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.
- My most popular piece is the wind ensemble version of Groovy Loops, which, after its Carnegie Hall premiere, has been performed by bands across the country. It is published by Kjos Music.
- To date, my favorite piece is An Autumn Sunset. However, it’s for only the very best high school bands and up, and requires outstanding soloists in every section, including the double reeds.
- My favorite Grade 5 is Black Tie Blu-bop. I think it’s easier than it sounds, and kids LOVE it.
- The best Grade 4’s are Passacaglia for Band and Keynote Address. Also, Symphonic Palindrome amazes kids once they figure out what it’s about.
- The best Grade 3’s are Mozart’s Sandbox and Jaguar Dance. I like to think they’re a little more complex and thoughtful than your average off-the-shelf Grade 3, so they might take a little more work to put together. However, I think they both have excellent teaching material if you’re willing to invest your time in them.
- I’ve written two grade two’s, each of which have been quite successful with young musicians. They are Starry Night, an impressionistic piece with aleatoric (but very playable) elements, and Elson Ranch Roundup, a short overture reminiscent of old Western movie theme music.
- The Kings March is a terrific piece for first-year players. Please consider it before you scroll through thousands of Grade I’s at J.W. Pepper. Those guys are already making bank.
- I’ve written several marches; enough to consolidate on one page rather than in the symphonic and concert band music. They range in difficulty between Grades 4 and 5.
- You might also check out my SoundCloud page!
Scott 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.
Scott 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.) Jimmy is currently a masters candidate in wind conducting at Appalachian State University, and Colleen is a professional ballet dancer at Connecticut Ballet. Our youngest, Allie, is learning everything she can so that one day she can rule the universe, or at least be fabulously wealthy. In any case, there will be a lot of cats.
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 in 2016 and A Summer Breeze in 2012. 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.
The latest information on Mr. McKenzie’s music may be found on his website at www.jscottmckenzie.com.