A Spotlight on Dr. David W. Campo

Marina McLerran

Editor, McLerran Journal

Assistant Band Director, Center ISD, TX


I had the pleasure of studying with Dr. David Campo at Stephen F. Austin State University and also worked with him during my two years as the office assistant in the Band Department. He is one of the most personable, passionate, and hardworking individuals you will ever meet and is completely devoted to his work and his students. 


Dr. David Wayne Campo is a published composer, conductor, and educator. Currently, he is the Associate Director of Bands and Director of The Lumberjack Marching Band at Stephen F. Austin State University. He also conducts the SFASU Wind Symphony, the SFASU University Band, and organizes the SFASU Summer Band Camps. He is involved in professional organizations including the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Campo lives in Nacogdoches, TX with his wife of nineteen years, Donna, and their daughter, McKenzie. He is extremely proud of McKenzie for earning a spot in the 2017 Texas All-State Band on clarinet and is grateful for his wife’s constant support, stating that she has “changed [his] life profoundly for the better.”

Dr. Campo knew from an early age that he was going to be a musician. He believes that “one can choose music as an occupation, but can’t choose whether they are a musician or not;” some people are born with it. He earned both his Bachelor of Music Education and his Master of Music Theory and Composition from Louisiana State University. In 2007, he completed his D.M.A. at the University of Oklahoma where he had the opportunity to work as a Doctoral Conducting Fellow and study with Dr. William K. Wakefield. It was during this same period that he composed multiple commissions for both wind bands and orchestras at the high school and university level. His works have been performed by ensembles like the University of Lousiana-Lafayette Wind Ensemble and the Acadiana Symphony. 

Before accepting the position at SFASU, Dr. Campo dedicated fifteen years of his career to Louisiana public school music programs. He then worked as the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1999 to 2001. While researching the position at Stephen F. Austin State University, Dr. Campo had the opportunity to meet with a handful of students from SFASU who described the School of Music as “Texas education’s best kept secret.” Intrigued, he accepted the position and has since fallen in love with the school and the Nacogdoches community. Although several of Dr. Campo’s predecessors at SFASU used the position as a springboard to more prestigious positions, he personally treasures the school and its staff; “there are bigger jobs, but not better jobs.”

In his nearly twenty years at SFASU, Dr. Campo has helped to build the SFASU band program in both reputation and size. This accomplishment is most noticeable in The Lumberjack Marching Band, an organization that is bursting at the seams with record-breaking enrollment. In addition to weekly performances for football games and local events, the ensemble has recently begun to represent Stephen F. Austin State University on the international stage with performances in London (New Year’s Day 2013), New York (Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2015), and Ireland (St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2018). Dr. Campo encourages his students to participate in these optional trips stating that “music can take you to places you can’t even imagine.” In the future, Dr. Campo plans to continue to bring national and international recognition to the Stephen F. Austin State University Band Department.

To young music educators, Dr. Campo advises “maintaining a growth mindset” and avoiding becoming “complacent with [one’s] skills.” He encourages musicians of all ages to take advantage of “invaluable” learning opportunities like conducting symposiums and professional conventions in order to continue growing. The educators who will make a difference, in Dr. Campo’s opinion, are those who constantly strive to improve themselves as well as their students. About the future, Dr. Campo shared that he plans to continue traveling and to allot more time to composing, particularly for wind band. Thoughtfully, he said, “I will run out of life long before I’ve seen everything I want to see.” 


Follow Dr. Campo and the SFASU ensembles at http://www.music.sfasu.edu  


Book Suggestions from Dr. Campo:

“Artistry of Teaching and Making Music” (2015) Richard Floyd

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“Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)” Igor Stravinsky

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/PoeticsLessonsCharlesNortonLectures/dp/0674678567/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496356486&sr=1-1&keywords=stravinsky+poetics+of+music


“A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” (2015) Jimmy Carter

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