Director of University Bands
Area: Music, Bands
Adolph E. Wright is the director of bands at Bowie State University, where he has successfully built the "Symphony of Soul" marching band from 30 members, upon his arrival at BSU in 1998, to 185 members by the fall of 2001. Under the leadership of Mr. Wright the "Symphony of Soul" has received rave reviews following collegiate performances, as well as when representing the University abroad. Mr. Wright enjoys conducting the University jazz ensemble, concert, and pep bands in addition to teaching music and applied performance classes. His students benefit greatly from his expertise in the composition and arrangement of band and orchestral music. He was formerly the associate director of bands at Howard University, where he earned both his bachelor of music education and master of music education degrees.
Mr. Wright is an outstanding musician, having performed on tours in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, England, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Jamaica, Columbia, Guatemala, Barbados, Panama, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, U.S. Virgin Islands, and major U.S. cities. His talent as a percussionist is his greatest musical asset. He is well versed in a multitude of percussion instruments and skilled in idioms of music, including orchestral, contemporary, ethnic, cultural, jazz, and Irish rock.
Among his numerous professional engagements and recording projects, Mr. Wright has performed with countless national and international entertainers including: Kathleen Battle, Chuck Berry, Chuck Berry and the National Symphony Orchestra, Tom Brown, Cecil Bridgewater, Gene Chandler, The Coasters, Bo Diddley, Tim Eyerman, Jon Faddis, Shawn Fleming, Aretha Franklin, Guy, Lionel Hampton, Milt Hinton, Freddie Jackson, Jennifer Holiday, Maurice Hines, Gladys Knight, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marilyn McCoo, Melissa Manchester, Melba Moore, Sam Moore, Pine Top Perkins, Lou Rawls, Wallace Roney, Ester Satterfield, Marlena Shaw, Percy Sledge, Sister Sledge, Kirk Stewart, Angie Stone, Kevin Toney, Dionne Warwick, Bruce Willis, and many others. His performance credits also include the Broadway musicals The Wiz, God Spell, When Hell Freezes I'll Skate, Behive, Raisin, Harlem Suite, as well as Black Nativity.
Mr. Wright was the conductor for the 2003 Intercollegiate Music Association Symphonic Band, performing compositions by Quincy Hilliard, David Holsinger, and Clifton Williams. He has contributed greatly to the youth educational program of the District of Columbia public school system, were he taught elementary, junior high, and high school music students for over 15 years. Mr. Wright dedicates eight weeks of each summer to introducing young artists to the fundamentals of music (concert, jazz, and musical theatre) and basic marching band techniques. He also coordinates an annual brass, woodwinds, and percussion clinic held in the spring of each year, which is open to students on the junior high, senior high, collegiate, and professional levels. Mr. Wright has served as an adjudicator for both concert and jazz band festivals from 1988 to the present. His professional affiliations include: Pi Kappa Lambda, a national honor society of musicians; Phi Mu Alpha, professional music fraternity; Kappa Kappa Psi, honorary band fraternity; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.; Percussive Arts Society; Music Educators National Conference; National Association of Jazz Educators; and the District of Columbia Federation of Musicians (Local 161-710).
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