Swapp, Neil ~ Silver City

Music Commissioner Neil G. Swapp

Music Background

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor: Western New Mexico University
  • Director of Bands: Mayfield High School, Las Cruces Public Schools; participation in London New Year’s Parade (’11), Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (’04), Tournament of Roses Parade (’00); Grand Prize and top awards at marching, concert, and jazz competitions through the country; consistent Superior ratings at large group festivals
  • Director of Bands: Cibola High School, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Co-Conductor: New Mexico Music Educators Honor Orchestra
  • Brass Coach: Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program
  • Adjudicator: throughout New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, and Kentucky
  • Clinician: Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program and with high schools in Albuquerque, Aztec, Estancia, Las Cruces, and Rio Rancho
  • Marching Band Drill Writer: Cibola High School-Albuquerque, Gadsden High School-Anthony, and Mayfield High School-Las Cruces
  • Professional Achievements: Las Cruces Public Schools Teacher of the Year Runner-up; New Mexico Music Educators Association Educator of the Year Nominee

Administrative Background

  • Executive Director (current), Past-President, Past-Vice-President of Bands: New Mexico Music Educators Association

  • Music Department Chair
: New Mexico School for the Arts
  • Co-Founder and President: 
Southwest Music Academy
  • Vice President and Secretary: Southwest New Mexico Music Educators Association
  • Vice President: Central New Mexico Music Educators Association
  • Committees with Las Cruces Public Schools: Curriculum and Scheduling; Music Advocacy and Public School Music; Curriculum and Student Success; High School Design
  • Workshop Presenter: “Designing a Successful Marching Show” and “Successful High School Bands” New Mexico Music Educators All-State Convention
  • Organizations: Music Educators National Conference; National Association for Music Education; New Mexico Music Educators Association; National Association of Secondary School Principals; International Trumpet Guild; Texas Music Educators Association; International Association of Jazz Educators; New Mexico Association of Jazz Educator


Administrative Licensure Program
New Mexico State University 2006

MM Trumpet Performance
St. Louis Conservatory of Music 1989

BME Music Education
New Mexico State University 1987


Luna, Catron County


Silver City, Grant County


5 August 2020 by Governor Lujan Grisham


5 August 2020 ~ 6 May 2022


County Liaison

  • Catron
  • Grant

Special Projects


A native of New Mexico, Neil Swapp grew up in Luna and graduated from Reserve High School after which he received a Music Education Degree from New Mexico State University and a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. While at New Mexico State University, he was winner of both the NMSU Symphonic Winds and Las Cruces Symphony Concerto Competitions. He also held the position of principle trumpet in the Las Cruces Symphony.

After the completion of his degree he returned to New Mexico to begin his teaching career. Neil spent 7 years as Director of Bands at Cibola High School in Albuquerque and 17 years as Director of Bands at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces followed by 4 years as the Chair of the Music Department at New Mexico School for the Arts.

Under his leadership, his ensembles have been recognized throughout the state and nation for their superior performance level by winning numerous competitions and festivals including an unprecedented 7 State Marching Championships. During his tenure, the Mayfield High School Band was a regular finalist at Bands of America Regionals. His Ensembles have also participation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade as well as international performances in England and China. Additionally, ensembles under his directorship were chosen numerous times as featured honor ensembles by the New Mexico Music Educators Association.

Currently he serves as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Music Educators Association as well as being on the music faculty at Western New Mexico University. He is also a regular guest clinician and conductor throughout the state and region. Furthermore, he serves on numerous state councils and committees including the New Mexico Music Commission, New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education, New Mexico Activities Association Activities Council, and the New Mexico Music Educators Association’s Music Education Task Force. Neil also judges music competitions throughout the Southwest.

Neil is also co-founder of the Southwest Music Academy, an organization located in Las Cruces that offers out of school supplemental music instruction to elementary, middle school and high school students. He continues to serve on the board as President.

Neil currently resides in Silver City, New Mexico.

Creative Examples

These examples cite Swapp’s work as a music industry professional in the private sector.

Social Media

New Mexico Music Educators Association

video examples coming soon

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