Robert Mayes passed away on June 8, 2022 in Humble, Texas. Robert was born on August 21, 1947 in Mildland, Texas to Pete and Mina Mayes. Robert grew up in Midland, Texas and graduated from Midland HS in 1965. Music played an important part in his life and he saw great success as a trumpet player in high school and college. He attended Texas Tech University, where he played in the marching band, concert band, and stage band. He was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Tech. He married Diane Lovelace on February 4, 1970.
Robert began his career as an assisitant band director at Midland Lee HS, where he taught for three years. In June of 1972, his daughter Maggie was born in Midland. In 1974, the Mayes family moved back to Lubbock when Dean Killion, the director of bands at Texas Tech University, created the new position of assistant band director. Robert completed his Master’s degree in Music Education and serves as Texas Tech Assistant Band Director for six years.
In 1980, Robert was hired to be the band director at the University of Wyoming by Dr. David Tomatz, the head of the music department. He spent four years in Laramie directing the marching band and the basketball pep band, which took him on many travels throughout Utah, California, Colorado, and Nevada. He also earned tenure while teaching at the University of Wyoming.
In 1984, Dr.Tomatz was hired as the head of the University of Houston School of Music, bringing the Mayes family to work for him in Houston. Robert and his family moved to Humble, Texas in the Summer of 1984. Robert directed the University of Houston Marching Band and the Cougar Brass for the next 16 years. Under his direction, the band performed in Texas, California, Mexico, and Hawaii. They took their talent overseas to entertain the people of Japan, France, and Ireland. The band marched in parades in Houston, Galveston, and Dublin. Robert took his students on many adventures and radiated Cougar pride wherever he went.
Throughout his career, Robert worked with the Bands of America program. He spent years judging high school marching band contests and passing on his expertise to young musicians across the country. He also had the privileged of directing the halftime shows for the organization at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
In 2000, Robert was reassigned to the University of Houston School of Music Education, where he trained students to be band directors and music teachers, after another 16 years at U of H, he retired in 2016.
Robert loved his family, his students, his friends, and his universities. He took pride in being a musician and he instilled pride in those who were lucky enough to experience his teachings. Former students comment on his passion, enthusiasm, and sense of humor. They also talk about the impact he had on their lives.
Robert is survived by his wife, Diane, and his daughter, Maggie; his nephews, Scott and Jeff; his brothers, Jody and John; and his sister, Patricia.
Robert’s beloved former students honored “coach” with a celebration of life on Saturday, June 25th. Though he is gone, his legacy will not be forgotten.