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Jay Lester Named New Director for The Cowboy Band By: Madison Stratton

The World Famous Cowboy Band will be welcoming former Cowboy Band member Jay Lester as their new director in the Spring of 2024.

Lester moved around a lot when he was young, because his father was in the military, but has settled down in Abilene and has lived here for most of his life. During high school, he participated in the Abilene Cooper band, golf team, choir/show choir, theater, speech and film clubs. Lester went to UIL state band competitions twice, marched in a halftime performance at a Dallas Cowboys game, participated in a choir tour of Colorado and performed in the 1990 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Lester graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 1994. While attending HSU, he earned his bachelors and masters in music. During his postgraduate years, he served as a graduate assistant for the band director. He later received a masters degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas in 2007. He has taught at many places and with various titles throughout his time as an educator including: band/orchestra conductor in Odessa, Abilene and Allen, and as fine arts director in Victoria.

Lester will not be able to join full time until the spring semester, as he is still working for Abilene Independent School District as the Executive Director of Fine Arts. This is one of many prestigious roles that Lester has held, which makes him well suited to be director of the Cowboy Band. If you would like to read more about Jay Lester, visit:

Lester is excited about the future of The Cowboy Band. His plans are to carry on the remarkable history and legacy of the famed 100-year-old organization that he was a part of as a student and, soon, as its director.


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