Valdez, new band director, has visions to expand membership
Looking to rebuild the band program
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 15:08
ASU’s newest music director Thursday, Sept. 5, will lead the first official marching band show at the Rams football game.
Arturo “Art” Valdez III replaced Dr. Daniel McCloud, who left ASU at the end of the spring 2013 semester.
“A friend of mine, [President of the Texas Bandmasters Association and an ASU alumnus] Fred Vélez, as well as other members of the committee, informed me that the position was available,” Valdez said. “They convinced me that I could rebuild this program, so I came and checked out the facilities in the university to make sure this was a place where I could build a program. I was very impressed with what I saw, so I pursued the opportunity.”
Valdez said he originally wanted to become a veterinarian, but a music director inspired him to become one as well when he played the bassoon in high school.
“My dad had a ranch and worked with animals all the time, but then comes in this band director my junior year,” Valdez said. “He turned the program around in our high school and influenced me, and before I knew it I was a music major. I’ve loved every minute of it ever since.”
A native of Laredo, Valdez said he went to Kingsville to earn his bachelor’s in all-level music and his master’s in educational administration at Texas A&M.
Prior to coming to ASU, Valdez taught at Texas Christian University and various public schools across Texas for 25 years. During Valdez’s public school career he led his marching bands to numerous state championships in marching and concert contests.
Valdez said from 1999 to 2004 he was the director of instrumental music for the Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas’ fifth-largest district with more than 80,000 students. At one time Valdez was also the president of the Texas Bandmasters Association.
Valdez said his main goal at the moment is to help build up the university’s marching band numbers.
“We need to build the program,” Valdez said. “There is no reason why we should not have a 200-piece band every year. We need to build strong relationships with surrounding area schools, all the way from El Paso to Fort Worth, so that we can recruit more high school seniors to become freshmen here at ASU.”
Senior Nikki Moore has nothing but praises for the newly settled band director.
“I think he’s doing a lot, and it’s definitely different,” Moore said. “I know I’m going to be doing things different when I start teaching.”
Valdez led the marching band during the summer to give the band members a feel for his style of directing music before he officially became the music director for the fall semester.
“We added a day to band camp, and they were exhausted,” Valdez said, “and then we had performance complications. Before Rambunctious we worked hard for seven days, but they didn’t complain. They’re superb kids and I am very blessed to be a part of this team.”