Dr. Ron Alan Hufstader was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on March 18, 1946. He is preceded in death by his parents, Gaylord and Virginia, his brother Robert and his grandson Christian. Ron passed away on December 9, 2019 at the age of 73 with family and friends surrounding him while at the Hospitals of Providence, Sierra Campus.
When he was in fourth grade, his family moved to Great Falls, Montana, and three years later to Hickory, North Carolina. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University and then moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where he taught band for the next three years. He earned his Master of Music Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and then continued studies at the University of Iowa earning his Master of Music Performance degree (trombone) and a Ph.D. in Music Education.
Ron began teaching music education and low brass classes at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 1976. After completing one semester, he was named Director of Bands leading the Marching Miners, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble as well as teaching conducting classes and applied low brass.
In 1990 Ron was elected chairman of the UTEP Department of Music. He served in that position while continuing to conduct the Wind Ensemble and teach conducting. During this period of his career, he began a series of recordings resulting in ten highly acclaimed CDs with Mark Records. These composers included David Holsinger, Andrew Boysen, Roger Cichy, Frank Ticheli, Julie Giroux, David Gillingham, James Barnes, Robert Jager, Mark Camphouse and Robert W. Smith. During this time, he also served seven years as the conductor of the UTEP Orchestra. As an accomplished trombonist, Ron performed principal trombone for twenty-seven years with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.
Teaching was one of the great joys in Ron’s life and music his greatest passion. He melded the two and dedicated his life to mentoring and developing young musicians. There was nothing that brought a bigger smile to his face and warmed his heart more than witnessing the accomplishments of his students.
He founded the El Paso Wind Symphony in 1996 comprised of about fifty members, most of whom are successful area band directors. The El Paso Wind Symphony continues to perform six concerts per year. The group’s Holiday Concert will be Friday, December 13, 2019 at UTEP in Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall at 7:30 PM. The El Paso Wind Symphony released one CD for Summit Records.
Ron retired from UTEP in 2016 and was awarded the honor and status of Professor Emeritus in Music. Ron’s memberships include the Texas Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, Pi Kappa Lambda and was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Association’s Hall of Fame. He became an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association which is the highest honor that is bestowed to those in the instrumental band world.
Ron is survived by his wife Nancy Taylor of El Paso, Texas; his daughter Lindsey Erin Hufstader of Austin, Texas; his niece Trina Hufstader of Ashville, North Carolina; nephew John Hufstader of Ashville, North Carolina; cousin Robert Hufstader of Middleberg, Florida; aunt Vera Walker Virden of Kahoka, Missouri; and the mother of his child Catherine R Hufstader of Austin, Texas. The family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial contributions be made to El Paso Animal Services, 5001 Fred Wilson Ave; El Paso, TX 79906 (915-212-7297). Services will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Coronado Baptist Church, 501 Thunderbird Dr.; El Paso, TX 79912 at 11 AM (915-584-3912). Services entrusted to Martin Funeral Home West www.martinfuneralhomewest.com