Trae Blanco


Trae Blanco

Trae Blanco

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Bands



  • DMA, Arizona State University
  • MM, Indiana University
  • BME, New Mexico State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Wind Conducting
  • Instrumental Music Education


Currently, Dr. Trae Blanco serves as Director of Bands at Murray State University, Murray, KY. 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 soprano.

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