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Alumnus Secures Dream Job as Goin' Band Director

While at Texas Tech Duane Hill was a member of the band and served as drum major.

Written by Clay Fuchs

Hill, center, served as drum major of the Goin' Band From Raiderland and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Tech.

Hill, center, served as drum major of the Goin’ Band From Raiderland and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech.

Career epiphanies happen all the time in some of the most unlikely places. Very few seem to happen on the middle of a football field during a Texas Tech football game.

Duane Hill, the new Texas Tech associate director of bands and director of athletic bands, is the exception.

“I will never forget the moment I was on the field as a freshman and I was looking at Mr. Bearden, who was the director at that time, and I thought, ‘That is exactly what I want to do,’” Hill said.

Since then, he has tried to put himself in a position to reach that goal. Now, at age 30, he has.

“Texas Tech has been the world for me,” Hill said. “It’s kind of funny, our motto, ‘From here it’s possible,’ is so true for me because I’m someone from a small town who made their way up to Lubbock, adapted quickly, got involved and worked hard. Now I’m at the point I am so early in my career, and its truly a great feeling.”

During his time as a member of the Goin’ Band from Raiderland, Hill was a drum major, and after graduating, worked for four years at Leander High School. He came back to Texas Tech where he earned his master’s of music in conducting. After graduating Hill stayed at Texas Tech and was the interim Goin’ Band director, then was promoted to the assistant director in 2011.

Hill said he was very fortunate because during the past couple of years, though they’ve been on an interim basis, he implemented some of the things he believes in.

Hill, right, joined the Goin' Band as a freshman saxophonist.

Hill, right, joined the Goin’ Band as a freshman saxophonist.

“One thing I value is student leaders being heavily involved in what we do, from teaching to motivating to inspiring students to be excellent,” Hill said. “Also, we want to get the students’ input on what we do.”

He said the Goin’ Band is in the process of having the students vote on the show the band is going to perform for homecoming. He said during the football games this year he is going to take the voting process even further and have fans vote via text message for the show they will perform in 2013.

“It’s ways like this I want to get the community involved,” Hill said. “That’s one of the main things I want to do. We have already started community outreach by performing at local high schools and participating in such events as the Lubbock ISD Band Extravaganza.”

He said he is just looking for any way to get the Goin’ Band’s name out there not just because the band has such a rich tradition, but because he wants to represent the university in the best way possible.

“So my goal is to continue with community outreach, continue to focus on students leading students and, most importantly, I want us to be the best possible example we can be both in character and academia – and most importantly for me, music,” Hill said.

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10 Responses to “Alumnus Secures Dream Job as Goin' Band Director”

  1. Karol Batey Says:

    Oh yay!!! I’m so happy for you Duane!! I’m glad to see I will definitely be involved more now because of you. You were such an asset to the band and now as director. Such an impact these “kids” lol will have from you!!! <3

  2. Penny Williams Says:

    This is a terrific story. It sounds to me this job was being planned for you by a power greater than any of us Mr. Hill. Congratulations. Watching the Going Band from Raider Land take the field is a breath taking experience. The bands excitement, effort, spirit and excellence fill that stadium completely up. Good luck to you. I will be looking forward to more new, fantastic performances from our band. Wreck’em !!!

  3. Vickie Cooper Says:

    Congratulations!

  4. LAURIE McCLURE Says:

    GO DUANE! PROUD OF YOU!!!

    FROM AN LHS BAND/GUARD MOM
    ERIC (SAX) CLASS OF 2004
    STEPHANIE (GUARD) CLASS OF 2006

  5. Connor Threlkeld Says:

    Congratulations, Duane! It’s great to see someone who loves the program take command. Here’s hoping for a long and successful career running the Goin’ Band.
    Connor Threlkeld
    Band 1 Trombone
    2002-2003

  6. Phil Pearce Says:

    Duane. I am so happy for you! I graduated in 1960 under Dean Killian. My band jacket is enshrined in the glass case in the hall of the Music Building along with Dean’s things and one of my classmates, Jim Sudduth’s memorabilia. Best wishes. Regards, Phil Pearce

  7. Preston Mitchell Says:

    Congratulations, Duane — keep ‘em in line for us!

    Preston Mitchell
    United States Marine Band
    Washington, DC

    Band 1 Trumpet Rank (1987-1990)
    Graduate Teaching Assistant (1995-1997)

  8. Dedra Davis, Esq. Says:

    Congratulations, Duane! I am typing this message with tears running down my face.

    I AM SO HAPPY!

    As a former Goin’ Band From Raiderland member, I’ll be oh so proud to see you up there directing the band that I loved so much.

    I’m rooting for your success.

  9. David Ehmer Says:

    DUDE!! I’d be lying if I said I was surprised. Congratulations. You deserve it. Let me know if you need me to help you fly down any more stairs while YOUR band plays Superman for you.

    Trombone (1999 – 2003)
    KKPsi (Delta Rho candidate class brother)

  10. Cathy Ellison Says:

    Hi Duane, we are so proud of you and love you so much. You are such a blessing to me and our entire family as well as to those around you at TT. God has shown favor on you and you are so deserving of that favor. Keep up the good work!!! Love Ya Kiddo, Aunt Cathy

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