Director of Bands
Assistant Professor of Music
DMA, Arizona State University
MM, Indiana University
BME, New Mexico State University
Area of Expertise: Wind Conducting, Instrumental Music Education
Office: Price Doyle Fine Arts 305
Currently, Dr. Trae Blanco serves as Director of Bands at Murray State University,
After completing his Bachelor of Music Education degree at New Mexico State University
(NMSU), Trae Blanco completed four years as Director of Bands at Las Cruces High School. Dr.
Blanco holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the Herberger Institute at
Arizona State University where his principal teachers include Professor Gary W. Hill and Dr.
Wayne Bailey. Prior to attending ASU, Blanco completed a Master of Music degree in Wind
Conducting with Professor Stephen W. Pratt at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana
University. Dr. Blanco was formerly Director of Bands at University of Southern Maine.
During his tenure as Director of Bands at Las Cruces High School, Dr. Blanco’s program
became a well- recognized program in the state as well as the across the entire southwest
region. Under his direction, every ensemble within the program, including two concert bands,
the Showcase Marching Band, two jazz bands, the Avant Guard Winterguard, and the Las
Cruces Percussion Group, received Superior ratings at festivals within the state of New Mexico.
In addition to these honors, his ensembles also earned two Gold ratings at the Heritage
Festivals in San Diego, California and Anaheim, California. Two of the bands under his direction
were also selected as All-State honor ensembles by the New Mexico Music Educators
Association: the Jazz Band I was selected in 2010 as the New Mexico All State Honor Jazz
Band and the Symphonic Winds selected in 2011 as the Honor Concert Band.
In January of 2011, Dr. Blanco collaborated with composer/guitarist James (Jim) Bonney's
composition Chaos Theory for Wind Ensemble and Electric Guitar. These efforts culminated in
a live, recorded performance of the piece at Popejoy Auditorium at the University of New Mexico
featuring the composer, Jim Bonney, as soloist. Additionally, Dr. Blanco lead the consortium for
Jim Bonney’s second guitar concerto, DARKlightNESS, which premiered in November of 2015
with the composer as soloist, and the ASU Wind Orchestra, Trae Blanco conducting. Dr.
Blanco's research focuses on a history of BCM International; Jim Bonney, Steven Bryant, Jonathan Newman, and Eric Whitacre.
Dr. Blanco was the recipient of the New Mexico Music Educators New and Emerging Teacher
Award for 2010. He is currently a member of the New Mexico Music Educators Association,
College Band Directors Association, WASBE, and the Percussive Arts Society. He has
continued conducting studies with workshops across the country and in July 2015, Dr. Blanco
was a guest conductor with the United States Army "Pershing's Own" Concert Band in
Washington, D.C. In both 2015 and 2016 Dr. Blanco was a finalist in the American Prize in Wind
Conducting. Currently, Dr. Blanco resides in Murray, KY, with his wife, Kelsey Blanco, lyric