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Gregory Dick - Class of 2023

Gregory Dick was born on July 5, 1957, in Manhattan, Kansas, to Clarence and Mary Jo Dick. He was the second of five children. The family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in August of 1957, where Clarence went to work for the Dow Chemical company as a research chemist. Mary Jo was a stay at home mom.
Greg grew up surrounded by music. While nobody in the family had ever been in a musical organization, music was played on the record player and the TV all the time. His dad loved classical and popular music, and the children acquired that same appreciation.

Greg took piano lessons then guitar lessons in his early years. He sang in the elementary choir in fifth grade, taught by Kay Hood, wife of Don Hood (HOF 2008). After that, he wanted to join the band and play trombone but because of dental issues, they asked him to audition for drums, and the rest is history. Harvey Jones was his sixth grade band teacher. Ernest Clark (HOF 2000) was his junior high director. During junior high, Greg frequently went to the band hall at lunch to listen to records of drum solos and to learn to play the timpani. Mr. Clark was a huge encouragement. In the eighth grade, Greg attended a Brazoswood High School football game where he heard the Buccaneer Band play the Theme from Hawaii 5-0. That did it for him, so he signed up for high school band.

The Brazoswood High School band directors were Fred McDonald (HOF 1994), Rod Cannon, and Herman Gauthier. When Greg arrived at Brazoswood, the timpani player had quit, so he was put in the top band to play timpani. There were other older percussionists, so Greg still wonders why he was chosen. The band played Carmina Burana at the TSTA convention that November at the Music Hall in Houston. Playing advanced music for the first time was challenging, especially learning the timpani/flute duet in Carmina Burana. That same year Rod Cannon started the stage band program. Greg convinced his mom to buy a drum set and he rode his bike to Mr. Cannon’s house for lessons. Playing in stage band, concert band and full orchestra along with garage bands around the area gave him a wide variety of experiences. Mr. Cannon was a huge part of Greg’s percussion success, earning him first chair All-State his junior and senior years. Mr. Mac, Rod Cannon, and Mr. Gauthier (music theory teacher) were huge influences on his decision to pursue music in college.

After graduating from high school in 1975, Greg headed to Sam Houston State University to study with Dr. Ralph Mills, TBA Bandmaster of the Year and Hall of Fame member. He was a member of the wind ensemble, marching band, symphony orchestra, and jazz ensemble, under the direction of Bob Morgan, then David Caffey. The Wind Ensemble performed at CBDNA and TMEA conventions. A highlight of the Contemporary Festival was performing Music for Prague 1968, under the baton of Karel Husa. In 1978, the jazz ensemble toured Romania, performing at many festivals and was featured on national TV. Other performances were at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, TMEA, and NAJE conventions. While in college, Greg played with the Buddy Brock and Ed Gerlach orchestras in Houston. All of his experiences up to this point helped him prepare to be a band director.

In the spring of 1979 on SHSU band tour, Wade McDonald (HOF 2022) approached Greg with the possibility of a job opening in Dickinson. Greg interviewed in May and began his career as the assistant band director at McAdams Junior High in Dickinson ISD. Wade was the head director at McAdams and Donnie Owens (HOF 2010) was the head director at Dickinson High School. Greg had been in high school and college band with Wade, so this was a wonderful opportunity. Not knowing much about band, Wade was very helpful and encouraging those first years of teaching and throughout his career. Upon arrival in Dickinson, Greg went to church with Wade and his wife Jane and joined that evening. When the congregation came up to welcome him, Glenda, Greg’s future wife, came up right up to him and introduced herself. A year later they were married and have been married for 43 years.

The McAdams Junior High Band was TMEA CC Honor Band in 1980, and the Dickinson High School Band was TMEA 4A Honor Band in 1988 and won the UIL 4A State Marching Contest several times. Besides teaching band at McAdams, Greg taught the high school drumline, wrote the percussion book for the marching band, and taught private percussion lessons. Many of his percussion students went on to make region, area, and All-State. Wade’s dad, Fred McDonald, was a huge mentor helping them learn how to do band, along with Donnie Owens. Greg is eternally grateful to have started his career in Dickinson, learning early on what it took to have a strong program and have fun with the students at the same time.

