Dorothy Wells

TODA Orchestra Director of the Year - 2004


Dorothy Wells has been involved in music for most of her life, having begun piano lessons at the age of three. She began flute as an elementary student, and entered the magic of the orchestra world in the sixth grade when she was selected for the all-city honor orchestra. Her very first concert on the flute was a full orchestra concert!

Dottie participated in band and orchestra in junior high under Pat Jones, ODY 2001. As a student at AHS, Dot was fortunate enough to perform not only in band and orchestra at school, but also as a student member of the Amarillo Symphony under the baton of A Clyde Roller. Dr Roller, TODA’s first Orchestra Director of the Year, in addition to her outstanding teachers in junior and senior high, inspired her to enter the world of music education as a teacher. After graduating from West Texas State University in Canyon, Dottie began her teaching career in Amarillo, where she taught for 16 years. During that time, with the help and support of Betty Roller (ODY in 1990) and the expert tutelage of husband Ron (ODY in 2000), she developed a specialty in teaching elementary strings. She and Ron continued performing with the Amarillo Symphony and were members of that organization until their move to San Antonio in 1986. Dottie taught orchestra for 13 years at Bradley MS in San Antonio’s North East ISD where her string and full orchestras consistently won Sweepstakes awards in UIL competitions and in festival performances. The Bradley orchestra entered the state honor orchestra competition several times and placed as high as third in those competitions. The Bradley Honors Orchestra has performed several times as a demonstration group for both TMEA and TODA conventions.

Wells retired from full-time teaching in 1999 but still remains active as a clinician and as an adjudicator throughout the state. She is a charter member of Mu Omicron and also is a member of TMEA, TODA, and TMAA. She served on the PML music selection committee in 1999.

Dottie and husband Ron of 43 years are the very proud parents of adult children Mike and Melanie, both All-State Orchestra players in their high school years. Mike, after teaching 5A band for several years, has most recently been the very successful orchestra director at Katy HS. In 2002 he was appointed conductor of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion Youth Pops Orchestra in the Houston area. He has accepted a teaching position for the coming year at Kempner HS in Fort Bend ISD. Melanie, who has a large private practice in marriage and family therapy in Dallas, also writes fiction. She has very recently been awarded a three-book contract, and her first novel will be published in May of 2005.

Says Dottie, “I am overwhelmed to be chosen as Texas Orchestra Director of the Year, with so many who deserve the recognition far more than I. I am honored that the TODA Board has chosen me, and I thank you, Board members, for your confidence and support. It is with the support and encouragement of the members of this organization that I have had some success in my chosen career. This award is truly the highlight of my years in music education in Texas.”