Osiel Hernandez was born December 22, 1956 in Del Rio, Texas. He was a graduate of Robstown High School in Robstown, Texas, and received his Associate of Arts degree from Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Corpus Christi State University, and his Master of Music Education degree from Angelo State University in San Angelo.
Osiel's first teaching job was at Santa Anna High School. In 1983, while teaching there, his band placed 3rd in the Texas State Marching Contest. He later moved to the Mertzon community where he was the band director at Irion County High School for six years.
Hernandez, at age 32, was watching his 39-member Irion County Band perform in the Texas State Marching Contest, November 13, 1989, when he collapsed. He had turned on a field microphone to be used by band soloists just before his collapse, and some on the field thought he had been electrocuted. A heavy rain storm had delayed the contest earlier and the field was very wet. However, it was determined he had not suffered an electrical shock. Mr. Hernandez died in Brackenridge Hospital in Austin that evening at 8:59 pm.
The band was performing the second of five songs when Mr. Hernandez collapsed. The band continued their performance as Mr. Hernandez had taught the students to always keep performing no matter what was going on in the audience. The band placed 3rd in the Texas State Marching Contest that day. For five years the Irion County Band won Sweepstakes under Mr. Hernandez's s direction. The Irion County Band was also the TMEA Class A State Honor Band for 1989.
Mr. Hernandez was an active member of TMEA, TBA, TMAA, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha.