Texas composer Daniel Montoya Jr. joins me on the eve of TMEA 2018 to discuss his career as a composer and share his opinions on a variety of topics, including writing for marching bands and why sometimes it is better to not talk too much!
Daniel Montoya, Jr. is a native of Austin, a 90’s music aficionado (followed closely by the jams of the 80’s), and denies his “hipster-ness” whenever possible. He also, occasionally, writes music (since being musically moved by his first viewing of the James Cameron film Titanic and wanting to write the music to the sequel, Titanic 2: Jack of Spades: Jack Dawson’s Revenge: This Time It’s Personal). His oeuvre spans several genres, including original pieces and arrangements for wind band, percussion ensemble, and the marching arts. His works, which resound with bristling energy and color, have won numerous awards from national organizations. His education includes a master’s degree in wind conducting from Texas State University where he studied with Dr. Caroline Beatty, a master’s degree in music composition from Central Michigan University where he studied with David R. Gillingham, and a baccalaureate degree in music composition from Texas State University (he fully expects to be called Grand Master Montoya, or “Montstro“). He has also studied and participated in masterclasses with such composers as Kevin Beavers, William Bolcom, Michael Ippolito, Cindy McTee, Kevin Puts, Russell Riepe, and Roberto Sierra.
While not tending to Mont Shoemore, his outlandish and somewhat offensive collection of sneakers, Montoya has been known to make public appearances at performances of his music, which have included concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Texas Bandmasters Association Conference, among others. When in attendance at these events, he can usually be identified by denim, sneakers, and his satchel (man purse or, “murse” for the layman).
Although the closest he’s been to being a man in uniform was as a member of “The Pride of the Hill Country” and possibly some ill-advised Halloween costumes, he served as the arranger for the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band in 2012 & 2013. His involvement with marching bands engages him throughout the nation. Among the organizations that have used his compositions and arrangements on the field are champions and finalists at various state- and national-level competitions, and major Division I intercollegiate bands. Montoya is the Program Coordinator & Brass Composer/Arranger for The Guardians Drum & Bugle Corps from Houston, TX and has arranged for The Colts Drum & Bugle Corps from Dubuque, IA and Revolution Drum & Bugle Corps from San Antonio, TX. His innovative approach to field arrangement involves imbuing new vitality and dramatic elements into his charts without sacrificing the integrity of the source material, creating a new and vibrant musical object rather than a mere transcription of the original.
When not submerged in his mild-mannered Clark-Kent-esque composition day job, Montoya enjoys engaging in the indigenous Austinite culture and trying to slowly conquer the universe of social media. He is frequently mistaken for Andy Garcia on Congress Avenue. His sidekicks on this mission are his better half, known to the Twittersphere simply as “The Girl,” their daughter, known to the world as “The Heir,” and a slightly overweight puggle named Mahler who runs the household and sleeps in the big bed. He has coined the term “portmonto” as a portmanteau of his name with the word “portmanteau” to refer to his love of making up senselessly long words (partially inspired by his love of mash-ups) and he was a fan of using hashtags on Facebook way before it was cool. Montoya’s music is published by C-Alan Publications, Row-Loff Productions, Tapspace Publications, and his publishing company, Underwater Theme Productions/Montoya Music. Montoya is an Artist/Educator for Innovative Percussion, Inc. and is a member of ASCAP and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
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