On Friday, August 23, 2019, Jim Bonnell, an Alamogordo High School alum, will be honored with a New Mexico Platinum Music Award for Lifetime achievement in music!
Jim Bonnell was born and raised in Alamogordo. As a child, he developed rheumatic fever, and as the son of farmers, was not exposed to music through his family. He credits his time in the Alamogordo School system as the catalyst for what would be a very rich music career. “Luckily for me, at that time, the Alamogordo Schools provided music introduction and that absolutely changed the course of my life…”
Mr. Bonnell graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1957 and went on to teach music for almost 30 years in the New Mexico Public School system, from Artesia to Las Cruces to Albuquerque. He was also a professional violist throughout that time, performing with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony, the New Mexico Chamber Orchestra, and many other musical organizations in the Southwest.
He is currently the Vice Chair of the John Donald Robb Musical Trust, which works to advance the understanding of music in the Southwest, and has been a board member since 1999. His work throughout New Mexico in music education, preservation, and performance, have made a huge impact across the state.
Mr. Bonnell received the musical education that would change his life right here in Alamogordo. The Alamogordo High School music program is still bringing the joy and love of music to its students 62 years later! You can see them perform the same day Mr. Bonnell will be presented with his Lifetime Achievement award – Friday, August 23 – at the Alamogordo High School varsity football game.
Mr. Bonnell said that “…one of the reasons that I have always felt so strongly about giving back is because I received so much in the way of education and guidance from those teachers and mentors and people in the community at that really important time in my life.” The Lifetime Achievement award goes to musicians and organizations that have made a huge impact and significant contribution to the musical culture of New Mexico. We are proud to have one of our very own Tigers honored with this amazing award!