Brownsville, because of their experiences in this organization.  Art Guajardo has been instrumental in the development of the band programs in the Rio Grande Valley, and continues to be a strong influence as he travels across the Valley as an adjudicator, clinician, arranger of band music and orchestral transcriptions, and as a friend.  His bands and community bands have performed his arrangements, and the Texas A & M University Band performed one of his arrangements at their TMEA concert.

Art retired in July of 1998.  He and Mary, his wife of twenty-six years, enjoy gardening and traveling.  One of their favorite places is still the city of Chicago where Mary attended high school, although, she is originally from the Rio Grande Valley.  Mary still enjoys teaching business courses at Hanna High School, and Art still enjoys doing clinics, judging, arranging, and helping students with their region and area materials.

Roque Guerra

In 1932, Roque Guerra, at the age of twenty, was called by the superintendent of Rio Grande City Independent School District to start the music program. Mr. Guerra accepted the job, and thus began his long career as a public educator.

His first teaching assignment resulted in the beginning of the first string orchestra for the district. Mr. Guerra was excited to begin his teaching career in Rio Grande City and was even more excited by his wonderful salary of $35.00 a month! His first classroom was in the basement of the main school building. This was his music room for several years. Little did he know that some forty years later, this school, now rebuilt into a very large and modern structure, would be renamed in his honor.

During World War II, because of the lack of teachers, Mr. Guerra was given additional assignments. He taught choir, coached soccer, baseball and basketball. He was also band director at the same time. His involvement with his students was very influential. This is evident in that fifteen of his ex-students are now band directors.

He never stopped being a “second father” to all students, and this has made him unforgettable to a generation of music lovers who came from this small community in south Texas. While he met all of his responsibilities to the district, he also kept within his budget by copying and arranging music for the band. He also repaired band instruments and personally supplied some of the materials which were not available.

The Rio Grande City High School Band was always involved in activities that took them to various Valley cities and even into Mexico. The activities included parades, competitions, ceremonies and concerts.

Mr. Guerra has been honored by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus; the Rio Grande City Lions Club; Texas Bandmasters Association for twenty years of continuous membership; Life membership by the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers; Texas Bandmasters Association Bandmaster of the Year 1967; and Life membership in the Rattler Booster Club of Rio Grande City.

Rio Grande City ISD honored him by naming an elementary school after him. He has also been honored with community banquets, halftime football show performances by various high school bands, and a presentation at the UIL Marching Competition Grand Finale “Pigskin Jubilee.” The mayor of Monterrey, Mexico, gave a banquet in his honor in appreciation for a concert given by the Rattler Band in that city.

His services as a public educator lasted forty years. He is well known in the community and still keeps in touch with present band directors. After his retirement in 1972, Mr. Guerra was elected Starr County Commissioner from 1973-1977, and served as Superintendent for Public Instruction from 1978-1980.

Mr. Guerra and his wife, Ninfa, have been married for 58 years and have two children. His son is retired from the Air Force and lives in Nebraska. His daughter is a teacher in the Katy Independent School District.

His love of music and his dedication to education and public service will always be appreciated by the community. Mr. Guerra is very grateful to all the wonderful people who have helped in his career and have supported him through these many years. He has said on many occasions, that if given a choice, he would do everything the same way, because working with children and guiding them is the most fulfilling job there is.

Pat McNallen

Pat McNallen was born in Logan, Ohio on December 2, 1924. His family moved to Breckenridge, Texas when Pat was eleven. He finished high school there and entered Southwestern University in Georgetown. His education was interrupted when he enlisted in the service during World War II. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to college in Georgetown where he finished his Bachelor of Music degree in 1949. He received his Master of Music degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1951.

Pat began his career while still a student at Southwestern University by teaching band part-time in the small community of Thrall, Texas. His first full-time teaching position was that of Director of Bands in Cross Plains, Texas. His next job was in Childress where he was the director of the Childress bands and choirs. In 1957, he moved to Mission, Texas to become Director of Bands. He was a loved and respected teacher there for eleven years. Pat became band director in Edinburg in 1968. Later, he was named Director of Instrumental Music and finally, Supervisor of Music for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District.

Pat was an innovator. In the days when 80-100 piece bands were thought to be large, Pat had the personnel, school, and community support to field a 200 piece band.

Pat died in a tragic auto-motorcycle accident on February 13, 1984. A proverb recalled by the minister giving the eulogy at the service for Pat best describes Pat's life: "If you sing to a person a song, you provide that person with a few moments of enjoyment....... if you teach a person to sing, you provide a song for life."

James Murphy

Jim Murphy's influence transcended the city limits of Brownsville, then a sleepy border town, the Rio Grande Valley, and even the state of Texas. He had the ability to take the children of "common folk" and make great music which placed him in the position of musical and teaching leadership.

James Murphy was born on February 16, 1918 in Logansport, Indiana. He was a graduate of Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, the U.S. Army School of Music, and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. From 1946 to 1957, he was director of the famed Brownsville Golden Eagle Band, winner of 11 Sweepstakes, two appearances at the Midwest Band Clinic, and three times winning every award in sight at the Tri-State Music Festival in Enid, Oklahoma. For 12 years, Jim served as a guest clinician and adjudicator, throughout the state of Texas. He was elected and officiated as Band Chairman for TMEA. In 1958, he accepted a position at the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota where he remained until 1980. He then became an instrumental consultant in the Edgewood ISD, until he retired in 1982.

