Bio

If you really want to read my bio, it’s listed below. If you’re new to my website and don’t know where to begin, here’s the bottom line up front: I write and arrange music, mostly for bands and wind ensembles, for beginners to professionals.

  • I’ve posted the best recordings on SoundCloud, but my best pieces are not necessarily the ones with the best recordings!
  • My best-selling piece to date is the wind ensemble version of Groovy Loops, which, after its Carnegie Hall premiere, has been performed all over the world. It is published by Kjos Music.
  • I haven’t found a high school honor band that doesn’t love Black Tie Blu-bop. It’s a Grade 5 that I think sounds more difficult than it is.
  • The best Grade 4’s are Passacaglia for Band and Keynote AddressSymphonic Palindrome amazes kids once they figure out what it’s about.
  • The best Grade 3’s are Mozart’s Sandbox and Jaguar Dance, but the only recording I have of the latter is so terrible I couldn’t bear to post it here.
  • The Kings March is a terrific piece for first-year players, if I may say so myself. Please check it out before you scroll through thousands of Grade I’s at Pepper. Support small business!

Scott’s life story

IMG_9245Scott McKenzie (b. 1971; reportedly still alive, unusual for a composer) is a composer, arranger, and conductor currently serving as a band officer in the United States Army. His oath and personal ethics stipulate that he can’t use his grade or position for personal gain, so that’s all he can say about that.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Virginia Tech and a Master of Music degree in composition from George Mason University, where he was a student of Dr. Glenn Smith and Mark Camphouse. He previously studied music education and conducting at Old Dominion University and the Peabody Conservatory. Prior to doing a crazy thing and enlisting in the Army, he taught band, chorus, and general music at the middle school level for four years. If you taught middle school general music for any length of time, you might not think joining the Army was that crazy, either.

Scott has won accolades and the occasional prize for his work. He is the only two-time winner of the Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest (even though he does most of his writing indoors): Keynote Address recently won the 2016 prize, while A Summer Breeze took the 2012 title. His Fanfare for Enduring Freedom was a 2007 winner of the Dallas Winds’ ‘Call for Fanfares,’ which he conducted with the combined members of that ensemble and The United States Army Field Band. He enjoys serving as an adjudicator and guest conductor for honor band festivals and other events.

Mr. McKenzie and his wife, Anne, have three children, Jimmy, Colleen, and Allie. The kids were so named so that everyone in the family has at least one double letter. Why do this? No particular reason. They all reside wherever the Army sends them.

Okay, fine…a biography you can actually put in your program:

Scott McKenzie (b. 1971) is a composer, arranger, and conductor currently serving as a band officer in the United States Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech and a Master of Music degree in composition from George Mason University, where he was a student of Dr. Glenn Smith and Mark Camphouse. He previously studied music education and conducting at Old Dominion University and the Peabody Conservatory. Prior to enlisting in the Army, he taught band, chorus, and general music at the middle school level for four years.

Mr. McKenzie’s compositions and arrangements have been performed on four continents by ensembles from beginning first-year players to the finest musicians in the world, from elementary cafetoriums to Carnegie Hall, from a cappella voices to full symphonic band. He is the only two-time winner of the Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest: Keynote Address recently won the 2016 prize, while A Summer Breeze took the 2012 title. His brass choir piece Fanfare for Enduring Freedom was a 2007 winner of the Dallas Winds’ annual ‘Call for Fanfares.’

Mr. McKenzie and his wife, Anne, have three children, Jimmy, Colleen, and Allie. They currently reside in Hawaii.

The latest information on Mr. McKenzie’s music may be found on his website at www.jscottmckenzie.com.

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