Brian Lamb, D.M.A.
Brian Lamb is the director of the School of Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he has served as Director of Bands since 2001. In this role, he enjoys providing resources for faculty and students to reach their goals and pursue their dreams. The School of Music is growing and thriving, and Dr. Lamb embraces the challenges of strategic planning and is inspired by the potential of the UCO School of Music as it emerges on an international stage, known for world-class faculty, exceptional students, fantastic performing ensembles and a thriving metropolitan location. He conducts the Wind Symphony, and prior to his administrative appointment, he taught conducting and instrumental music education courses and guided all aspects of the UCO band program.
Dr. Lamb made his Carnegie Hall debut in May, 2005, performing with UCO friend and colleague Tess Remy-Schumacher in the Weill Recital Hall. In March, 2006, Lamb and the UCO Wind Symphony performed for a full house in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The UCO Wind Symphony, with Lamb as conductor, has garnered national attention and acclaim from audiences, composers, and critics alike for outstanding and creative performances and for playing an active role in commissioning projects and consortiums, including work with David Maslanka, Carolyn Bremer, Richard Danielpour, Michael Daugherty, Michael Colgrass, Samuel Magrill, and the National Wind Ensemble Consortium Group.
Lamb received the bachelor's degree in music education from Baylor University, a master's degree in trumpet performance and literature from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of North Texas. He has been fortunate to study with many outstanding musical mentors, including Eugene Corporon, Michael Haithcock, Gary Sousa, Larry Rachleff, Alan McMurray, Jack Stamp, Dennis Fisher, John Haynie Barry Hopper, and William Scarlett. Prior to his UCO appointment, Dr. Lamb served as director of Instrumental Studies at Southwest Baptist University and as director of bands and chairman of the Fine Arts Department at James Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas.
Still active as a trumpet performer, Dr. Lamb currently plays in the UCO Faculty Brass Quintet. Having taught in Texas, Missouri, Indiana and now Oklahoma, Dr. Lamb is very active as a clinician and guest conductor all over the country, and his groups have received acclaim for performances at regional, state and national conventions. He has conducted bands in Europe and Asia, recently returning from artistic and educational presentations at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music and South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China. He has contributed several published works to various journals and textbooks, and he is the author of ""Music is Magic,"" a children's radio program that aired on KCSC-90.1 FM. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, the College Band Directors National Association, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Music Educators National Conference, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was recently honored as a Friend of the Arts by Sigma Alpha Iota, and as the faculty sponsor for UCO’s Kappa Kappa Psi chapter, he was initiated as an honorary member of the national band service fraternity. Lamb currently serves as the Vice President of Higher Education on the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Executive Board.
What is the most satisfying or rewarding moment of your artistic/creative process?
I love score study, which involves taking a piece apart and discovering all of the nuances that the composer used to shape every musical element in a piece. But then, I really love the rehearsal process, and putting the piece together with the performers, so that they also discover all of those musical nuances in the piece, and they can help bring it to life for the audience--just the way the composer intended the audience to experience it. That is pure magic.
Who has most influenced you and why?
I have been blessed with some incredible mentors: My trumpet teachers, John Haynie and Barry Hopper and Will Scarlett, taught me to practice hard, prepare intently, and play with expression. My conducting teachers, Mike Haithcock and Eugene Corporon, taught me the importance of score study, rehearsal preparation, sincerity and humility. My friend, Carol Allen, taught me how to teach and how to love young musicians. And Keith White taught me how to be a better colleague and a team player.
Name a play, production, film, recording, book or composition that has influenced you and that you would recommend to others.
"Films: ""Dead Poet's Society"" and ""Mr. Holland's Opus"" (because my biggest goal as a teacher is to connect with students on a meaningful and soulful level)
Books: Ed Bain: ""What the Best College Teachers Do"" and Frederick Buechner: ""Whistling in the Dark"" (because to make those connections, I needed coaching and encouragement and change)
Compositions: Michael Colgrass: ""Winds of Nagual,"" David Maslanka: ""Symphony No. 4,"" and Johannes Brahms: ""Intermezzo in A, Op. 118, No. 2"" (because the first time I heard these works, there was an immediate self-forgetting at-oneness with the music... and my soul was changed)
Recordings: Joni Mitchell's ""Both Sides Now"" (because the arrangements are spectacular, the musicians are outstanding, and it carries me away when I listen... and it never gets old or boring)
James Taylor: ""Hourglass"" (because this was my dog Luke's favorite album to listen to as we would sit together and watch the Oklahoma sunsets)"
What is something unexpected about you?
My favorite person and best friend in the whole world is my wife, Denise, and together we have a large family, with 5 children who are all growing up and moving out too fast. But I love every moment we are together.
Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities
Wind Symphony Recordings:
Kindred Spirits: Music of Dello Joio, Maslanka, Pann, and Stravinsky
Colgrass Horizons: The Music of Michael Colgrass
American Byways: The Music of Michael Daugherty
Oklahoma Bandscapes: The Wind Works of Samuel Magrill
A Legacy Rediscovered: Music of Ernest S. Williams
Dr. Lamb has published several chapters in the GIA "Teaching Music Through Performance in Band" series of textbooks.
- Wind Symphony, Conductor
- Graduate Wind History, Literature, and Repertoire
- Instrumental Music Education Methods and Techniques
The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.