Bryce B. Taylor, 95, passed peacefully on July 29, 2020, in Austin, Texas with loving family at his side. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Diana. Bryce was born in Edinburg, Texas on February 12, 1925, to Charles Bills Taylor and Cecile Benbow Taylor. After graduating from Edinburg High School, Bryce served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. He played “Taps” over the USS Arizona to honor the fallen servicemen. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to Edinburg, and married his high school sweetheart, Diana Rodriguez. They were happily married for 72 years.
A few years after Bryce and Diana married, Bryce graduated from Texas A&I, first in his class, Summa Cum Laude. Bryce and Diana then moved to Three Rivers, Texas, where he began his long teaching career as a band director. During his 10 years in Three Rivers, his bands won many honors, including the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Class A Honor Band in 1959, the first Class A band selected for this award.
In 1960, Bryce and Diana moved to Alice, Texas, where for the next 30 years, he served as the music supervisor and high school band director for Alice ISD. During this time, the Alice band won 29 consecutive UIL Sweepstakes awards, and a top 5 ranking in the TMEA honor band competition for classes AAAA and AAAAA twelve consecutive times. The Alice band was also one of the first five high school bands in the nation to be awarded the Sousa Flag of Honor by the John P. Sousa Foundation. Over the years, approximately 200 band and orchestra students from Alice and Three Rivers were selected as TMEA All-State musicians. In addition, more than 30 of Bryce’s students went on to become music educators and leaders, including two of his sons.
During Bryce’s career, he received numerous honors: State of Texas Teacher of the Year runner-up; the National Federation of State High School Associations Exemplary Music Educator Award; Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame Award; the Texas Bandmasters Association Bandmaster of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Honorary Lifetime Member; and Texas A&M Kingsville Alumni of the Year in 2002 and Distinguished Alumni in 2018. Bryce also was a member of the inaugural class of the South Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame. From 1962 to 1964, he had the honor of serving as President of the Texas Music Educators Association, and from 1999 to 2000, as the President of the American Bandmasters Association.
Upon “retirement,” Bryce continued to serve as a music consultant for Alice ISD, where the Performing Arts Auditorium was named in his honor. He also continued to teach music education classes at Texas A&M Kingsville and to conduct the Corpus Christi Wind Symphony. During his 30 years as music director and conductor of the Wind Symphony, the organization received many honors, including performing at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and touring Europe.
Bryce is survived by his loving family: Scott Lee Taylor, Dallas, Texas; David Kim Taylor (wife, Dianne), Austin, Texas; Cynthia Mulrow (husband William Linn), San Antonio, Texas; and Richard Kerry Taylor (wife, Valerie), Austin Texas; along with four grandsons, two granddaughters and two great grandchildren. Bryce will also be remembered fondly by many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. His steadiness and wisdom will be missed by all.
A Rosary in memory of Bryce will be held Friday, July 31 at the Holmgreen Mortuary in Alice, Texas from 7:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Alice on Saturday, August 1 at 10:00 a.m. We know many of you would want to attend one of these services; however, both facilities’ capacities are limited due to COVID-19 protocols. In lieu of attendance and/or flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to the Bryce Taylor Memorial Scholarship at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation, either online at http://www.javelinagiving.org/bryce_taylor_memorial or by mail at PO Box 2202, Kingsville, Texas 78363.
Condolences for the family may be offered at www.holmgreenmortuaryinc.com and shared via Holmgreen Mortuary Facebook.
Services entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bryce B. Taylor, please visit our floral store.