In Memory

Pete Rodriguez (Band Director)

Pete Rodriguez, 80, a resident of Bryan for more than 36 years, passed away on Monday, April 20, 2009, at St. Joseph Manor in Bryan.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at Hillier Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, at First United Methodist Church of Bryan.

Mr. Rodriguez was born on February 24, 1929, in Brownsville, Texas. He graduated from Longview High School in 1947 and attended North Texas State University. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and served until 1952, and then attended Stephen F. Austin State University.

He received a Bachelor of Music from Stephen F. Austin in 1954 and began public school teaching as a band director. Mr. Rodriguez received a Master of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin in 1979.

Mr. Rodriguez served as band director at Nacogdoches, Timpson and Longview Texas. The Rodriguez family moved to Hawkins, Texas, in 1957 where he taught at Hawkins High School for five years.

Following that, he taught at Lancaster, Texas, from 1962 until 1973 before moving to Bryan where he served as band director and music supervisor. He retired in 1985 after a teaching career of more than 37 years.

Many of the students that he taught became professional musicians or went on to teaching careers. Mr. Rodriguez also served as executive secretary of the University Interscholastic League, Music Region 8, from 1979 until 2003.

Mr. Rodriguez's bands consistently received high honors at UIL contests. He was elected to the Stephen F. Austin State University Hall of Fame in 1986.

The Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmasters Fraternity selected him for membership in their Hall of Fame in 1995. He was a member of the Texas Bandmasters Association and the Texas Music Educators Association.

He was also a charter member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association and the National Jazz Educators Association.

In addition to his teaching career, he also played professionally. He played clarinet with the Shreveport, Lubbock, East Texas and Brazos Valley Symphonies, and played clarinet and saxophone with well-known dance bands. After retiring from public school teaching, he organized his own dance band and wrote his own musical arrangements.

His band, the Pete Rodriguez Orchestra, has played for many events including weddings, anniversaries, ballroom dance clubs and special affairs throughout the central Texas area. His band played at the Fourth of July celebration and children's parade at Heritage Park in Bryan, and the Texas A&M University Ring Dance for many years.

Mr. Rodriguez is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter and son-in-law, Denise and Mike Wilson of Houston; son and daughter-in-law, Pete and Kathy Rodriguez of Grapevine, Texas; granddaughters, Stephanie and Jennifer Wilson; grandson, Michael Rodriguez of Grapevine, Texas; brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Anita Rodriguez of Copperas Cove, Texas, Tommy and Kay Rodriguez of Santa Fe, Texas, and Joe and Valerie Rodriguez of Cabot, Ark.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be sent to Stephen F. Austin University Band Support, c/o School of Music, 13043 SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962; First United Methodist Church, 506 E. 28th St., Bryan, TX 77803; or Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 W. 26th St., Bryan, TX 77803.