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Dr. Nelson Patrick - Class of 1992

Nelson Patrick was born November 19, 1912 in Marlin, Texas. He attended school in Bishop and Kingsville where he graduated from high school in 1929. He taught vocal and elementary music in Premont from 1930 to 1935, and then moved to Donna and taught band and choir from 1935 to 1942. During this time he finished his B.S. degree from Texas Tech. In 1942, he began his service in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of captain. Discharged at the end of World War II, he became the band director at San Benito, Texas from 1946 until 1952.

In 1947, Pat received his M.S. in Education degree from Texas Tech. He became band and orchestra director at Austin High School in 1954, and completed his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Texas in 1956. In 1960, he began his tenure at the University of Texas, and in 1961, became the "music man" of the University Interscholastic League. From 1961 to 1984, he was instrumental in creating the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest, the Texas State Marching Contest, the Texas State Wind Ensemble Contest, as well as the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. Somehow, he also found time to serve TMEA as Band Chairman and Vice-President in 1956-1957; TMEA President in 1957-1958; and serve on the TMEA Board of Directors from 1961 to 1984. Pat was the first Chairman, Music Section, of the National Federation of State High Schools Association from 1979 to 1984. He has also served as Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Acting Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas from 1968-1984.

Pat is a member and past president of Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, American Acoustical Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Music Educators National Conference, Texas Music Educators Conference, American Association Composers and Conductors, and an honorary member of TMEA. He has received the National Federation Association award; commendation resolution from the joint session of the Texas Legislature; UIL 75th Anniversary Award; 20th year Adjudication Award from the Tri-State Music Festival, Enid, Oklahoma; the Orpheus Award; and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia honors. He is listed in Who's Who in Music and Who's Who in Education. Nelson Patrick led our state's music activities for longer than most teachers have been alive. When asked about honors, Pat replied, “to me the highest honor is the approximately 8000 excellent students who have been in my performing groups and classes during the past 62 years; to them I am eternally grateful." Pat is also well known for his many publications.

Today, Nelson Patrick is still a consultant to the U.I.L., and various legislative committees, groups, and individuals on music matters. It seems that Pat has taken the D.S. sign, uses a vivace tempo, and is not even close to the coda sign! I wonder if someday there will be a prescribed music list for angels?

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