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Mr. Laird is in his second year at Cuero ISD.  Before coming to Cuero, Mr. Laird spent two years in Victoria ISD as the district’s Director of Mariachis.  Mr. Laird also had the opportunity to work with Drum Corp of America’s New York Skyliners as a music and visual tech for the contra section in July of 2015.

Mr. Laird graduated from Vista Ridge High School in Leander ISD where he was a member of the 2006 4A All-State Symphonic Band, marched at the UIL State Marching Competition where the marching band finished in 6th place, and was recognized as an Outstanding Soloist at the Texas Wind Ensemble Festival.    He went on to receive his Associate of Arts in Music from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas where he was principal euphonium of the Wind Ensemble and also a member of the Buccaneer Marching Band, steel drum ensemble, and the Buccaneer Jazz Band where he played guitar, bass, and trombone.  After leaving Blinn College, Mr. Laird received his Bachelor of Music from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where he was co-principal euphonium of the Wind Ensemble and also a member of the Bearkat Marching Band and the Sam Houston Concert and Symphonic Choirs.

Through his last years of college Mr. Laird played bass, trombone, and harmonica as well as provided back-up vocals for The Jack Nelson Band, a country group based out of Huntsville, Texas.  Three of their original songs broke the Top 100 in the Texas Regional Radio Report following their release and can be heard on various radio stations throughout the state.

Mr. Laird’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, and Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity.

Mr. Laird still enjoys performing whenever possible and stays active with the Crossroads Community Band and the Crossroads Community Jazz Ensemble.


Director of bands

Richard Varela, Jr.

Mr. Varela is in his fifth year as Director of Bands for Cuero ISD and he will be beginning his eighth year as a band director. Mr. Varela is a proud Alumnus of Cuero High School. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Texas A&M University- Kingsville where he was a member of the "Pride of South Texas" Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Bands, Percussion Studio, and Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure at Mathis High School, Mr. Varela was a member of an award winning staff and ensembles with accolades including 2014 UIL State Percussion Ensemble, 2014 MASBA 2A State Mariachi Runner Up, 2013 UIL State Marching Band Semi Finalist, 2013 TMEA 2A State Honor Band Semi Finalist, 2013 MASBA 2A State Mariachi Champions, and the Award Winning Mathis Indoor Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Varela is also an active staff member of Drum Corps International's 2013 Open Class Bronze Medalist, Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps of Austin, TX. In his first year, Mr. Varela lead the Fighting Gobbler Band to numerous awards including Bands of America Regional A  Class Champion 2013 and 2014 Runner up.

Mr. Varela also maintains an active judging, clinic and performing schedule with Latin Recording Artist, La Conquista, and local groups such as Myndfields and the Chili Funk Horns ,Splendiferous and Haven's Edge. Mr. Varela and his beautiful wife Alexis (Cuero Alumna) have 2 wonderful children, Julian and Emery, and family pets, Wall-E and Eva.

Assistant Director

Garrett Laird