Mr. Winston “Paul” Blakey, a New Mexico native and product of the Albuquerque Public School Music Program, graduated from Eldorado High School, received his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of New Mexico in 1996 and a Master’s degree from UNM in 2007. He joined the music faculty of Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November of 1996 where he served for 16 years as Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chair from 2005-2009. Other district service included becoming New Mexico District VII Vice-President of High School Bands from 2001 through 2003.
During his sixteen years at Highland High School, Mr. Blakey has helped to maintain and elevate the achievement and performance quality of the Highland Band Program. The Highland Band Program (though small in numbers) has earned its share of superior ratings and awards. The Highland Marching Band has received numerous awards at competitions as well as being a finalist band at the Zia Marching Competition for 8 years. Furthermore, the Highland Marching Band has been a finalist at the Tournament of Bands for 4 years and a finalist at the Las Vegas Invitational Marching Band Competition since 2002. In 2008, The Highland Marching Band was the Zia New Mexico state champion.
In 2000, the Highland Jazz Band was named honor band at the University of New Mexico Jazz Festival as well as being named honor band at the 2005 New Mexico Sate jazz festival. The biggest honor for the jazz band was receiving a national jazz award being named as “Americas Best” in 2001.
Mr. Blakey has had a professional performance background in the Albuquerque community playing saxophone several times with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and as a member of the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra for 16 years. Mr. Blakey has played with professional jazz and pop artists in Albuquerque for well over fifteen years including Natalie Cole, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Crystal Gale, and Mary Wilson of the Supremes. A versatile musician, Mr. Blakey played in the popular local ska/reggae band known as “Giant Steps” for six years. Mr. Blakey has been asked to adjudicate marching competitions, jazz festivals and solo/ensemble festivals. In 2012, Paul Blakey joined the music faculty of Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, NM.