Mesilla Valley Concert Band
2022-2023 CONCERT DATES
October 9, 2022
December 4, 2022
March 12, 2023
May 14, 2023
July 4, 2023 (*10:00 am)
*All concerts are free and will be held at 3:00 pm in the Atkinson Recital Hall in the NMSU Music Center, unless otherwise noted.
The Mesilla Valley Concert Band was founded in 1987 through the joint efforts of Dr. William Clark, Mr. John Schutz, and Mr. Mike White. First called the Mesilla Valley Community Band, the group began with 30 participants who answered an advertisement Dr. Clark placed in the local newspaper.
The concert band has grown to an ensemble of around 100 performers, ranging in age from 18 to 90, with many full-time musicians and music teachers, local business people, educators, retirees, and students. The band also includes players who have progressed through the New Horizons Band under Dr. Clark.
The band would like to welcome our new director, Dr. Michael Mapp. Dr. Mapp is currently the Director of Bands at the NMSU Department of Music and is an alumnus of the same program. He looks forward to continuing the MVCB legacy established by Dr. Clark.
It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Dr. Clark. For many of us, Dr. Clark was not only a music mentor, but a true inspiration for our lives. Not only was he the founder of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band but a true pioneer of music in Las Cruces. He was the Director of Bands at New Mexico State University and he is also responsible for doubling the number of music majors to more than 200 during his eleven years as Department Chair at NMSU. During his time as director of the MVCB he gave over 220 free concerts to over 150,000 people. He also founded the Las Cruces All-City Middle School Honor Band and began the Las Cruces New Horizons Band program. He was named the Las Cruces Citizen of the Year in 1988 and the New Mexico Music Educator of the Year in 1992. In 1993 he was inducted as a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the highest honor bestowed upon professional bandmasters. In 2007, he was inducted into the NMMEA Hall of Fame and received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2015. In 2017 he received the Platinum Music Award given by the New Mexico Music Commission.
The awards and accolades bestowed upon Dr. Clark are numerous, but for all of us, the charm, the wit, the intelligence, and the outright humanity that he displayed are what many remember. To my knowledge, there wasn’t a single person Dr. Clark couldn’t strike up conversation with. He had a way of making every single person feel welcome and, speaking from personal experience, although it felt like hyperbole, he could make anyone feel special. I know that I personally learned a great deal about how to be a band director from him and there are so many others that he endowed with a genuine love of music and music making as evident by the MVCB and countless other teachers and musicians across the globe.
Many of us owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Clark for being a very special part of, not only, our musical education, but our lives. He will be greatly missed.
- Dr. Michael Mapp
*All concerts are free and will be held at 3:00 pm in the Atkinson Recital Hall
in the NMSU Music Center, unless otherwise noted.