RICHARD BYRD is an acclaimed musician in the central Kentucky region and frequently performs music from classical to jazz. His classical experiences include performing with the Indianapolis Symphony, the West Virginia and Lexington Philharmonic Orchestras, the Opera of Central Kentucky, and the Lexington Brass Band. During his tenure with the Lexington Brass Band he was a featured soloist for the band's England tour in 2000.
Byrd has performed with several prominent jazz artists, including Doc Severinsen, Allen Vizzutti, Maynard Ferguson, Byron Stripling, Louie Bellson, Bob Mintzer, James Moody, Take 6, and the Manhattan Transfer. Other jazz experiences include work in studio recording, several regional big bands, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and shows with such artists as Robert Goulet, Rosemary Clooney, Frankie Valle, Lou Rawls, Loretta Lynn, and Carol Channing. His lead trumpet abilities with the DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO) are showcased on their CDs entitled "Off the Charts" and "Quotient", and with the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra on their CD entitled "Flying Home." He has also appeared on the Kentucky Educational Television's broadcast of "In the Mood: The Big Band Era in the Bluegrass" with DOJO and "Ellington and Beyond with Louie Bellson" with the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree in trumpet performance at DePauw University, Byrd earned both his Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. During his doctoral studies he was awarded the prestigious Dissertation Year Fellowship for his research on the solo and chamber music of Fisher A. Tull.
Byrd is Professor of Music at Easten Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. He has gained a prominent reputation among schools in the Commonwealth as a private brass teacher. Many of his students have won awards, performed as soloists with several bands and orchestras, and won competitions, including the International Trumpet Guild and the National Trumpet Competitions. He is also active as an adjudicator and clinician. He has been a full-time artist-in-residence with the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts since 1989 and serves as the Chair of the Instrumental Music Division and the Dean of Faculty.