Daniel Montoya Jr. is a proud and rare native of Austin, a 90’s music aficionado (followed closely by the jams of the 80’s), and fully accepts his “hipster-ness.” He also, occasionally, writes music (since being musically moved by his first viewing of the James Cameron film Titanic and wanting to write the music to the sequel, Titanic 2: Jack of Spades: Jack Dawson’s Revenge: This Time It’s Personal). His oeuvre spans several genres, including original pieces and arrangements for wind band, percussion ensemble, and the marching arts. His works, which resound with bristling energy and color, have won numerous awards from national organizations. His education includes a master’s degree in wind conducting from Texas State University where he studied with Dr. Caroline Beatty, a master’s degree in music composition from Central Michigan University where he studied with David R. Gillingham, and a baccalaureate degree in music composition from Texas State University (he fully expects to be called Grand Master Montoya, or “Montstro“). He has also studied and participated in masterclasses with such composers as Kevin Beavers, William Bolcom, Michael Ippolito, Cindy McTee, Kevin Puts, Russell Riepe, and Roberto Sierra.
While not tending to Mont Shoemore, his outlandish and somewhat offensive collection of sneakers, Montoya travels around the country as an adjudicator, keynote speaker, clinician, and guest conductor. His music has been performed by ensembles and institutions across the United States, including Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Indiana University, Michigan State University, University of Alabama, University of Michigan, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, and The United States Army Field Band. Performances of his music have included concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Texas Bandmasters Association Conference, among others. When in attendance at these events, he can usually be identified by his sneakers and/or his man purse ( or “murse”).
Although the closest he’s been to being a man in uniform was as a member of “The Pride of the Hill Country” and possibly some ill-advised Halloween costumes, he served as the arranger for the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band in 2012 & 2013. His involvement with marching bands engages him throughout the nation. Among the organizations that have used his compositions and arrangements on the field are champions and finalists at various state- and national-level competitions, and major Division I intercollegiate bands. Montoya is the Brass Composer/Arranger for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps (Madison, WI) and has written and designed for the Guardians Drum & Bugle Corps (Houston, TX), Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (Dubuque, IA), Spirit of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA), and Revolution Drum & Bugle Corps (San Antonio, TX). His innovative approach to field arrangement involves imbuing new vitality and dramatic elements into his charts creating a new and vibrant musical object rather than a mere transcription of the original. Montoya currently judges for Bands of America as well as marching band contests and indoor percussion circuits across the United States.
When not reviewing sneakers on his YouTube channel, The Shoemmelier, Montoya enjoys engaging in the indigenous Austinite culture where till his dying day he will constantly correct and promote the difference between Austin and Austin-area. He is constantly mistaken for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Stark, and Jeff Goldblum. His sidekicks in life are his better half, known to the Twittersphere simply as “The Girl,” their daughter, known to the world as “The Heir,” and a slightly overweight puggle named Mahler. He has coined the term “portmonto” as a portmanteau of his name with the word “portmanteau” to refer to his love of making up senselessly long words (partially inspired by his love of mash-ups) and he was a fan of using hashtags on the Facebook way before it was cool. In 2018, Montoya started GENERAL EFFECT, a streetwear clothing company aimed at the marching arts.
Montoya’s music is published by C-Alan Publications, Row-Loff Productions, Tapspace Publications, and his publishing company, Underwater Theme Productions/Montoya Music. He is an Artist/Educator for Innovative Percussion, Inc. and is a member of ASCAP and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He also serves on the broadcast team for the UIL Texas State Marching Band Contest, is co-host of Taking the Field on FloMarching, and hosts Sketchbook: a podcast focusing on inspiration & process, with artists, creators, & designers.