Martin E. Hurley III was born in Neptune, N.J., in 1946. He and his brother, who also went on to be a band director, followed in the footsteps of their father, an Army drummer in World War II, by working in the areas of marching percussion, rudimental drumming, drum & bugle corps, and marching band.
Since 1974 Marty Hurley has been the Director of Bands at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurley’s bands have been consistent winners of sweepstakes awards at regional concert and marching competitions. During his time at Brother Martin he has had 71 percussion students from his beginning percussion class eventually become All State performers, and received the Teacher of the Year award in 1999.
Marty Hurley has also acted as percussion instructor at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and twice judged the national finals of the Marching Bands of America contest, and the Percussive Arts Society National Marching Forum.
A former member of New Jersey's Hawthorne Caballeros and Blessed Sacrament's Golden Knights, Marty Hurley served as percussion instructor for the Stardusters (Arabi, Louisiana) 1971, the Bleu Raiders (Metairie, Louisiana) 1972-73, and the Black Knights (Belleville, Illinois) 1973-75.
During Marty Hurley's tenure as percussion instructor and arranger with the Phantom Regiment (Rockford, Illinois), the corps placed in the top ten nationally for 14 years at DCI finals competition in Denver, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Montreal, Miami, Madison, Kansas City, Buffalo and Dallas.
In November 2002, Marty Hurley performed as a soloist on The Drummer’s Heritage Concert at the Percussion Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
In September 2004, Marty Hurley was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Marty Hurley was the band director at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, Louisiana until his death in September 2011.
In 2009, Marty Hurley was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educator's Association Hall of Fame based on his fine work at Brother Martin High School.
At the time of his death, Marty was a Marching Percussion Clinician for Pearl Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and his music and instructional videos are published by Row-Loff Productions. Marty died on September 12, 2011, after suffering from a stroke and approximately a month of intensive care in the hospital. Marty made the decision to die instead of burden people. He wanted to die on his own terms.
In 2012 Marty was awarded the Percussive Arts Society Lifetime Achievement Award in Education.