Bill Duggan was inspired to join the band by watching the “Pride of Pampa” marching practice every afternoon near his home. He began his musical career, at the age of ten, as a beginner in the elementary school band under the direction of Charles Meech in Pampa, Texas. Bill chose to play the cornet, mainly so that he could play bugle calls for the neighborhood cowboy and Indian battles. He continued at Robert E. Lee Junior High School where he was inspired to become a director while in the bands of Joe DiCosimo. He was tutored by Bill Tregoe in the Pampa summer band camps and was in the Pampa High School Harvester band, “The Pride of Pampa”, under both Fred Stockdale and Harris Brinson. Bill completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree at West Texas State University in Canyon, under the guidance of Dr. Gary Garner and David Ritter. He thought himself a pretty good trumpet player (like all trumpet players do) and decided to pursue a career in performance – that is, right up to his student teaching experience, which confirmed his desire to be a teacher. He never looked back. In 1976 Bill began working on a master’s degree at the University of Houston, where he studied with James Matthews and completed a Masters of Music degree in conducting in 1978.
Bill spent his entire teaching career in the Fort Bend Independent School District, a long way from the Panhandle of Texas. He started in 1974 as the director at Dulles Junior High in Sugar Land. In 1976 he became the director of the new Missouri City Junior High. In 1979 Bill was named assistant band director at John Foster Dulles High School in Sugar Land. For three years he had the wonderful experience of working with David Lambert, Larry Matysiak, and Richard Cammack, a staff of great teachers that became great lifelong friends. In 1982 Bill became the head band director of Dulles High School, the largest high school in Texas at the time, the position he held the rest of his career. During this time, Fort Bend ISD grew from one high school to ten high schools. It was a great experience working with many fine directors in an exciting, growing community that supported the fine arts.
While at Dulles High School, the bands under the direction of Mr. Duggan earned a total of twenty-one UIL Sweepstakes. The Dulles bands won Best in Class awards at festivals and contests all over the country, including Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Mid-America, the Music City Music Festival in Nashville, where the band was selected to perform for several thousand festival participants during the awards ceremony, as well as band festivals in Orlando and Disney World.
Bill was selected as Dulles High School Teacher of the Year in 1999 and was awarded the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award in 2002. He served as band chairman for eight years in TMEA Region XVII and as TMEA Region XVII president for eight years until his retirement in 2004. The Dulles band students surprised him in 2002 by performing “Pictures for the American People,” by Jason K. Nitsch, a piece in five movements commissioned by the band senior class of 2002. The band even flew in Dr. Garner to be a surprise guest conductor. In 2005 Bill was named Dulles High School Band Director Emeritus by the Viking Band and their director Joe Pruitt. Upon his retirement, the Dulles Band and Dance Team Booster Club named a college scholarship in honor of Mr. Duggan, which is given annually to a graduating senior. Bill served on the executive board of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association for six years, including serving as president from 2011-2013. He has remained active as an adjudicator and clinician since his retirement and currently serves as executive secretary for UIL Music Region XIII.
A great number of his band students have become directors or work in music related fields. These students, as well as many others who are doctors, attorneys, teachers, politicians, and other professionals, are a great source of pride. Bill believes that this is the reason we all teach, to build good productive citizens. He would like to thank his wife Cheri, who never missed a football game, concert, or contest for thirty years, for her continuing support and understanding, and son Matt, who was a member of his dad’s band and continues to follow the Viking Band at concerts and contests twenty years later. Bill thanks Phi Beta Mu and the Hall of Fame Committee for this wonderful honor.