Elmo Lopez, Sr. passed away on March 15, 2021 at the age of 94 after a full and distinguished life as a musician, band director, rancher and music store owner. In the fall of 1949, he enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin and credited the university for helping foster his love of music. While still an undergraduate, he organized his own dance band, formed mostly with music majors. The group worked numerous fraternity and sorority dances as well as other social events in and around Austin.
He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1953 and a Master of Music degree in 1957 from The University of Texas at Austin. He began working as a band director, a career that would span more than 30 years and include many firsts. He became the first band director at Lamar Junior High School; he brought the first UIL Sweepstakes to Laredo during his ten years as band director at Martin High School. He was the first band director at Nixon High School in 1964 and in 1967, he opened Laredo’s first music store dedicated to band instruments.
Elmo Lopez continued to serve his alma mater highlighted by his twelve years of involvement with the University of Texas Dads’ Association Board of Directors that led him to become that organization’s President in 1986. In 1993, he was named a distinguished member and honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Laredo University of Texas Ex-Students Association.