Very Important Post from Mr. Sandoval

This letter is my official notification to the O’Connor Band family that my last journey of work at O’Connor High School will end as of June 2018. At the end of this school year, I plan to retire from my position with the O’Connor Band Program.

My musical journey is not over. My next journey will take me to the University of Texas at San Antonio. As cards fall into place I will serve as the full time Graduate Assistant with the UTSA band program with the long-term goal of completing my Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting. My duties will include conducting and working with the UTSA Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, University Band, Chamber Winds, Pep Bands, and the 320 member “Spirit of San Antonio” Marching Band. I will also have the opportunity to assist with the beginning undergraduate conducting class. My responsibilities will rotate depending on semester/year and will include assisting and guest conducting with the concert ensembles, coordinating pep band rehearsals/events, and assisting with creative and administrative activities of the fall athletic and spring band programs. I will work closely with Director of Bands, Prof. Ron Ellis, Associate Director of Bands, Dr. John Zarco, and Director of Orchestras, Dr. Eugene Dowdy.

I am excited about my impending retirement but wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all the opportunities that I have experienced working with the BEST band students, parents, administration and directors I could have asked for.

It is hard to believe that this 20-year journey at O’Connor and 30-year service to public school band programs will be coming to an end. I truly don’t know what it will feel like not making my journey to Helotes every day. My Family (Jackie and Nathan) will always have O’Connor and NISD as a special place in our hearts. The kids from Marshall HS, H.M King HS in Kingsville, Hondo HS, John Jay HS and O’Connor HS have been OUR KIDS for the last 30 years. I have also been blessed to write shows for many schools in the SAISD and smaller communities throughout Texas.

My dear friend Wallace Dierolf and I opened O’Connor 20 year ago rehearsing on the fields of Helotes Elementary and Stinson MS before we could even get on the then grass field where our current paved field is located. We wore construction helmets walking through the school as it was being built! Along the way Eric Eaks and Thomas Kober also served our incredible team. They are successful head band directors now. I cannot thank George Garza, Wesley Perkins and Jaime Ramos for making these last years so special. We were also blessed with very special guard directors including Eddie Orosco, Ali and Jaime Martinez, Brittany Shepherd and Darryl Pemberton. I also cannot thank our feeders at Stinson, Stevenson, Garcia, Jefferson and Folks middle schools enough!

I have genuinely enjoyed every second as a band director at O’Connor HS and will miss all of you and my coworkers when my retirement day comes. I don’t need to share the AMAZING accomplishments of the O’Connor Band Program. Those accomplishments stand as a legacy I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am most proud of the band alumni changing the world. In every field, they are leaders, movers and shakers!

Please let me know what I can do to help you with the transition of my work here to another leader. I plan to work right up until my retirement date and will be happy to help you make a smooth transition. Know though, that the face of the program will change as the current staff will take the lead for ALL plans for next year as we make this transition. The district will start the official procedure in making the transition as well and we will keep you posted every step along the way.

Again, I have been blessed working at O’Connor HS and will miss my students, coworkers and our workplace a great deal. I wish you nothing but the best for the future. The future is BRIGHTER THAN EVER! Know I will always be willing to help our O’Connor kids and directors in any way in the future. I will be just down the road at UTSA and always be your biggest fan and advocate! I look forward to celebrating these last months with our jazz ensembles, concert bands and one last incredible marching band showcase at FIESTA!

My service with the Texas Bandmasters Association also has several years of commitment and dedication left on the Board of Directors I am very much looking forward to. Our son will also be a senior in high school next year and possibly having a bit more time for him as he completes his journey is something Jackie and I will cherish as well.

Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information. I will be meeting with HR shortly to finalize the details of my retirement, learn about any benefits that extend beyond retirement, and identify any assistance that I can provide in transitioning my role here to another leader.

Musically yours,

Roland Sandoval

Director of Bands O’Connor HS