Brendan McBrien grew up in Sunnyvale, California where he began his musical training on horn at age 10. He began private study in high school with one of his lifelong mentors, Jack Russell, a professional horn player and successful middle school music teacher. After moving to Southern California he received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in music composition and conducting from California State University, Long Beach where he also studied horn with Fred Fox and Calvin Smith, composition with Justus Matthews, and conducting with Larry Curtis and John Carnahan. Brendan is an active adjudicator, clinician, and frequent honor group conductor.
He has served two terms as Vice President of Membership for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA). He has presented workshops at both the California Band Director's Association and the California Music Educator's Association state conventions as well as numerous presentations for the SCSBOA. He has been the recipient of the Middle School Teacher of the Year award in the Irvine Unified School District, Secondary Teacher of the Year from the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators Association, and has multiple listings in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
Brendan is also a freelance musician, composer, arranger, and contributing writer to The Instrumentalist magazine. For the past 30 years, his professional playing experiences have included symphony orchestras, opera, musical theater, movie and television work. His compositions for band and orchestra are published with the Alfred, Kjos, and Warner Brothers Music Companies. Since 1990, Brendan has been director of instrumental music at Venado Middle School, in Irvine, California. Brendan lives in Orange, California, with his wife Karen, sons Kevin and Patrick, and daughter Megan.
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