New Mexico

  • UpClose: Bill Allred

    Mike Lawson | May 19, 2014

    A Small-Town Band with Big-Time Ambitions

    New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the U.S. in terms of area, but has large swaths with very low population density. Near the state’s eastern border with Texas, Clovis is its seventh most populous city, with nearly 40,000 people, three junior high schools, and a single high school. For Bill Allred, director of the Clovis High School band department, these factors present some relatively unique challenges to his efforts to build and maintain a comprehensive program that can be competitive on the national stage. That’s not to say the situation is entirely bleak. On the contrary, Clovis High School has a history of excellence in its music department, evidenced by the fact that Allred is only the third director of bands at Clovis High School in the past half century. Among the program’s more recent achievements, the CHS Wildcat Marching Band has earned the title of state champion four out of the last five years, while also performing and competing with great success in festivals and competitions throughout the Southwest.

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