Richard Floyd is presently in his 51st year of active involvement as a conductor, music educator and administrator. He has enjoyed a distinguished and highly successful career at virtually every level of wind band performance from beginning band programs through high school and university wind ensembles as well as adult community bands. Floyd recently retired as State Director of Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he coordinated all facets of secondary school music competition for some 3500 performing organizations throughout the state for 29 years. He now holds the title UIL State Director of Music Emeritus. He also serves as Musical Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band that is viewed to be one of the premier adult concert bands in America.
Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas, Mr. Floyd served on the faculty at the University of South Florida as Professor of Conducting and at Baylor University in Texas where he held the position of Director of Bands for nine years. He began his career as band director at Richardson Junior High School and then become the first director of the award winning J.J. Pearce High School Band in the same city. He also served as Director of Fine Arts for that district for two years before moving to Baylor University in 1972.
His musical achievements include performances at numerous state and national conventions and conferences including the 1977 College Band Directors National Association, the 1981 Music Educators National Conference and concerts at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 1989, 1997 and 2007. Other distinguished performances include concerts for the American Bandmasters Association in 1993 and 2006 and the 2004 Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington. Performances by his various ensembles have been heard on radio broadcasts throughout the United States, Australia and Europe.
Mr. Floyd is a recognized authority on conducting, the art of wind band rehearsing, concert band repertoire, and music advocacy. As such, he has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor including appearances in 40 American states and in 9 other countries. He is a frequent featured clinician for the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association and has presented three conducting and rehearsal technique clinics for the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 2002 he was the single recipient of the prestigious A.A. Harding Award presented by the American School Band Directors Association in recognition of his significant and lasting contributions to the school band movement. The Texas Bandmasters Association named him Texas Bandmaster of the Year in 2006 and also recognized him with the TBA Lifetime Administrative Achievement Award in 2008. Most recently he received the Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame and Texas Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 2011. Also in 2011 he was awarded the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic Medal of Honor for distinguished service and contributions to bands, orchestras and music education.
Publications include co-authorship of Best Music For Beginning Band and contributing author for The Musician’s Walk by James Jordon and published by GIA. In addition his articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and numerous national and international publications. In 2006 he was featured on the GIA Produced DVD entitled Kindred Spirits from the series Conducting From The Inside Out. Other conductors included H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff and Allan McMurray.
During Mr. Floyd’s professional career he has held positions of leadership on many state and national committees for music education and wind music performance. At present he is a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation Board of Directors, Chairman of the American Bandmasters Association Educational Projects Committee, an ex-officio member of the Texas Music Educator's Association Executive Board and serves as chair of the College Band Directors National Association Music Education Committee. He served as National Secretary of CBDNA from 1979 to 2007 and has played an active leadership role in the implementation of that organization’s many projects and services for over three decades.
John T. West is the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Western Carolina University in North Carolina – a position he has held since 1985. At WCU Dr. West conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in conducting and music education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was also the saxophone instructor from 1985 – 2007.
He received his Bachelors degree from the University of South Florida and his graduate degrees from the Florida State University. At both institutions he worked closely with his teacher and mentor James Croft. He was one of Dr. Croft’s first three doctoral students at FSU where he also taught in the jazz program and assisted with the marching band.
At WCU his ensembles have performed at state and regional conferences as well as performing concert tours throughout the Carolinas. His ensembles have also premiered works (either through single commissions or consortia) by composers such as Frank Ticheli, Edward Gregson, Andrew Rindfleisch, James David and Paul Basler. He remains active as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the southeast.
In 2007 Dr. West assumed the duties of Associate Dean of the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Tom Brantley is currently Professor of Trombone at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Prior to his appointment at USF, he was an adjunct instructor at the University of North Texas. Brantley has been a member of the chamber group Rhythm & Brass since 1995. His work with Rhythm & Brass includes three recordings and a chamber music textbook series. With the group, Tom has performed in every state in the U.S. (except Hawaii) as well as throughout the world. In 2002, Rhythm & Brass were featured as the opening concert of the International Trombone Festival. In 2004, Rhythm & Brass were featured guest artists at the International Trumpet Guild Festival in Bangkok, Thailand; the group will perform again for this festival in 2010 in Sydney, Australia. In 2009, Brantley released his first solo CD project, entitled Boneyard, on the Summit Records label. The CD was reviewed widely with positive reviews coming from The International Trombone Association Journal, Jazz Times, the Jazz Society of Oregon, and The Brass Herald the United Kingdom¹s leading brass journal. Brantley is a Yamaha soloist, clinician, and recording artist. He has served as an editor of the International Trombone Association Journal (quarterly) as well as the ITA Website. He is also a founding member and officer of the Central Florida Trombone Society. Brantley appears on CDs with the following labels: Summit Records, Koch Records and Koch Jazz, Moma Records, Seabreeze Records, Capstone, Centaur Records, NACUSA (National Association of Composers USA), Yamaha Artists Series, NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers). His work with Composer Dave Gluck was also used as part of the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Florida Music Education Project Spotlight on Florida. In 2011, two of Brantley's undergraduate students received Fulbright Awards to study abroad. Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in the fields of Music. While teaching at USF, Brantley performs and records regularly with the USF Faculty Brass Quintet, the USF Faculty Chamber Players, the USF Jazz Faculty Ensemble, the Jack Wilkins Jazz Group, and Chuck Owen's jazz orchestra - Jazz Surge. Tom Brantley holds degrees in trombone performance/jazz studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of North Texas. While an undergraduate, he studied with Christian Lindberg at the Umeå Music Festival in Sweden, and performed an eight-week opera orchestra engagement in Graz, Austria. While a graduate student, he recorded five CDs with the Grammy-nominated One O¹Clock Lab Band. Brantley held the lead and jazz chairs with the One O¹Clock and performed throughout Portugal on tour with the band.