Jim's dedication to music as a profound art exacted every ounce of his energies, and he demanded one's all regardless of whether one was having a studio lesson, learning to conduct, preparing to teach, or playing in one of his ensembles.

Jim was a member of the American Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, Music Educators National Conference, and Texas Music Educators Association.

Jim passed away on June 17, 1983 in San Antonio.

Murphy may not be in heaven yet, he may be doing penance. Oh, he arrived at the pearly gates all right, but just as St. Peter was greeting him, Gabriel started playing his trumpet. And we can all hear Murphy as he said, "Gabriel, with all that practice you have had, you still can't play worth a damn!"

L. M. Snavely

L. M. Snavely, Jr. graduated from high school in Brownsville, then earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Baylor and Master of Music Degree from Vandercook. He also earned the Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Texas. While in the service, Dr. Snavely played first horn in the Fourth Army Band.

Dr. Snavely's first teaching job was in Harlingen where he was assistant to Joe Frank for one year and director of the junior high band for two years. Under his direction, the junior high school band entered seven music contests winning division I ratings at each event. The highlight was winning the Buccaneer Music Festival entered as a high school band and competing against 32 high school bands.

Dr. Snavely taught for eleven years as Director of Bands at McAllen High School. The McAllen band was awarded Sweepstakes honors for ten consecutive years and led the Rio Grande Valley many years in number of students selected as All-Region and All-State members. During this time the McAllen Band placed second, fourth, and first in the TMEA Honor Band competition. A highlight of those years was two or three concerts each year featuring nationally known performers such as Meredith Willson, Doc Severson, Alfred Reed, and Karl King. The band also took annual tours of central Mexico for several years. The McAllen Band was selected by the Suddler Foundation and John Phillip Sousa Committee as one of the premier American school bands for the decade 1960-1970.

After finishing his doctorate at the University of Texas, Dr. Snavely served for sixteen years as Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Mississippi. He was selected as the Outstanding Teacher of the Music Department for 1976. At one time Dr. Snavely had over one hundred fifty former students serving as band directors at all levels and in many states.

Dr. Snavely took the position of Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Notre Dame in 1987. Under his direction the band doubled in size and was recognized as one of the outstanding college band programs. Dr. Snavely was selected as the recipient of the Special Presidential Award for outstanding contribution to the University of Notre Dame in 1996. He was the first person from the Music Department to be selected for this award and at this time is still the only one.

Over the years, Dr. Snavely has belonged to countless musical organizations and has served as clinician, conductor, and adjudicator in various parts of the country. While a Texas band director he served in all capacities at the regional level of TMEA, as well as having served as an organizer of all-state bands and State Band chairman of that organization. He also served for six years as Chairman of the Music Selection Committee of UIL.

Dr. Snavely was inducted into membership of the American Bandmasters Association in 1987.

Robert Vizzetti

Robert Vezzetti was born on March 25, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest son of Joseph and Catherine Vezzetti. He attended schools in Chicago and graduated from Fenger High School in 1950. He was attracted into the music field and started school at the famed VanderCook College of Music. It is reported that Bob was something of an accordion whiz; he did perform on that instrument to help defray expenses of education. He received a B.M.E. from VanderCook in 1954 and accepted a job in the Brownsville ISD as band director at Cummings Junior High School until Uncle Sam accepted his services as a tuba player in the 384th Army Band. He graduated from the U. S. Army Band School in 1956. Following that musical experience, Bob returned to Brownsville as the assistant high school director, working with Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame member, Jim Murphy, until he succeeded him as Director of Bands in 1958.

Bob held that position for sixteen years, and his bands were awarded the UIL sweepstakes each year as well as appearing twice at the Midwest National Band Clinic in Chicago and twice at the Mideast National Band Clinic in Pittsburgh. His band was twice named the Outstanding Band at the Buccaneer Festival and the 1965 band was selected as the Honor Band of TMEA. The band performed a brilliant concert in Dallas at the TMEA Clinic-Convention.

During his tenure, the Brownsville High School Band had 43 members selected as All-State members, over 200 as All-Region bandsmen, and they compiled an impressive record of over 1,000 medals in UIL Solo and Ensemble competition. The Brownsville Golden Eagle Band made numerous concert tours in Mexico as well as presenting radio and TV programs in our neighbor to the south. A highlight of those sixteen years was a concert tour in Europe. Bob also found time to serve as a clinician in Texas, Mississippi and Illinois.

Bob married Isabel Garcia, daughter of a longtime Brownsville family, and they have three sons, Robertino, Michael and Joseph. Following being named as Teacher of the Year in 1969,

Bob was selected for the Brownsville and Texas Knights of Columbus Outstanding Educator award in 1972. He served on many TMEA and UIL committees, and in 1974, Bob became the Director of Music Activities for the Brownsville ISD. His administrative skills were like his podium skills and in 1978, he was named Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, a position he held until his retirement in 1990.

His civic contributions to Brownsville are many. He served twice as President of Charro Days International Festival, he held a position on the City Planning and Zoning Commission, and was two times President of the Historical Society. He published a book on local history that is now in its third printing and continues to write articles on local history. Bob currently manages his ranch in Kenedy County, fishes in his spare time and travels for business and pleasure. With his typical humor, he says that with the current drought, he may sell the cattle and buy camels.

Brownsville, Texas and the band world are proud that Bob Vezzetti came our way.