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Robert Botello - Class of 2013
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ROBERT BOTELLO

Roberto Candelario Botello, Jr. was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1935 to American parents, Roberto and Violeta Botello, working for a forwarding agency Roberto is the first of five children who were all raised in Laredo, Texas. His first introducation to the education field was through the schools of the Laredo Independent School District. He truly is a home grown product of Laredo schools.

At a young age, Roberto’s parents instilled in him a sense of respect and reliability for business. He grew up working at his father’s forwarding agency warehouse helping package crates, run the book keeping and payroll, and eventually managing the employees. Of course, when he entered his musical career in middle school, he transferred his hard work/realiable ethic to his musical career. Band was part of his life all through school. He started on the trumpet, which he played well. Then took a change and moved to the euphonium which became his primary instrument.

In 1953 he graduated from Martin High School. He then attended The University of Texas at Austin. While there he was a member of the The University of Texas Longhorn Band under the direction of Vincent R. DiNino, and joined Kappa Kappa Psi. Roberto Botello graduated in 1958 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. During his tenure at UT he joined the Army National Reserve, and served six years. He then attended Vandercook College of Music, and received his Masters of Music in 1969. Later receiving his M.S. Degree in Educational Administration from Laredo State University in 1989. He also completed his bilingual certification from Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico in 2001.

After college his first teaching position was at Lamar Junior High in Laredo, Texas. As head director of Lamar, he was given the opportunity to compose an original fight song for the school. This gave him the chance to shine in an area where he had always shown natural talent and proclivity. In 1962 Mr. Botello moved to Austin, Texas to became the head director at Albert Sidney Johnston High School. After a few years of a successful program he changed positions and became the head director at Travis High School where he kept many marvelous traditions alive. In 1971, He went on teach at Crystal City High School from 1971-1972. Finally returning to Laredo, Texas Mr. Botello became the director at his alma matter Martin High School. His tenure at Martin lasted from 1973-1983. During that time the Martin High School band grew from 120 students to a 350-piece band.

Again, as at his previous positions, Mr. Botello wanted to keep tradidions alive and strong where ever he went. He noticed that previous band directors had all named the band. Elmo Lopez pinned the name “The Pride of the Gateway City”. Mr. Victor Lozano introduced the band as “The Martin High School Tiger Band”. And this was the name used by the band up until this time.

One day, during a regular marching rehearsal the students showed fatigue; he asked the band to do another run through. Suddenly whispers started moving through the crowd as Mr. Botello heard them saying to each other, “come on band, Animo!” Animo is a mexican word that means spirit, but to that band it meant a
great deal more. It meant perseverance, an unwillingness to do things second best, and not letting anyone, especially their beloved director down. The word went viral and the entire band began to chant Animo to one another. Mr. Botello, in a moment of impromptu genius, turned to his staff and said, “that’s it, this is “La Banda del Animo”, and from that point on it became their motto. Which lead to their famous introduction at every performance that would be read over the stadium sound system by Mr. Botello himself:

“Senoras y Senores, Damas y Caballeros, La Banda del Animo, The Martin High School Tiger Band, The Pride of the Gateway City, Show band of Laredo.”
1983 was a banner year in the career of Roberto Botello. He accepted the position of Head Director at the new high school in town, Dr. Leo G. Cigarroa High School. For the first time, Mr. Botello had the opportunity to create an entire program from scratch including its traditions and values.

At this same time Mr. Botello entered his career into administration. He worked as Instrumental Music Supervisor for the Laredo Independent School District until 1993. And during his tenure as both Band Director and Instrumental Music Supervisor he developed a vision for a new kind of school.

Roberto Botello’s vision centered on a school. This school should be a place where students could go to learn and grown in the arts. Thus The Vidal M. Trevino Communication and Fine Arts Magnet School was born. With the help of Mr. Vidal Trevino the magnet school opened, and Mr. Botello worked has principal from 1993-1997.

Ready for a new challenge Mr. Botello and his family packed up, and moved to New Mexico. From 1997-2002 Mr. Botello restarted two separate band programs. In Bloomfield and Las Vegas, New Mexico the band programs started at 45 students and grew to an impressive 145 students.

Feeling a need to return to his home state in 2002, he took over the Diamond Hill Jarvis band where he worked from 2002 until he retired in 2006. But no matter where he was at, his students firmly believed and left knowing that they mattered to him and his staff. They left believing they could conquer and/or change the world. That was his greatest gift. To look at a student and see the potential layered underneath so many obsticles that it could take years to get to.

