Music educator honored

Alan Dropps has dedicated much of his life to teaching youth of all ages the fundamentals of music.

Dropps, now serving as the director of music education for CMS, has been an educator and administrator in Clovis for the past 28 years.


Alan Dropps

Last week, he was selected Administrator of the Year by the New Mexico Music Educators Association and will be honored at an awards luncheon at the University of New Mexico in January.


Q: What can you tell us about the award?

A: Each year, the New Mexico Music Educators Association takes nominations from throughout the state for various awards.

The award is basically for an administrator who has shown good direction with instructional leadership in music, keeps music education at the forefront in the community, makes good use of finances, and they also look at the success of the different music programs in the district.


Q: What kinds of programs have you initiated that have led to the success of the CMS music department?

A: A lot of the programs were in place when I took over. My predecessors, Norvil Howell and Wayne Anderson, did a fantastic job of setting programs in place.

We’ve added a couple things. We’re doing things a little bit different, because systems change as time goes on. We’ve moved more to an electronic way of communicating with parents and students, and our band program has grown somewhat.

Really, there’s nothing earth shaking that I’ve put in, and it’s not really maintaining either. It’s just continuing to be a good steward of the programs that were put in place.


Q: Who is your greatest influence?

A: Professionally, my greatest influences were my high school choir director. His name was Ken Thompson. He was an Eastern grad; that’s the reason I went to Eastern.

Norvil Howell, Wayne Anderson, Jody Balch and Cindy Martin are the people who have had the biggest influence. And of course personally, my mother and father, and my wife Maryann, who I’ve been married to for 28 years.


Q: What’s currently playing on your iPod?

A: I have real eclectic stuff on my iPod. I really like a lot of the new folk-type music that’s out — Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, and the Lumineers a little bit. I’m also an old rock ‘n’ roll guy, so Rush is one of my favorite bands.

I grew up listening to AC/DC and Journey, and of course some classical stuff also.


Q: What do you see yourself doing next?

A: I don’t know, I really enjoy what I’m doing right now. I’m in my fifth year of doing this job. I love what I’m doing and I can’t see doing anything else.


— compiled by CNJ staff writer Emily Crowe