Bruce Dinkins was a respected band director, whose ensembles were among the finest to participate in Music for All programs, including Bands of America Championships and the Music for All National Festival. His bands, including at Irmo H.S. in Columbia, SC, and James Bowie H.S. in Austin, TX, are recognized as some of the finest in the country and are many-time BOA Regional Finalists and Champions and National finalists. He also served on Music for All advisory committees and as a band host at the Music for All National Festival.
Born in Buffalo, NY, and reared in Florida, he discovered the clarinet at a very early age, which became his passion. He earned degrees in Clarinet Performance at the University of Tampa and The New England Conservatory,with additional studies at Florida State University toward a doctorate and The Juilliard School (Clarinet Performance Certificate). He performed in famous concert halls and with orchestras throughout the United States and toured Europe with the New England Conservatory Orchestra with Gunther Schuller and Leonard Bernstein. He also conducted the Memphis Youth Symphony and was the Conductor-In-Residence of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival for the more than 25 summers.
Mr. Dinkins began his teaching career at Florida Junior College and Jacksonville University, before moving on to Emory University in Atlanta. Later in his career, he taught high school and held positions at Avondale H.S. Center for Performing Arts in Atlanta and North Gwinnett H.S. in Suwanee, GA, before teaching at Irmo H.S. and then James Bowie H.S. He was a member of the American Bandmaster’s Association.
Mr. Dinkins passed away June 22, 2011 in Ashland, Oregon, at the age of 60. “The world of music education has lost one of its best teachers and a passionate advocate for arts education,”said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO, Music for All.“Mr. Dinkins was a dear friend of Music for All and is still missed by those of us who had the privilege of working with him for more than two decades. His legacy and the impact he has had on his students, our art and our culture will be with us forever.”