In a heartfelt tribute to the late Robyn Judd, former Frenship Middle School band director who was tragically lost in a car accident in the spring of 2021, the TMEA Region 16 organization of directors dedicated this year's performance to her memory. Over 300 students from the three middle school All-Region bands, comprising 81 talented individuals from all four Frenship middle schools, came together for this special concert.
After a challenging and competitive audition process, these students were selected to play in one of the All-Region bands, which are student-auditioned groups under the governance of the Texas Music Educators Association Region 16, encompassing schools from Frenship ISD, Lubbock ISD, Lubbock Cooper ISD, and Plainview ISD. The concert, held on November 14 at the Lubbock Christian University Moody Auditorium, featured the top band performing 'They Remain,' a piece written especially as a tribute to Judd, symbolizing how we remember those who have passed and how their memories remain with us.
Robin Judd joined the Frenship Family in 2018 as the assistant band director at Frenship Middle School. During her time at Frenship, Judd worked closely with students and staff at Frenship Middle School up until her passing in the spring semester of 2021.
Judd was beloved by her students and admired by those who had the opportunity to meet her. Even after her tragic passing, the lasting impact of Judd can be felt not only at Frenship but in the music community as well.
In the wake of Judd’s passing, the band directors within the region agreed that it would be a wonderful honor to have the TMEA Region 16 band division pay to have a piece of music commissioned for her. This is often done for beloved musicians, music educators, or other important people within the musical community. A committee of directors, including Kyle Billett, the head band director at FMS, met to determine how to proceed. They agreed on music composer, Randall Standridge to write the work.
The piece is a beautiful lyrical work that features a clarinet solo, which was Judd’s primary instrument. The piece ebbs and flows between lighter and happier moments, to darker tones, signifying both Ms. Judd’s successes and struggles.
“The TMEA Region 16 band directors ultimately decided to honor Ms. Judd because even though she had not taught for very long, she was an incredibly successful, wise, and caring educator,” said Billett. “Her students at both FMS and Dunbar adored and respected her ability to teach and connect with the kids, giving them someone safe to lean on when times were hard. The directors of the region recognize these abilities and that she was incredibly special to the school systems she taught in.”
At the performance, there were a huge number of Judd’s former FMS students, some of whom had graduated from high school, seated in the audience. They wanted to hear the premiere of the music composition honoring their beloved band director.
Judd’s legacy lives on in many ways, through the teachings of some of her colleagues, but also in incredible opportunities for current students. Darla Casteel, Judd’s mother, maintains an annual scholarship for Frenship Middle School band students to attend the Texas Tech University Band and Orchestra camp each summer. Students apply for the scholarship by submitting an essay to be reviewed by Casteel and she chooses one recipient each year to receive a scholarship for the full tuition amount. "We are incredibly thankful for the continued blessing that Mrs. Casteel provides our students each year,” stated Billette.
Anyone who feels led to make a donation to the scholarship fund is welcome to contact the First Security State Bank in Cranfills Gap, TX (254)-597-2286). Donations to the bank may be made out to “The Robyn Judd Memorial Scholarship”.