Dean Killion Memorial

Mr. Dean Killion, professor of music and director of bands at Texas Tech University for 21 years (1959-1980) passed away October 28th in Lubbock’s Methodist Hospital. Memorial services were held for Mr. Killion on October 30th at Westmond Christian Church in Lubbock. He was the “Father” of Texas Tech’s “Goin’ Band from Raiderland” and was an inspiration to not only his former students but to band directors all over the United States for his enthusiasm and love for band music. He was on the leading edge in the 60’s and 70’s for his innovations in marching band design.

He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Nebraska, and had done post graduate study at the University of Iowa. In 1974, he received the University of Nebraska’s Outstanding Alumnus award as well as manyother civic honors and awards. He was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu hall of fame in 1982, the same year he was named Texas bandmaster of the year. During Dean Killion’s tenure at Tech, the band program grew from one concert band to four and the marching band grew from 80 to 550. In his retirement and until last summer, Mr. Killion conducted the Lubbock Westwinds Community Brass Band, the group which performed musical selections at his memorial service. Mr. Killion was a loyal member of the American Bandmasters Association, CBDNA, NBA, TMEA, TBA, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma.

Dean Killion’s energy and enthusiasm was contagious to all with whom he came in contact. The Goin’ Band from Raiderland honored Mr. Killion and his family at the Kansas State game by wearing black ribbons on the uniforms and by playing the Matador song in his honor and memory. We plan to do a special tribute next fall, perhaps connected to alumni band day. We will all miss our brother, our colleague, our mentor, our friend…our director. Memorials may be sent to:

Dean Killion Scholarship Fund
c/o Texas Tech Band Alumni Association
P.O. Box 42033
Lubbock, TX 79409

-Keith Bearden

James Sudduth Memorial

Teacher, friend, mentor and brother, Texas Tech University mourned the passing of Director of Bands James Sudduth who died on December 3, 1997. Family and friends gathered for a memorial concert on December 14th to celebrate a life that truly contributed bountifully to both the American band movement and to thousands of friends, colleagues and students. The concert featured works by Mr. Sudduth including arrangements and original compositions. In addition a new portrait commissioned jointly by the Tech chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Chi Beta and TMEA/MENC was unveiled at that time.

Mr. Sudduth wrote over 300 arrangements, transcriptions, and compositions for both marching and concert band. Under his baton the University Symphonic Band brought much prestige and honor to Texas Tech University. They performed several times at the Texas Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association Convention and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was a member of several honorary societies including Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In 1995 Mr. Sudduth received the highest honor which can be bestowed by Kappa Kappa Psi, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal, for his contributions in the field of concert band. Along with Keith Bearden, Sudduth served for sixteen years as co-sponsor for the Alpha Omicron chapter. His quiet guidance, wisdom and humor were a big part of Alpha Omicron’s success over the years and can be summed up in the phrase he would use for the chapter on many occasions, “Don’t lose sight of your purpose!” To this end he was referred to by many band members as “the Great One”. We will miss him immensely but are grateful for the time we were fortunate to share with him. We will never lose sight of the legacy of Jim Sudduth.

– Mike Blass, Russell Hulme, Hunter Shelby


Heath Denton Memorial

Recognizing the importance of membership education, Alpha Omicron presents a plaque to the best candidate of each candidate class. The idea first started in 1947, but was not carried out for several years. In 1960, the chapter decided that the award should be presented after each candidate class.

In the fall of 1994, Alpha Omicron suffered its worst tragedy in its fifty plus years of existance. For the first time, a brother died while still active as a member of the chapter. Brother Heath Denton was killed on October 29, 1994, hours after what was one of the biggest joys of the marching season – a victory in football over the University of Texas. In loving memory of Brother Denton and to honor the legacy of brotherhood and service which he brought to Kappa Kappa Psi and the Goin’ Band, Alpha Omicron chose to honor that memory by renaming the best candidate award as the Heath Denton Memorial Outstanding Candidate Award. AEA Brother Denton.


In Memory of Brother Omar Garcia

“…If I must die, I am a brother of K-K-Psi…”

We the brothers of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi were struck with the loss of our very close brother Omar Jesus Garcia, 19, from Katy, Texas, on December 19, 2002. O.J. was traveling from Lubbock to San Antonio to meet the Goin’ Band’s charter plane to the Tangerine Bowl when he fell asleep outside of Menard while driving.

O.J. was a friend to everyone and one of the best brothers AO has ever had. He was an amazing musician and a top tuba in the TTU School of Music. He was also very active with the Goin’ Band from Raiderland even though he’d only been a member for 2 years. Although he was a new active in Kappa Kappa Psi, he was always involved in everything this chapter did and had many great ideas to contribute.

Nothing written in words can describe the person O.J. was. His always smiling face and contagious laugh will be remembered forever. Every memory we have of him will inspire us to never forget the great person he was. As was well written on the Epsilon Delta chapter’s website in regards to the passing of their own brother Rosbel Cruz in October 2001, “It was asked of me, ‘Why? Why take someone who inspired others, worked hard and accomplished much in his short time on this Earth, and leave those who do not care for changing peoples lives nor teaching the gift of music?’ The only answer I co
uld have given was that the greatest of us belong with God, to wait for the time when we will need them.”

O.J. was only passing through this world and is now in heaven smiling down on us. He
always strove for the highest in his daily life, and now he can’t get any higher. I know for sure, though, that he’ll always be out there on that marching field every time we shoot out of those tunnels. He’ll always own a foot and a half of prime Goin’ Band real estate. He’ll be there listening intently at every Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert. And of course he’ll always be there every time we ring up and sing our hymn…signing louder than everybody else.

AEA Brother Garcia and Rest in Peace.

– Mark Mason, Big Brother to O.J.