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Willard I. Shepherd

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Willard Shepherd, retired associate professor of music education and former band director for Trinity. He died in San Antonio on Monday, Nov. 8.  Shepherd was 94.

For 19 years as Trinity’s bandleader, Shepherd gave countless concerts on the campus. He also founded the Trinity University-Community Band, which included both students and musicians from across San Antonio.  With as many as 65 members, the University-Community band was a popular attraction at Trinity events as well as for concerts around the city.
Born in 1916 in Toledo, Ohio, Shepherd grew up in Emporia, Kansas. He received a bachelor’s in music from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia.  After receiving his undergraduate degree, Shepherd served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.  He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and, later, returned to Kansas State Teachers College to receive his master’s in music.   

During his long career in music, Shepherd served as director of several bands in the military and at different schools. In World War II, he was a band director for the Army Air Corps and, afterwards, was associate conductor for the U.S. Air Force Band and Air Force Orchestra.

After the war, he founded the University of Houston marching band and was director of bands at the College of Emporia in Kansas, and at Texas Western University (now the University of Texas at El Paso.)

He also played several instruments but considered himself a trombone player. He wrote and published “Nocturne & Rondolette” for solo trombone or baritone and piano.

Shepherd came to Trinity in 1963 as an assistant professor of music education and director of  band and orchestra. As band director, he conducted Trinity musicians in concerts, at football games, and pep rallies. He founded the University-Community Band in 1976.  He retired in 1982.   

He is survived by his wife, Helen; daughter Carol Shepherd Quinsey and son Charles Shepherd; daughters-in-law Jo Ann Ybarra Shepherd and Pamela Yantis Davis; stepson Chuck Curry and stepdaughters Peggy Foshee and Cheryl Meyer.

A funeral service was held on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Alamo Heights Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be made in Shepherd’s name to the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Rd. San Antonio, Texas 78209.

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