Whitley: Hall of Fame band director

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It has been an exciting year for Whitehouse ISD Director of Bands Denny Whitley.

In June 2016, Whitley was selected by the Texas Bandmasters Association as a 2016 Meritorious Achievement Award Winner.

It was October 2016 when the Wildcat Band received a Superior rating at UIL Marching Contest. It was the 26th time the band has received a Superior rating in the past 28 years.

And during the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio last week, it was announced the Texas Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Fraternity of Band Directors will be inducting Whitley into the Band Directors Hall of Fame during the TMEA convention this summer.

The announcement came as a complete surprise to Whitley.

“Every year at TMEA they announce the selections of the Texas Bandmaster Hall of Fame so Thursday night was no different,” Whitley said. “I am always excited to see if any are friends of mine and some were. When they got to the last one I thought they said my name but I knew that wasn’t right but all the guys around me were pushing me to stand up and one of the gentlemen that was on the Hall of Fame Committee said ‘That is you! Stand up!’”

Whitley is still scratching his head over how this all happened.

“Since I was still teaching I didn’t think it was possible to be put in the Hall of Fame,” Whitley said. “I am not sure of all the qualifications but I know you have to be retired and over age 65. I retired in 2005 and am 67 years old so...”

The humble man who continues teaching his passion is in his 28th year with WISD and is in his 46th year as a high school band director.

“I am so humbled by this honor which I always thought was the highest award for a band director,” Whitley said. “I share it with every student that has sat in front me for my 46 years, every parent and booster club member, every assistant director that has worked with me, every administrator, friend and colleague and most of all my family.” 

The Hall of Fame presentation will be this summer during the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention in San Antonio, July 20-22.

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