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Floyd Hands Over the Reigns, Promises a Smooth Transition

By Richard Floyd, former Director of Music | Friday, September 06, 2013 1:36 PM

What is that old saying? “Time flies when you are having fun.” 

How true. I looked up 12 months ago and suddenly realized that 29 years had passed since I was appointed the UIL State Director of Music in 1984. That’s a long time.  In fact, there are countless music educators out there who have never known the UIL without Richard Floyd as the State Director of Music.  Now, that’s a scary thought!

But, the time has come.  The transition is well underway.  Dr. Brad Kent, former Fine Arts Director for the Richardson Independent School District, and I have worked in tandem for an entire year and on Sept. 1, 2013  Brad assumed the role of State Director of Music. I will remain on board in a half-time position committed to our goal of making the transition as seamless as possible. George Strickland and Patty Esfandiari continue to be a part of our great UIL music team.  For music directors across the state of Texas it should be “business as usual.”

Obviously a transition such as this has its milestones.  And, for a multitude of reasons, one of those milestones was the annual meeting of the Music Region Executive Secretaries that unfolded on July 27 at the UIL offices in Austin.  This annual meeting allows everyone involved at the region level to come together, discuss new rules, review contest procedures and otherwise prepare for a consistent year with minimal problems.

The agenda and the business portion of the meeting were fruitful as always, but the tone of the meeting was unique.  It probably could best be described as a combination of reflection on the past, celebration of the present and excitement for the future.  There certainly was enough nostalgia to go around. 
Special note was made of the Executive Secretaries who were serving their respective regions in that capacity when I came on board in 1984.  Those dedicated colleagues include Bonnie Bartlett – Region 3, Larry Kingsley – Region 2, Don Lawler – Region 4 and Jerry and Cheryl Babbitt – Region 18.  Each of these wonderful people have been a part of the UIL team for more than 30 years and their dedication to and understanding of our UIL Music Contest programs is a valuable component of whatever success we have enjoyed.

Special recognition was in order for Randy and Bonnie Bartlett who were recently named co-recipients of the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Music Educator Award.   This honor is presented annually to a single high school or college band, choral or orchestral director, supervisor or adjudicator whose contributions have impacted high school activities programs. This is the first time in the history of the award that it has been presented to a husband and wife team.  Congratulations to Randy and Bonnie for their lifelong contributions to our UIL music programs and to music education in the state of Texas. 

On a personal note, at the conclusion of the meeting Bonnie Bartlett presented me with an unexpected and stunning gift on behalf of the 28 Region Music Executive Secretaries. The recognition was totally unexpected and deeply meaningful.  These ladies and gentlemen have been and will remain special people in my life, and I will be eternally grateful for the role that they continue to play in enriching the musical lives of the some 750,000 students in Texas who participate in UIL music programs.

The past 29 years have been an amazing chapter of my life.  It has been and will remain my goal to make the best music I know how and hopefully make a difference in the lives of music educators and their students. It is not my intention to “get off the bus.”  But rather, it is simply time for someone else to drive.   We are all in good hands with Dr. Brad Kent at the wheel.