Ray Portillo is gearing up for his new gig as the band director of the Glen Rose Tiger Pride High School Band.

With 13 years of experience as a high school band director, Portillo brings a lot of energy to the school.

Portillo played the tuba in his high school band and was also the drum major. He earned his degree from Texas Tech University. Originally, he wanted to go into coaching.

“I had some great music mentors,” Portillo said. “I decided to go into music instead of coaching because it was more of a challenge.”

Portillo said he never learned music theory in high school or how to play other instruments. Earning a degree in music education would require him to do both.

His first job was with Jayton High School. He also taught at Plains High School and most recently at Seminole High School.

Portillo said he is looking forward to the new season. The band will be working on a show theme, “The Rise and Fall of Rome.” He has been most impressed with the student leadership. The band has two drum majors and 10 squad leaders.

“I’ve been very impressed with them in the last week,” Portillo said. “Everyone has been positive and I can tell they want a good band program.”

Portillo also said football fans could expect a few changes.

“We want to mix it up and include music for parents and the student body,” Portillo said.

He will keep the long-time favorites, but said he wants to add new music to the program as well. He wants to keep the football audience excited and help support the team.

“It’s about creating an atmosphere. Games are just not the same without the band,” Portillo said. “The programs support each other and it’s a great experience to have.”