Associate Teaching Professor, Music Education
Director of Bands


Gary W. Brandes, Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, conducts the University Symphonic Band, University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and teaches Conducting, Brass Methods, Graduate Instrumental Methods and Instrumental Literature courses. Prior to his appointment at UMSL he taught for twenty eight years in Missouri public schools, most recently as Director of Bands at Fort Zumwalt South High School. Prior to South High, he taught at Fort Zumwalt North High School, Hazelwood East High School and Warren County R-II, Wright City. He grew up in Wright City, Missouri. He attended University of Missouri-St. Louis and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in 1978. A Master Degree in Conducting was completed in 1992 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While completing his Masters, he was honored to serve as a graduate assistant to the University Bands. As a trombonist he is presently a member of the St. Louis Wind Symphony and a former member of the Gateway City Big Band, Meramec Monday Night Jazz Band and the Mid Rivers Brass Quintet.

Brandes has served as Vice President of Concert and Jazz Band for the St. Louis Metro Music Educators Association. He was honored to serve as President of the St. Louis Metro District Eight in 2002-03. He has served as secretary for the Missouri Unit of International Association of Jazz Educators and the Missouri Chairman of the National Band Association.  Brandes was the Missouri Music Educators Association College/University Vice-President 2010-12, President-Elect 2012-14, and is currently the MMEA President.    

Mr. Brandes was honored 1998 with the Merit Award in Music Education from St. Louis Metro Music Educators Association and in 2000 St. Louis Metro recognized Brandes as its Outstanding Music Educator.  He was selected as Fort Zumwalt’s Teacher of the Year in 2003.  In 2004 he received the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Teacher Award and was named to Marquis Who’s Who in America. In 2012 he was honored to receive the Missouri Association for Jazz Education Service Award.

Professional affiliations include NAfME, MMEA, NBA, MBA, ITA, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Brandes lives in St. Peters, MO, with wife Brenda and daughter Erin. 

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