Dr. Frank Perez elected president of Kansas Bandmasters Association


Maggie Young

Dr. Frank Perez is a well-known professor of music and conductor of Baker’s band ensemble. He received the honor of being elected as the President of the Kansas Bandmasters Association.

Over the summer of 2021, Associate Professor and Director of Bands Dr. Frank Perez became the President of the Kansas Bandmasters Association (KBA). While the election took place in the summer of 2019, Perez had to serve two years as President-elect before taking the position of President. 

“Kansas Bandmasters Association is the professional organization that most of the band directors in the state of Kansas belong to whether they’re elementary, junior high, high school or college. So it’s our main professional organization for our state,” Perez said.

Perez has had a career full of music and teaching. He has been playing the trombone since junior high and received his Bachelor of Music Education and Trombone Performance at the University of Southern California. Perez also taught high school band for eight years. Then he went back to graduate school to become a conductor.

Perez first joined the KBA in 2014. Throughout his years, he has volunteered for the KBA and used it to network with other band directors from Kansas.

When Perez was approached in 2019 to run for president by the board, he happily accepted and won. He served for two years as the president-elect before taking over officially this last summer.

Junior Robin Madere, who plays the flute and piccolo, believes Perez has what it takes to be the President of KBA.

“Dr. Perez is a talented instrumentalist, which is the foundation that will make him a good fit. He is passionate about music and is sure to aid anyone that may need his help with it,” Madere said. “If there is a student who needs his help, he will make time to meet with them to make sure they get what they need. He is approachable which helps on the students’ part when it comes to asking for help with anything.”

As a member of the Symphonic Winds Band at Baker for the past three years, Madere sees qualities in Perez that will help him succeed.

“Dr. Perez knows what he wants and makes sure to vocalize that in a way that everyone can understand. Not only is he a leader in the classroom, but he is a leader outside of it as well,” Madere said.

One of Perez’s first challenges as President-elect came in the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 began and the KBA was questioning whether or not it should cancel its annual KBA Summer Convention. Perez came up with the idea to do a virtual convention that year.

“I think our organization is very important to our high school band directors and middle school band directors. Think how burnt out they’re going to be at the end of the semester. We’ve got to do something to support them,” Perez said.

Even as some questioned how it would work, Perez knew it needed to be done for the band directors. The virtual convention was hosted for free which ended up doubling the membership of the KBA, meaning it was a success.

During his time as President-elect, Perez worked closely with the KBA President at the time, Travis Johnson, who served from 2019 to 2021. Perez and Johnson worked together to organize the convention online, and Johnson gives much of the credit to Perez.

“He took [the convention] to the next level,” Johnson said.

Johnson describes Perez as an outstanding leader who thinks everything through and is very organized. While working so closely together for those two years, Johnson has learned a lot about Perez and believes he will do great things.

“He’s very ambitious, organized and he’s also really really good with people and reading a situation. He’s very emphatic,” Johnson said.

Perez says this is an exciting time for the KBA and is grateful to be a part of it.

“It’s been an incredibly supportive organization, and I’m very proud to be a part of that because of the people that are involved. They’re all caring, wonderful and very talented band directors from all around the state that make up that board that I serve,” Perez said.

His next big job is to help put together this summer’s annual conference as well as find ways he can support band directors on all levels all across the state. 

Perez knows of the big responsibilities now placed onto him but feels grateful knowing that his colleagues have respect for what he does and understand the value in what he can bring to the association.

“So that confidence is not only a huge responsibility, it’s also a big honor to be asked to serve in this capacity,” Perez said. 

With his presidency just beginning, Perez is excited for all the ways he can help students.

“I’m having a wonderful time getting the chance to meet new people and make new professional relationships. And more than anything, being able to reach the students and know we are doing everything that we can to provide the best quality of education for our students across the state,” Perez said.