Col. Lowell E. Graham (ret.)
A native of Greeley, Colorado, Lowell E. Graham is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Conducting at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and is the recipient of the “Abraham Chavez” Professorship in Music. From 2002-2014 he served as Chair of the Department of Music. He enjoys a distinguished career conducting ensembles in many musical media, including the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, the Spokane Symphony, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the American Promenade Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic, Chamber Music Palm Beach Chamber Orchestra, the Westsachsisches Symphonieorchester, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Banda Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, Orquestra de Sopros Brasileira, Banda Sinfonica de la Provincia de Cordoba – Argentina, Banda Municipal de Musica de Bilbao – Espana, Banda Municipal de Barcelona – Espana, the National Symphonic Winds, the National Chamber Players, the Avatar Brass Ensemble and the Denver Brass. In 2006 he was named the “Director Honorifico Anual” for the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Paraguay. He has held numerous conducting positions to include that of the Commander and Conductor of the United States Air Force’s premier musical organization in Washington, DC. As a USAF Colonel, he became the senior ranking musician in the Department of Defense.
He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1970 and a Master of Arts degree in performance the following year. In 1977 he became the first person to be awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Graham has initiated many important media projects for American Public Radio and other broadcasting organizations, as well as live telecast/web cast concerts and video productions on which his credits include those of conductor, writer and musical producer. He is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and performed on NBC’s “Today Show” for five consecutive years on Independence Day.
In March 1995, he was honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (ABA), the professional association of master conductors and musicians. Membership is considered the highest honor achievable by American bandsmen; it recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of concert bands. In 2018 he became the 81st President of ABA. In 2014 he was named as the President and CEO of the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
In February 1996, he was inducted into the University of Northern Colorado School of Music “Hall of Honor.” This distinction was bestowed on only 18 alumni and faculty who have achieved greatness as musician, educators and humanitarians in the school’s first 100 years. He received The Catholic University of America’s 1998 Alumni Achievement Award in the field of Music. This award, which is presented annually by the Board of Governors Alumni Association, recognized his accomplishments and honored him for his life’s work. In 1999 he received the University of Northern Colorado Alumni Association Honored Alumni Award in the category of “Contributions to Music.” In 2001, he was the recipient of the Award of Distinction for Contributions to Music Education from the Illinois Music Educators Association. The two previous recipients were Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Meryl J. Isaac. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Phi Beta Mu International Outstanding Bandmaster Award. In 2008, he was honored by the American School Band Directors Association with the A. Austin Harding Award for “making significant and lasting contributions to the school band movement.” In 2013 the University of Northern Colorado Graduate School honored him with the “Century of Scholars Award” in performance representing excellence and achievement in the previous 100 years of the Graduate School.
In 2005 Graham was named as the “Supervising Editor” for LudwigMasters Music Publications, Inc., a division of Edwin F. Kalmus & Co., Inc. Masters Music Publications that includes rare, out-of print, and foreign editions as well as offering one of the finest catalogs of original works and
arrangements for concert band and wind ensemble available today. Furthermore, Graham actively serves as an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer Education Division.
Graham has released recordings on six labels – Naxos, Telarc, Klavier, Mark, Altissimo and Wilson — that have been recognized for both their artistic and sonic excellence. These recordings have been recognized in Stereophile’s “Records to Die-For” list, The Absolute Sound’s “The Super Disc List,” as well as one having won a Grammy.