La Feria News

The Mighty Warrior Band “The Best Yet”

New Band Director Has High Goals


The Mighty Santa Rosa High School band under the baton of its new director, Dale de la Fuente, promises to wow the fans in the stands as they strut their stuff with new talent and fresh ideas they will be performing at their half-time shows. De la Fuente is a native son who has come home to lead his fired-up band members to new heights. “We are going to come home with trophies, “ he pledged.

Band Director Dale de la Fuente and Color Guard Instructor Sarah Zamarripas. Photo: Bill Keltner

Band Director Dale de la Fuente and Color Guard Instructor Sarah Zamarripas. Photo: Bill Keltner

That attitude, plus the prospects of the competitions coming up in the Spring, is the reason for all the enthusiasm by the students and his band assistants.

Band Director de la Fuente is a 2002 graduate of Santa Rosa High School. In 2009 he returned home to sign on as Assistant Band Director after getting his university degrees in Music Education from Pan American University in Edinburg. At Pan-Am, he studied under renowned UTPA Music Director, Dr. Peter Dabrowski. He is now about to receive his Masters degree in organizational leadership and is working on his Masters in Music.

This year he takes the helm of the music department as the Head Band Director at Santa Rosa, his hometown. He will supervise not only the high school marching and concert bands, but also the Jo Nelson Middle School band. He created this first Jo Nelson middle school band in the 2012-2013 school year. Until then, there was not a middle school band that competed in contests until the implementation of the Jo Nelson school band last year.

“My overall plan is to continue the success the band enjoyed last year. “We won the Division I Marching Band award during the PIG SKIN JUBILEE at the lower-Valley competition held in San Benito last year. That is something to really be proud of as a rating I means “Superior.” De la Fuente gives a lot of credit to the band directors before him: He listed Mr. David Perez, followed by Mr. Dayri Mendoza. The Mighty Santa Rosa Marching band will be competing again this year in this annual event. “We intend to bring home more awards and trophies for Santa Rosa again this year,” he said confidently.

De la Fuente spoke glowingly about the benefits of music for his students, most of whom will not become professional musicians, but will simply play for the enjoyment of it. “However,” he pointed with pride to one recent Santa Rosa graduate, Jessie Turner: “This student went on to form a band called SIGGNO CONJUNTO and is up for a Grammy Award—so you never know who might go professional.”

Santa Rosa Head Band Director Dale de la Fuente

Santa Rosa Head Band Director Dale de la Fuente

“An interesting sidelight,” de la Fuente said, “is that there are studies showing musicians (amateur and professional) are more successful in other aspects of their lives. It turns out that music helps to bring success in almost every endeavor that students may undertake later in life.”

“Playing music in company with other musicians builds teamwork and creates leadership abilities,” he said, adding, “scientists claim that music stimulates both sides of the brain and contributes to better mental health–no kidding; I didn‘t make that up.”

De la Fuente promises that “we’ll be working hard to bring home more awards than ever this year. When the Santa Rosa football fans see the Mighty Warriors Marching Band strutting their stuff on the field this season, they’ll say it is the ‘biggest and best yet.’”
With his enthusiasm and years of experience, he’s the man to do it.


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