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Richard Floyd - Class of 2011

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Richard Floyd was born May 18, 1940, and grew up in Richardson, Texas. The main street was two blocks long and the Floyd family got their mail at Post Office Box One. When Richard, referred to by everyone in the community as Dick, entered the 5th grade, the school district had just started a band program. The Richardson Band, in cowboy uniforms, quickly became the pride of the community and Dick was eager to be a part of it. He wanted to play saxophone but the band had an abundance of that instrument and his band director Grady Barnes steered him towards the clarinet.

Along with band, Dick also played football and raised chickens in the 4H Club. In fact he bought his first saxophone with money he won with his entry in the Texas Chicken of Tomorrow contest. During his senior year he was elected the first student body president of Richardson High School.

Upon graduation he attended Southern Methodist University where he majored in music education, played clarinet in the Concert Band, sax in the Jazz Band and baritone horn in the Mustang Marching Band. Irving Driebrodt became his mentor and was a guiding force for more than a decade. They remained lifelong friends.

His first job was as band director at Richardson Junior High School. He worked closely with Joe Frank who had become the Richardson High School band director the year prior. The program quickly grew and began to amass numerous awards at UIL and other area music festivals. The Richardson Junior High School requested to participate in the newly founded Six Flags Music Festival but the festival didn’t have a junior high school classification. So, the Falcon band entered as a 2A high school band and won the contest two years in a row. Six Flags then passed a rule that junior high schools couldn’t compete with high school bands anymore. During this chapter of his life he also served his country as a member of the 531st Air Force Band of the Texas Air National Guard.

Richardson was growing rapidly and J.J. Pearce High School opened in the fall of 1967. Dick was asked to start the band program at that new school. The school opened with grades 7 – 10 but was declared a 4A high school for competition purposes. The challenges were many but the following year the PHS Band was named Outstanding 4A Band at the famed Buccaneer Music Festival with no seniors. Multiple awards followed as well as a journey to Fargo, North Dakota, for an appearance at the Nels Vogel Northwest Band Clinic with Fred Fennell as guest conductor. During his final two years at Pearce High School he also served as Director of Fine Arts for the Richardson school district.

In 1973 Richard was named Director of Bands at Baylor University and left Richardson for a new residence in Waco, Texas. Many told him it was a heck of a job, but the football team was awful and he would never have to worry about bowl games. Eighteen months later the Baylor Bears were Southwest Conference Champions and playing in the Cotton Bowl. In those long gone days when halftime shows were telecast, the Baylor Band’s performance was nationally acclaimed for its creativity and appeal. The Baylor Wind Ensemble also flourished under Floyd’s leadership, performing three times at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and in 1977 with a distinguished performance at the College Band Directors National Association convention. That program included the world premier of the CBDNA Commission, Dream Sequence, by Mahler’s son-in-law Ernst Krenek. Collaboration with Roger Nixon resulted in a nationally released LP of that composer’s works on the then widely acclaimed Authenticated Composer Series.

During his tenure at Baylor he was asked to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of the College Band Directors National Association, a position he held for 28 years. Under his guidance and vision the CBDNA became one of the most vibrant professional band organizations in existence.

In 1982 Richard took a leave of absence from Baylor University to accept a one-year position as Professor of Conducting at the University of South Florida. Within a few months of his residency at USF he was offered a tenured faculty position, which he accepted. (Translation: A full time Professor of Conducting position and no marching band!) The USF Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the CBDNA Southern Division Conference the following year.

In 1984 the University of Texas called and Richard returned to Texas as the new UIL State Director of Music and also taught courses in the School of Music including woodwind pedagogy, graduate wind literature, instrumental music education, conducting and interim conductor of the University of Texas Wind Ensemble.

Richard is acclaimed as a recognized authority on conducting, the art of wind band rehearsing, concert band repertoire, and music advocacy. As such, he has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe serving as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor including appearances in forty American states and in nine other countries. He has conducted multiple region bands and presented clinics in every UIL/TMEA region in the state of Texas. He is a frequent featured clinician for the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association and has presented three conducting and rehearsal technique sessions for the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. He has received the praise of numerous composers including Ernst Krenek, Karel Husa, Roger Nixon, Frank Ticheli, Mark Camphouse, John Mackey and Johan de Meij for his insightful interpretation of their music. In 2002 he was the single recipient of the prestigious A.A. Harding Award presented by the American School Band Directors Association in recognition of his significant and lasting contributions to the school band movement. The Texas Bandmasters Association named him Texas Bandmaster of the Year in 2006 and also recognized him with the TBA Lifetime Administrative Achievement Award in 2008. Most recently he received the Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and was inducted into the Bands of America National Hall of Fame 2011.

Publications include co-authorship of Best Music for Beginning Band and contributing author for The Musician’s Walk by James Jordon and published by GIA. In addition his articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and numerous regional and state publications. In 2006 he was featured on the GIA Produced DVD entitled Kindred Spirits from the series Conducting From The Inside Out. Other conductors included H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff and Allan McMurray.

Richard has held almost every position of leadership on state and national committees for music education and wind music performance including being a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation Board of Directors, serving as chair of the American Bandmasters Association Educational Projects Committee, sitting as a ex-officio member of the Texas Music Educator's Association Executive Board and serving as chair of the College Band Directors National Association Music Education Task Force.

The center of his universe is his family which includes his wife Cheryl, a nationally recognized middle school band director and clinician, his son Weston and daughter Chris, who was born on the day of his very first band rehearsal on August 13, 1962, as well as two grandchildren and one great grandson.

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