Oklahoma Baptist University

Denney Wright Named Director of Bands

OBU has named Dr. Lauren Denney Wright as a new assistant professor of music and director of bands. She began her tenure on Bison Hill on Aug. 18.

Denney Wright earned a bachelor's degree in clarinet performance from Vanderbilt University in 2000; a master's degree in clarinet performance from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 2002; a bachelor's degree in music education from Kennesaw State University in 2007; and a doctorate in instrumental conducting from the University of Miami Frost School of Music in 2010.

"I am delighted to welcome Dr. Lauren Denney Wright to the OBU faculty as director of bands," said Dr. Paul Hammond, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. "Her energy, enthusiasm, musicianship and conducting skill will inspire our students and build on the solid foundation laid by Dr. Jim Hansford."

At the University of Miami, Denney Wright served as a teaching assistant in instrumental conducting, instructor of undergraduate conductor techniques and commencement band conductor. Her responsibilities included conducting rehearsals and performances with the Frost Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Frost Chamber Winds and University Band. She also worked with the "Band of the Hour" marching band during both music and drill rehearsals. She conducted a volleyball pep band, and both the men and women's basketball pep bands. As commencement band conductor, she was responsible for all logistical and musical responsibilities related to fall and spring performances before an audience of about 5,000 people.

While teaching in the metro Atlanta, Ga., area, Denney Wright taught an active private studio consisting of more than 45 students. She also taught master classes throughout the metro Atlanta area. From 1999-2000, she performed studio work in Nashville, Tenn., for the movie "Ancient Evil" and background music for a live radio reading of "The Secret Garden."

Denney Wright studied at the University of South Carolina Conductor's Institute, participating in 15 days of study. She served as guest conductor for Kennesaw State University's Wind Ensemble, and arranged a conducting recital at Vanderbilt University. She performed as the principal clarinet for the Seven Hills Sinfonietta in Cincinnati, Ohio, and with the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. She also has played with the Atlanta Wind Symphony.

She was the conducting competition winner at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 2002. For the performance, she conducted the first movement of Dvorak's "Symphony No. 8" from memory. She is a member of College Band Directors National Association, Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society and Women Band Directors International. She is a founding member of Sigma Alpha Iota at Vanderbilt University.

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