Conductor Emeritus --- Eugene A. Smith
Gene joined the Watsonville Band in 1966, while a sophomore at Watsonville High School. After graduating from San Jose State University Mr. Smith began his career in music education in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
His 30 year tenure includes 18 years at the middle school level and 18 years as the Watsonville High School Band Director. He currently teaches school band and choir at E.A. Hall, Cesar Chavez Middle, and Watsonville High.
Mr.Smith was honored as the Outstanding Music Educator of 1996 by the California Association for Music Education, Central Coast Section, and was inducted into the Watsonville High School Hall of Fame in 2005. He was elected President of CMEA-Central Coast Section three times and has been re-elected President starting in June, 2008. He is a member of CMEA, MENC, CBDNA, and CBDA.
He retired as Conductor of Watsonville Community Band in 2012 after 35 years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to the Band.
Gonzalo H. Viales C. 1925-2011
Longtime Band supporters know the name "Bert Viales" goes with "Watsonville" as "Martinelli" goes with apples. Though a San Francisco native, Bert helped spread the name of our town over four continents and 15 nations. He occupied the podium for 39 years, and defined the musical style of the Band.
Gonzalo "Bert" Viales joined the Watsonville Sciots Band in 1953, and became conductor of the Watsonville Band in 1957. With only a short hiatus in the middle, Bert retired as Conductor in 1999, but returned to the Watsonville Band where he started - in the trumpet setion in 2005, retiring finally in 2010.
As Conductor Emeritus he shared the benefits of his experience, knowledge, skill and understanding of community music - and community musicians - when asked, and happily shared a one-liner or bit of band lore as the occasion demanded. Bert's smile was ready, his laugh hearty, and his music profound. We miss him.
Silvester "Mac" McElroy
We like to honor the memory of our late conductor Silvester "Mac" McElroy. In many concerts you will find that we play a circus march. Mac was a great supporter of circus music.