Gary W. Brandes is currently adjunct professor at Lindenwood University where he conducts the Wind Ensemble/Symphonic Band and is assistant to the Marching Band. Prior to his appointment at Lindenwood he was teaching professor of music and director of bands at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. At UMSL he conducted the University Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Lab Band, taught undergraduate Conducting I & II, Instrumental Music Education Methods, Instrumental Literature, and supervised student teachers. Graduate level courses include Literature, Music Education Methods and Conducting. Prior to his appointment at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2006, Brandes taught for 28 years in Missouri public schools most recently as director of bands at Fort Zumwalt South High School. A Bachelor of Music Education degree, instrumental and vocal was completed in 1978. A Master’s degree in conducting was completed in 1992 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. As a trombonist he has performed with the St. Louis Wind Symphony, St. Louis Low Brass Collective, Gateway City Big Band, Meramec Monday Night Jazz Band, Jim Widner Big Band, and the Mid Rivers Brass Quintet. Beginning in 2016 he is honored to serve as the associate conductor for the St. Louis Wind Symphony. Brandes served as the College/University Vice President for Missouri Music Educators Association 2010-12, MMEA President-Elect 2012-14, MMEA President 2014-16, and Past President. He currently assists with the MMEA mentor training program.
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 and the Metro Eight Hall of Fame award in 2015. Brandes was selected as Fort Zumwalt’s Teacher of the Year in 2003. He received the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Teacher Award and was selected as part of the Marquis Who’s Who in America in 2004. In 2012 he was honored to receive the Missouri Association for Jazz Education Outstanding Educator Award and was inducted into Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2019.
Professional affiliations include NAfME, MMEA, MoAJE, MBA, ITA, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Brandes lives in St. Peters, MO, with his daughter Erin.