Bruce Briney pursues a creative life that intersects the worlds of conducting, performing and teaching. Briney received his musical education from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University where he earned a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance. His primary teachers in trumpet were David Hickman and Vincent Cichowicz with additional studies from Arnold Jacobs, Ray Mase, Charles Geyer, George Vosburgh, Ray Sasaki and Luther Didrickson. At Northwestern, his conducting teachers and mentors included John Paynter and Victor Yampolsky. His background in conducting covers a variety of genres that include symphony orchestra, opera, wind ensemble, concert band, brass ensemble and brass band.
As a music professor at Western Illinois University, he was selected as the Music Director of the Quincy Symphony in 2007 commencing with the organization’s 60th anniversary season. During his tenure as QSO Music Director, concert attendance and season subscriber numbers have both grown immensely, all drawn to the organization’s colorful and engaging programming. The Illinois Council of Orchestras awarded Briney the 2012 Conductor of the Year Award (Community Orchestra) and the Quincy Symphony received the 2011 Community Service Award for creative artistic collaborations.
Commercial recordings of Briney’s work as a conductor and instrumental soloist are represented on the Crystal, Koss, Premiere and RMC labels and distributed by Amazon. He has performed and presented at conferences and conventions throughout the nation including the International Trumpet Guild Convention, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the, the Texas Music Educators Convention, the Trombone Workshop, the New York Brass Conference, North American Association of Brass Bands, and regional College Music Society meetings.
This fall marks the start of Briney’s twentieth year as a music professor at Western Illinois University. He received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Fine Arts and Communication in 2001. His students are frequent finalists and winners in the National Trumpet Competition, International Trumpet Guild Orchestra Competition, MTNA state and regional solo competitions and the School of Music Concerto Competition. Recent projects include contributions to Luis Loubriel’s book Back to Basics, and Mark Dulin’s Cichowicz Flow Studies, both focused collections on the life and teachings of brass pedagogue Vincent Cichowicz. He and his wife Robin, live in Macomb with their two teenage children Paul and Elizabeth and a golden retriever named Bess.