2014 - Bryce Taylor
Alice High School
Bryce Taylor has been helping shape band music in Texas since 1951. A World War II veteran, he served as a trumpeter with the U. S. Marine Corps Band, stationed in San Diego and Pearl Harbor. The Edinburg, Texas, native received his college training at the University of North Texas, Pan American University, and Texas A&I, where he graduated summa cum laude, first in his class.
His first directorship, in 1951, was at Three Rivers, Texas, where he produced the Class A Honor Band in 1960. In 1961 he moved to Alice, Texas, where he devoted the next 35 years to building one of the state’s most outstanding band programs. Under Taylor’s leadership, the Alice Band was a twelve-time finalist in 5-A honor band competition. His bands have been named “Best in Class” or “Outstanding” 36 times, in concert competitions in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas. His 1983 band was one of the first recipients of the Sudler Flag of Honor award, presented by the National Sousa Foundation. Although he retired as band director in 1995, he still works for the Alice Independent School District as a consultant.
Taylor also worked to advance the professionalism of his field. He served the Texas Music Educators Association in district, region, and area offices, including as State Band Chairman 1957-1959, and as President in 1961 and 1962. He was runner-up for the Texas Education Association’s “Texas Teacher of the Year” award in 1982, and The Texas Bandmasters’ Association named him Bandmaster of the Year in 1983. Over the course of his career he also served as President of the American Bandmasters Association; President, Past President, and Chairman of the Band Division of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association; and as state chairman of the American School Band Directors Association, as well as serving the University Interscholastic League on the district and regional level. The School Musician magazine recognized him with the They’re Making America Musical award, and he continues to be active in TMEA, TBA, and ABA, as well as serving as a clinician “when he feels like it.” Approximately 200 of his students made all-state band or orchestra, and more than 30 of Taylor’s students have become music teachers.
Taylor has been married to his wife, Diana, since 1946, and they have four children, two of whom followed him into the music education field.