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Bands Faculty and Staff

Interim Director of Bands Chad Simons joined the faculty at the University of New Mexico in 2005. His duties as Associate Director of Bands include directing the Spirit Marching Band, Soundpack, Symphonic Band, and teaching various courses in music education. He is also the Director of the Zia Marching Band Fiesta, one of the largest independent marching competitions in the southwest.

From 2001-2005, Dr. Simons was the Associate Director of Bands at Idaho State University, where he directed the ISU "Bengal" Marching Band, taught courses in music education, theory, student teacher training, and music appreciation. Before going to ISU, Dr. Simons taught in the public schools in Forsyth, Montana, where both his middle school and high school bands consistently received superior ratings at local, district and state music festivals.

Active as a clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Simons has given marching band clinics and conducted concert bands throughout the country.

Dr. Simons holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Montana, where he graduated with a president's recognition award, a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Oklahoma State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Kansas University. Dr. Simons' conducting teachers include Dr. Joseph Missal and Dr. Steve Bolstad. Pedagogical influences include Dr. Michael Raiber, and Mr. Bill Ballenger. His percussion instructors include Dr. Robert LedBetter and Prof. Wayne Bovenschen. 

Michelle Michelle Morrison is the Program Coordinator for the UNM Bands. A graduate of UNM with a strong background in performing arts and a passion for music, she is delighted to have joined the UNM Bands Department. She is a published author, dance instructor, and novice percussionist.

In Memorium

Eric Andrew Rombach-Kendall, 64, died on the night of January 24, 2022 from a major heart attack. He lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since the Fall of 1993.Eric Rombach-Kendall was the Director of Bands at the University of New Mexico since 1993. He served as College Band Directors National Association president from 2011-2013. He was the Band Director at Boston University from 1989-1993. Eric also served as the Band Director of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1988 and as a high school band director in Washington.

Professor Eric Rombach-Kendall was a kind, honest teacher and conductor with fantastic musicianship, but even more importantly, he was an incredible human being. Eric was many things to many different people: husband, father, son, brother, mentor, teacher, conductor and friend. On this we can all agree, we loved him dearly. His spirit lives on in our hearts and the music we make.