Music Education has always been extremely important. Many of his own children became music educators to follow in a legacy laid down by their parents. Roberto Botello has been an inspiration to many people and will continue to be remembered by those people that he touched with his music and inspirational words.

Professional Positions
1958-1962 Lamar Junior High
1962-1968 Albert Sidney Johnston High School
1968-1971 Travis High School
1971-1972 Crystal City High School
1973-1983 Martin High School
1983-1990 Cigarroa High School
1990-1993 Supervisor of Instrumental Music
1993-1997 Vidal M. Trevino School of Communication and Fine Arts (Principal)
1997-2000 Bloomfield High School
2000-2002 Las Vegas High School
2002-2006 Diamond Hill Jarvis High School
Professional Organizations
Member of Texas Music Educators Association
Member of Texas Band Masters Association
Charter Member Texas Music Adjudicators Association
Member of New Mexico Music Educators Association
Member of Texas Association of High School Principals
Member of Kappa Kappa Psi
Honorary Member of Phi Mu Alpha
Member of Texas Association of Retired Teachers
Member of The University of Texas Ex Student Association
Member of Vandercook College of Music Alumni Association
Member of The Knights of Columbus
Member of LULAC
Honors and Awards
South Texas Band Director Hall of Fame Inductee, 2012
Byard Friedman Hero Award for Teaching Excellence, 2005
Outstanding Educator and Communicator Laredo ISD, 1994
Received Honors from Boys and Girls Club in Laredo, Texas and Bloomfield, NM
Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Laredo ISD (Lamar Jr. High)
Received three citations from The House of Representatives from the State of Texas
Received a citation from The House of Representatives from Washington D.C.
Received a citation from The House of Senate Washington D.C.
Martin High School Band under the direction of Roberto Botello was named
“La Banda Oficial del Estado de Tamaulipas”.
Performer and Clinician
1962-1969 Performer in The Austin Municipal Band
1974 Clinician/Conductor All Valley Honor Band
1977 Guest Conductor with The United States Air Force Band
1982 Guest Conductor with The Laredo Philharmonic
1990 Clinician/Conductor Corpus Christi All City Middle School Band
2000-2002 Performed in The Great Rocky Mountain Brass Band (Silverton Colorado)
2002 Clinician/Conductor All District Band Fort Worth ISD
2006 Performer in The Fort Worth Municipal Band

Amusing Anecdotes
The Washington and Lee Swing
Mr. Botello seemed destined to maintain connections with The Washington and Lee Swing March as it followed him throughout his high school, and professional careers. Being that it was the fight song for Martin High School where he graduated, and Allen Junior High where he student taught in Austin, Crystal City High School where he taught, Martin High School where he returned as band
director, Bloomfield High School in New Mexico, and Diamond Hill Jarvis High School in Fort Worth, Texas which was the last school where Mr. Botello taught before his retirement.

“La Banda del Animo”
In the fall of 1973 Mr. Botello came back to Laredo to teach at Martin High School. Prior to this previous directors like Elmo Lopez who pinned the name “The Pride of the Gateway City” and Mr. Victor Lozano who introduced the band as “The Martin High School Tiger Band” referred to the Martin band. During a marching rehearsal the students showed fatigue, and he asked the band to do another run through. When he heard them tell each other, “come on band, Animo!” (Animo meaning spirit) It then became contagious and the entire band began to chant Animo to one another. Mr. Botello then turned to his staff and said, “that’s it this is “La Banda del Animo”, and from that point on it became their motto. Which lead to their famous introduction at every performance.

“Senoras y Senores, Damas y Caballeros, La Banda del Animo, The Martin High School Tiger Band, The Pride of the Gateway City, Show band of Laredo.”

“Music of the culture”
One of the things that Mr. Botello always did was that he incorporated the cultural music wherever he taught. Crystal City “Ay Jalisco no te rajes!” Martin High School “La Negra”, “Adelita”, “Guadalajara”, “Las Chapanceas”. In Bloomfield, New Mexico he incorporated Navajo music. Las Vegas second fight song he used “Adelita”. Diamond Hill Jarvis High School in the middle of Fort Worth Stock Show he incorporated music of George Strait and traditional Texas music specifically “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.
Mr. Botello passed away in September of 2016.


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