LV Brass Band Welcomes New Music Director, Dr. Richard McGee

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 in News


 The Las Vegas Brass Band is pleased to announce that Dr. Richard McGee has been appointed as music director beginning with the 2014-2015 season.

The long-time Las Vegas trombonist and friend of the band will open the band’s 21st Concert Season with a Fall Concert at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 5, 2014, at the Clark County Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.

Former Music Director Phil Schlicker will return to his previous position in the Eb soprano chair and will also serve as assistant Music Director.

The band’s founder and president, Pete Cooper, shared, “Dick is an extremely experienced musician and director, and I am confident that the band will be one hundred percent behind him as he takes over. I look forward to another great season.”

Richard has always been a great fan of brass band music, though his conducting career has taken him more in the direction of wind ensembles and orchestras.  An avid listener and trombonist, Richard relishes the idea of working with a traditional brass band in the mold of great British bands.  “I have always loved the virtuosity and energy of the great brass bands,” Richard said, “and am anxiously looking forward to working with the Las Vegas Brass Band to provide the best musical experience possible in that genre.  The LVBB has always given outstanding musical performances, and I hope to continue that tradition and build upon it.”

Dr. McGee received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Denver. After conducting high school band for five years, Richard moved to Las Vegas in 1981 to pursue a music career on the Strip. He first worked at the MGM Grand, then became lead trombonist and assistant conductor of the Folies Bergere Orchestra at the Tropicana Hotel. He played or conducted over 4,000 performances at the Tropicana between 1982 and 1989. In 1989, Richard began an eleven-year association with the Caesar’s Palace house orchestra, where he performed regularly with such stars as Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mathis, and many more.

Also in 1989, Richard was offered his current teaching position at College of Southern Nevada, where he now serves as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts. Since that time, he earned his doctorate in Education Administration at UNLV and became founding Artistic Director of the CSN Performing Arts Center, and founding Musical Director of the Nevada Symphonic Wind Ensemble. For two seasons (1995-1996), he was Principal Pops Conductor for the Nevada Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, Richard helped start the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and served as Associate Conductor/Educational Administrator until 2010. Richard created, produced and conducted the Philharmonic’s Youth Concert Series, which in it’s first twelve years brought over 150,000 young people to the concert hall to hear live symphonic music.  In 2008, Richard founded Nevada Pops, a professional band and orchestra that has performed over thirty concerts in a variety of genres throughout Southern Nevada.

Richard has been active in many arts organizations in the Las Vegas area. He has received numerous honors and awards for music and teaching, including the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce 2002 Community Achievement Award for Arts and Entertainment, and the Nevada Music Educators Association 2004 Service to Music Education Award. In 2006, Richard and his wife Joan were named co-recipients of the Nevada Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Education.  In 2012, Richard received the Legacy of Achievement Award from the CSN Foundation.  He continues to stay active as a performer, clinician and conductor throughout the Southwest.

Admission to the October 5 concert is provided free of charge, thanks to a sponsorship by the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.