Composer Brian Balmages clinics students at San Diego Winds Festival

Composer Brian Balmages clinics students at San Diego Winds Festival

On Friday (3/23), students from Concert Band 2, Concert Band 1, and Wind Ensemble had the opportunity to perform for and work with award-winning composer Brian Balmages at the San Diego Winds Festival.  In each 50 minute session, the ensembles played two works by the composer and then spent the remainder of the time being directed by Mr. Balmages himself.
Under his expressive conducting and teaching, students gained a new understanding of the background, intent, and emotional significance of each of the pieces they played and were encouraged by Mr. Balmages to continue to reach for new musical heights.
Works performed:
Concert Band 2
  • Phasing Thunder
  • Among the Clouds
Concert Band 1
  • Grace
  • Elements
Wind Ensemble
  • Joy of Life
  • Metal

Composer Bio
Brian Balmages (b. 1975) is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and performer. His music for winds, brass, and orchestra has been performed in countries throughout the world. His active schedule of commissions and premieres has incorporated groups ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Boston Brass, Off Bass Brass, and the Dominion Brass Ensemble. His music has been performed by members of leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, and others. World premieres have included prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden.

He received his bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University and his master’s degree from the University of Miami in Florida. He is a recipient of the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association and was also featured in James Madison University’s “Be the Change” campaign.

As a conductor, Mr. Balmages has enjoyed engagements with numerous all-state and regional bands and orchestras as well as university and professional groups. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Eastern Regional Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference and others. Additional conducting appearances have included the Kennedy Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. He has also served as an adjunct professor of instrumental conducting and Acting Symphonic Band Director at Towson University in Maryland.

Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He resides in Baltimore with his wife Lisa and their two sons.