Brian Lamb, D.M.A.
Brian Lamb has served as director of bands in the UCO School of Music since 2001. During this time period, the Wind Symphony has performed for three College Band Director National Association (CBDNA) conventions, and they have given six Honor Band performances at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Annual Convention. They have released five CDs on the prestigious Equilibrium label, available on all major streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, CDBaby, Amazon and others. Lamb has spearheaded several collaborations and festivals on the UCO Campus over the years, including residencies by David Maslanka, Pulitzer Prize Winning Michael Colgrass, Grammy winner Michael Daugherty, Susan Botti and Carter Pann.
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 a 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 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, 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, Lamb currently plays in the UCO Faculty Brass Quintet. Having taught in Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and now Oklahoma, 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 the 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 honored as a Friend of the Arts by Sigma Alpha Iota, he was initiated as an honorary member of the national band service fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and he has been inducted into the National Honorary Band Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu. Lamb served two terms 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 fortunate to study 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.
My incredible UCO School of Music colleagues amaze and inspire me every day.
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 grown up now, 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
- Symphonic Band, Conductor
- Marching Band, Director
- Principles of Conducting
- Instrumental Conducting
- Advanced Conducting and Applied Conducting
- Advanced Score Study and Musical Interpretation
- Graduate Wind History, Literature, and Repertoire
- Instrumental Music Education Methods and Techniques
Honors and Awards
2022: College of Fine Arts and Design Initiative Award for the international teaching partnership between UCO and Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang, China.
2019: Invitation to Voting Membership in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy Awards).
2018: Nomination and Induction into the Oklahoma (Beta) Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, International Band Directors’ Honor Fraternity. January 20. OkMEA Convention in Tulsa.
2016-18: Executive Leadership Program. University of Central Oklahoma. A two-year intensive study and internship program for a hand-selected cohort of university leaders. Dr. Mark Kinders, Vice President for Public Affairs, coordinator.
2017: Executive Leadership Program MVP Award. The top recognition in the ELP; only one awarded. Elected by peers in the Executive Leadership Program cohort.
2017: College of Fine Arts and Design Interdisciplinary Teaching Award and Fellowship Grant (with colleagues from the Design Department, Amy Johnson, Sam Ladwig, and Keith Webb) for our work on Crowman Burana.
2013-14: Educators Leadership Academy. Educational Administration Academy. Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning.
2013: The University of Central Oklahoma Vanderford Award for Student Engagement in Research,Creative, and Scholarly Activity. Annual Fall Convocation. August 13, 2013. This is a university-wide award given to one faculty member selected from over 600 faculty to recognize faculty who share scholarly and creative activity opportunities with students.
2012-13: Selected as a UCO Academic Leadership Fellow through Academic Affairs.
2011: Selected by Academic Affairs and the Faculty Enhancement Center to be featured on the UCO faculty training video, “What the Best College Teachers Do.”
2001: Missouri State Chair, College Band Directors National Association
1999: Recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Southwest Baptist University
1999: Awarded a Southwest Baptist University Faculty Research Grant to fund research at theLibrary of Congress, Washington, DC
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