Irving Dreibrodt was born in San Antonio on October 12, 1920. He graduated from Brackenridge High School. He received his B.M. degree from Baylor University, Masters Degree from the University of Texas and an honorary Doctor of Music from the Southern College of Fine Arts. He served as director of the Baylor Band for 1/2 year in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army Air Force during WW II. After the war, he taught at Driskell Junior High in Corpus Christi before he returned to San Antonio to become band director at Brackenridge High School, a position he filled for 13 years. During the years 1950 to 1954, he also was band director at Trinity University in his spare time. Irving was also one of the directors who “recreated” the Texas Bandmasters Association. He was responsible for moving the convention to a hotel in 1953. There were 3 exhibits and “Dri” had to borrow money from Southern Music Company to check the association out of the hotel.
In 1958, Southern Methodist University employed Irving to field a band which would attract attention of half-time fans. From this man came the “Show Band of SMU - 96 Guys and a Gal - The Best-Dressed Band in the Land.” All these titles were earned by this most distinctive college band. The band appeared with Bob Hope, Presidents Ford and Nixon. Their concerts were sellouts; their recordings were jazz classics, with the famous Jack Rohr arrangements that would set toes tapping everywhere. They were the official inaugural band for Governor Clements in 1979, and in 1980 set a new record of playing “Peruna” 701 times during the Tulane game. Advertisements for new lips appeared soon after that game. Dreibrodt retired in 1983, after serving SMU for 25 years.
Dreibrodt was elected president of TBA in 1954 and was selected Bandmaster of the Year in 1961. He served as President of The Southwest Conference Band Directors and was named to the music area in Sports Hall Of Fame.
Irving and wife, Marie, have four daughters, Joan, who teaches in Georgia (inspired to teach from her dad’s example), Diane, Betty Ann and Kathy who all reside in Dallas.