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Bill Woods - Class of 1997

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Bill Woods was born November 20, 1931, in Denton County, Texas. He attended school in Plainview and graduated from high school in 1950. Robert “Chief” Davidson, a Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame member, was his high school band director. Bill was a versatile musician, performing on piano, clarinet, tenor sax and tuba while serving as Drum Major and student conductor of both band and choir. He was feature twirler of the Plainview Band, and his twirling ability earned him 7th place in the 1950 VFW National in Chicago. Bill was also elected and served as President of the Plainview High School student body his senior year.

He continued his education at Hardin-Simmons University where he was Drum Major and piano soloist with the famous Cowboy Band. He was also a member of the A Cappella Choir and played piano with local dance bands to pay his way through school. Receiving an emergency teaching certificate after two years of college, Bill accepted the position of band director at Anson. A year later, Bill doubled his salary by moving to Seagraves to teach band and choir for $4,000 a year. Seagraves was a very small town and a very small school, but in four years of very hard work the Seagraves Band received their very first Sweepstakes. The Junior High Band also received a First Division in Concert and Sight-reading.

In 1961, Bill moved to Levelland, Texas, where he inherited a 47 member AAAA band. Eight years later, in order to work on his Masters degree at Texas Tech, he left a 160 member Levelland Band with six Sweepstakes to their credit. It wasn’t long before Seagraves called him back, and they agreed to allow him time to complete his degree while teaching.

During the summer months, Bill worked many band camps teaching twirling and drum majoring as well as tuba. In 1969, Dean Killion asked him to serve as assistant camp director for the Texas Tech Band Camp. In the next ten years, Bill watched the camp grow to 1500 students. The Seagraves Band grew in enrollment also and received twelve consecutive Sweepstakes and four outstanding awards at festivals.

In 1981, Bill returned to Hardin-Simmons University as director of the Cowboy Band. Within three years, the band performed twice in Los Angeles, the Cotton Bowl Parade and toured Europe for eighteen days. Because of the excitement of the high school band business and the salaries offered by public schools in comparison to a private university, Bill decided to accept the position offered him at Merkel, just outside Abilene.

Bill retired in 1989 after thirty-seven years of teaching. He is especially proud of the twenty former students who are now band directors.

Professionally, Bill served as Region Band Chairman four times; Region Chairman three times; State Band Chairman 1980 to 1982 and was elected President of TMEA in 1983- 1984. He is a member of TMEA, Phi Beta Mu, NBA, a charter member of TMAA, and a member of TBA for forty-six years. He served on the Prescribed Music List Committee three times, once as Chairman. He still clinics, conducts and adjudicates throughout the state as well as plays professionally on weekends.
Bill married his childhood sweetheart, Myrna Hendrix, in 1951. They have two sons, Bruce and Brad, who are professionals in their own right. Bruce is a banker in Brownfield, Texas, and Brad is a teacher and coach in Garland, Texas. There are four grandchildren who are the apples of their grandparents’ eyes. Let’s not forget the four Yorkshire Terriers who love to go traveling with Bill and Myrna in their motorhome. Bill feels blessed to have the largest extended family in the world – the Band Directors of Texas!

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