In 1988, Greg was appointed Director of Bands at League City Intermediate in Clear Creek ISD. During his tenure, the bands earned UIL Sweepstakes and Best in Class awards at festivals. While there, Eddie Green came out to clinic the band, beginning a mentorship for the rest of his career. In 1992, Greg moved to Clear Lake to open Space Center Intermediate School. The first year of the school, band numbers were slim, so he walked the halls to recruit students who didn’t stay in band to fill out two concert bands. That was successful and both bands earned sweepstakes. The program grew to over 400 in several years with the assistance of Charles Willis, Jeff Loud, Donald McCandless, and Chris Patterson. The Space Center Band was the TMEA CCC Honor Band in 1994 and 1998. In 1999, the Space Center Band performed at the Midwest Clinic and in 2000 was awarded the Sudler Cup from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The band was Best in Class at festivals in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. A major highlight was when Greg’s son Michael performed “Dill Pickles” with the Space Center percussion ensemble on the honor band concert. Greg is indebted to the outstanding private lesson staff, administration, and mentors Eddie Green, Joe Dixon, Wade McDonald, and Donnie Owens for the success of the program.

Greg moved across the freeway as Director of Bands at Friendswood High School in 2000 and was there for twenty years until his retirement. The program had not been successful in the previous twenty years, but in the first year the program earned the first Sweepstakes award along with the second band. Because of the great work done by middle school band directors Robert Munoz, Theron Sharp, Sarah Saldana, Mark Urbina, Thomas Landfried, and Jason Abbott and others, the program took off earning Sweepstakes every year including the non-varsity bands. The students worked very hard and were a consistent finalist in honor band competition. With the assistance of fellow directors Julio Sanchez and Aaron Brown, the Wind Ensemble had the distinction of being selected as TMEA Honor Band twice. The band was honored to perform at the Midwest Clinic in 2006 and was awarded the Sudler Flag by the John Philip Sousa Foundation in 2007. The Friendswood Band program produced 195 All-State musicians in 20 years. In Greg’s last year, Brett Nelson became the assistant director and is now the head director at Friendswood High School, carrying on the tradition.

Greg retired from teaching in 2020 and is active around the state as an adjudicator and clinician. He finds that helping current directors is truly rewarding, giving back to the profession the knowledge he has acquired over his 41 year career. So many mentors played a huge role in his success. Among those are Wade McDonald, Donnie Owens, Eddie Green, Joe Dixon, Tom Bennett, Bill Watson, David Bertman, Philip Geiger, and Scott Coulson.

Greg has presented clinics at TBA, TMEA, and Region IV along with many inservice sessions. He taught at the Sam Houston State and University of Houston band camps for many years and conducted many region and all-city bands. He served in leadership positions in Region 19 and 17. In 2000, Greg was named Secondary Teacher of the Year for the Clear Creek ISD. He was awarded the Leadership and Achievement Award by the Texas Music Educators Association. In 1998, Greg was awarded the Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association. He was twice awarded the State UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. In 2011, Greg was one of ten teachers awarded the UT Exes Alumni Association Outstanding Educator Award. In 2015, he was honored to be awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award by the Texas Bandmasters Association. Greg was elected into the American Bandmasters Association in 2010.

Greg was extremely blessed to marry Glenda Pittman in 1980. They have been married for 43 years and have two children and two grandchildren. Michael is the band director at Doeree Intermediate School. He married Amy Kennedy, an All-State flute player from Tomball. They have two children, Kennedy and Kent, who are the lights of their grandparents’ lives! Daughter Lauren lives and works in downtown Houston and has two beautiful dogs, Lexi and Cooper, and a wonderful boyfriend, Jamie Garza. Greg is thankful for their support over the years.

Greg is eternally grateful to all those who helped him along the way, mentors, fellow directors, parents, administrators, colleagues, private teachers and thousands of students. Thank you to the Phi Beta Mu Alpha Chapter for the honor of being inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

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