Home 2023-2024 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016 2014-2015 2013-2014 2012-2013 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010 2008-2009 2007-2008 2006-2007 2005-2006

2019-2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

Susan Edmonson

Among the first female band directors in the Rio Grande Valley and the first woman to be hired as a band director by the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, Susan Swindle Edmonson shared her passion for music with thousands of Valley school children over a 30 year career. Known as “Mrs. Ed” to her students, Susan taught in Edinburg, McAllen and Weslaco.

Susan was born and raised in Edinburg, Texas by her parents, Joe and Naomi Swindle.  Although starting on clarinet in sixth grade (1963), she soon switched to flute on the recommendation of RGV Band Director Hall of Famer, Ralph Burford. He even gave her a few lessons to get her started. In the Edinburg Junior High Band, Susan was introduced to the band experience that would become a major part of her life for over forty years. Susan made All-Valley Band and earned metals for both solo and ensemble competition. Being one of the few junior high bands to compete at Pigskin Jubilee, it was then when Susan first discovered the thrill and teamwork of marching band. Susan continued to successfully compete in high school making both All-Valley and All-State Bands. She played in the EHS Orchestra and was also elected by her bandmates as Bobcat Band Sweetheart.

Graduating with honors in 1970, her last two years of high school band were under the direction of another RGV Band Director Hall of Famer, Pat McNallen. He would later hire her as the first female band director at Edinburg High School. Susan attended Pan American College and graduated from Pan American University in 1975, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education. During her time in college, she played in the concert band, the Pan American University Valley Symphony, jazz band and the pit orchestra for musical performances. She was in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, a charter member of Mu Phi Epsilon Sorority (music), MENC, and Kappa Delta Sorority (social).

Susan began her career in 1975 as Assistant Band Director to Pat McNallen at Edinburg High School. In 1977, she moved to Edinburg North Junior High as Head Band Director for two years. When the new Edinburg Junior High 8th & 9th grade campus opened in 1979, Susan moved there to become the school’s first Head Band Director.

In 1980, Susan left Edinburg to join the McAllen Memorial High School Band staff as an assistant and director of the Concert Band. After a year in McAllen, she moved on to Weslaco where she was an assistant band director. During her three years in Weslaco, Susan worked for yet another Band Director Hall of Famer, her husband, Joe Edmonson. They welcomed their son, Jordan, to this world in 1984 while in Weslaco.

The Edmonson Family returned to Edinburg later in 1984, and it was back home where Susan continued her career until her retirement in 2005. During these years, Susan taught at Edinburg North Middle School (Assistant Band Director), Edinburg High School (Assistant Band Director), Edinburg 6th Grade Campus (Head Band Director) ,Edinburg South Middle School (Assisant and Symphonic Band Director), and, then back where she started, Edinburg High School (Assistant Band Director). During many years in Edinburg, Susan worked with Ciro Trevino, a third Band Director Hall of Famer. After retiring, Susan continued to teach private lessons for several years. During her 30 years of teaching, Mrs. Ed is most proud of her students as they are the heart of her career. From the various bands who earned superior ratings in UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest to the individual students who excelled in UIL Solo & Ensemble, and those who made All-Valley, All-Region and/or All -State Bands, all have played their parts well. Today, Susan and her husband Joe, both retired, spend much of their time at their cabin in Medina, Texas. They also love to travel and visit their children , Jordan, his wife, Alana and grandson Knox; Courtney and her husband, Tony, and grandchildren Myra, Sonia and Sammy. Susan also apreciates spending time with friends and enjoys participating in Kappa Delta Sorority Alumnae Chapter and Chapter DM of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. According to Susan, “Although the life of a band director can be all consuming, it has been a rewarding journey and a gift to be able to share my passion for music with so many.”

Charles Wade Foster

Charles Foster was born on August 14, 1953, to Gene and Katherine Foster in Columbus, MS.  He was a member of the Stephen D. Lee High School and Robert S. Caldwell bands under the direction of Mr. John Hasson and Mr. David Williams. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Mississippi and was a member of the Ole Miss Rebel Band, under the direction of Dr. Luther Snavely, formerly from Brownsville, Harlingen, and McAllen, TX.  Mr. Foster went on to receive a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Lamar University.

In 1976, with the guidance of Dr. Snavely and Mr. Bryce Taylor of Alice, Texas, Charles was very fortunate to join the Brownsville ISD band staff under the direction of Mr. Bob Vezetti as trumpet instructor with Art Guajardo at Hanna High School and Band Assistant to Mr. Jimmy Knox at Central Middle School. From 1977 – 1982, Mr. Foster was named band director at Oliviera Middle School. Mr. Foster remained there until 1982 at which time he accepted a position as Band Director in Baytown, TX at Gentry Middle School under the direction of Ben Gollehon, Fine Arts Director.  Mr. Foster conducted RGV All-Valley bands and other all-star groups in the valley for many years.

Mr. Foster and his programs consistently earned UIL Sweepstakes and the Gentry Band was ranked in the State Honor Band Competition.

Charles always credited Dr. Snavely and the Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley band staff with his successes, and the great opportunity to teach in superior programs with experienced teachers.

Charles was married to Doris Foster for 45 years and has two children, Jason (Patricia) Foster and Katie (Ismael) Reyna. He has two grandchildren, Katherine and Christopher Reyna.