Lewis J. Buckley was born in Columbus, Ohio, but considers himself a native of Florida, the state in which he grew up. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music and his Master's degree from Connecticut College. While at Eastman, he earned the Performer's Certificate for outstanding performance on the trumpet, and he studied conducting and composition.
He enlisted into the U. S. Coast Guard Band in 1969, where he served as Principal Trumpet and Trumpet Soloist for six years. Then, in 1975, he became the Coast Guard Band's fifth Director at age 27, a post he held for over 29 years, becoming the longest-tenured conductor of a senior military band in American history.
Under his baton, the Coast Guard Band became a noted touring organization; released some 20 recordings; aired more taped and live concert broadcasts on National Public Radio than any other wind band, military or civilian, in the United States; and earned a reputation as one of the most accomplished wind bands in the world.
From 2004-2011, Buckley was the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Manchester (CT) Symphony Orchestra. For fifteen years, he conducted the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in its annual Symphony on Ice/Toys for Tots program, and he has also conducted the Eastern Connecticut Symphony during its summer series.
He continues to compose, arrange, and publish prolifically, and his music is widely performed, including a number of performances by the Metropolitan Wind Symphony. He also remains an active trumpet soloist, frequently combining solo appearances with conducting, often in premiere performances of his own commissioned works.
As our Music Director, Buckley brings to the MWS podium more than 30 years' professional experience in an unusually wide range of music-making. He is equally at home conducting, writing, or performing, with bands, orchestras, and choruses, in all styles of music from classical to commercial to jazz. The guest artists whom he has conducted reflect his range of experience; they include Walter Cronkite, opera giant Placido Domingo, Lorrie Morgan and Lone Star of country fame, the Motown sound of Martha Reeves, and many others.
James O'Dell has been professionally active in instrumental music and music education since 1979. Mr. O'Dell holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Southern Oregon University (1978), a Master of Music in Tuba, Euphonium, and Bass Trombone Performance from the University of Oregon (1983), and doctoral studies at Arizona State University (1983-84). Mr. O'Dell is currently Associate Dean of The Boston Conservatory, a post he assumed after recently serving as Dean ad interim, and a nine-year tenure as Director of the Conservatory's Music Division.
Mr. O'Dell's previous full-time faculty appointments include Director of Bands at Boston University (MA), Mansfield University (PA), and Phoenix College (AZ). His adjunct appointments include Lecturing Professor and Director of the Festival Jazz Ensemble at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA), jazz and applied faculty at the Rivers Music School (MA), graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon, and applied faculty at Lane Community College (OR). He has taught in the Oregon public schools as Director of Bands and Elementary Music Teacher (Eagle Point and Phoenix OR), and more recently, as Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the Chelsea Public Schools (Boston University/Chelsea Partnership).
A distinguished and versatile educator, conductor, and musician, Mr. O'Dell is the Music Director and Conductor of the Concord Band, and is the Associate Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony. His collegiate conducting tenures have included all athletic bands, concert and jazz bands, wind and brass ensembles. He is founder of the New England Collegiate Jazz Festival, Boston TubaChristmas, and cofounder of the Boston Tuba Quartet and The Brass Consortium.
As a tubist he has toured, recorded, and performed with the Ken Shaphorst Big Band, True Colors Big Band, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Darrel Katz Jazz Orchestra, Greg Hopkins Nonet, the Boston Globe Repertory Jazz Orchestra (Gunther Schuller, conductor), Orange Then Blue, and as soloist with the Harvard Summer Band. He has been a member of the faculty brass quintets at the University of Oregon and Mansfield University (PA), and principal tuba with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. A low brass doubler on bass trombone and euphonium, he has performed with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Ashland Summer Band, Starlighters Swing Orchestra, and the Eugene Symphony Brass Trio.