Brian K. Shepard Biography Site Menu
Oak Grove Snare Drum in 7th Grade
In 7th grade, that snare drum was almost as big as me! (I got bigger)
Dr. Brian K. Shepard is a musician and composer whose professional career includes nearly 30 years as an orchestral percussionist including 13 years as Principal Percussion with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also played frequently in recording sessions and for various shows, including Lyric Theatre—Oklahoma City's professional music theater company. As a composer of both acoustic and electronic art music as well as an arranger and orchestrator of symphonic "Pops" charts, his works have been performed by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra, Trio Contraste, the Margarita Baños-Milton dance ensemble, and by numerous faculty and student ensembles from colleges and universities across the country. As a result of collaborations with dancers, he began exploring the concept of interactive dance music in the late 1990s. One of his forays into this area, HyperLinx (pdf), uses infrared sensors placed around a stage to detect a dancer's movements. This information is then used by a computer running a program written by Dr. Shepard in Max to create a musical accompaniment to the dance. In addition to writing the computer program, he also built much of the hardware used in the work.

Dr. Shepard is also a professor and scholar serving as Professor of Audio Design Practice and Assistant Dean of the USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Prior to his current position, he taught composition, synthesis, and music technology for a year in the Texas Christian University School of Music, 8 years in the USC Thornton School of Music, and 13 years in the University of Oklahoma School of Music. Before that, Brian was the Director of Bands for 5 years in the Music Department of Oklahoma Christian University.

OKC Philharmonic Percussion Section with Evelyn Glennie
Dame Evelyn Glennie with the OKC Philharmonic Percussion Section (Roger Owens, David Steffens, and me) after we performed Joseph Schwantner's Percussion Concerto
As a music technologist, Brian is committed to preparing music students for the technological demands of life as a 21st-century musician. He was one of the earliest proponents of high-bandwidth videoconferencing for musical purposes, and conducted the very first demonstration of a private music lesson over Internet2 with full-frequency, uncompressed audio and video in October 1999. Since that time, Dr. Shepard’s Internet2 activities, and his pioneering research into the musical possibilities of high-performance networks has brought him international recognition, and in April 2006, Internet2 recognized his work with their inaugural IDEA Award. His research has been published in the National Association of Schools of Music's Proceedings, and has been featured in a number of media outlets including CNN's Technology Week In Review and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as in The Christian Science Monitor, Discover, Symphony, EdTech, AV Technology magazines, and most recently, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In October 2009, after nearly 10 years of research into issues of audio quality and echo control for musical videoconferencing, Shepard released his software ECHODamp to educational and performing arts institutions around the world. This breakthrough application allows participants to control echo in a videoconference without sacrificing audio quality, and musicians may now experience the sound of a full, uncompressed frequency spectrum, without echo, even after the audio has traveled thousands of miles. Recognizing the importance of quality echo control in the high-performance network environment, Internet2 honored Shepard for his work creating ECHODamp with a 2nd IDEA Award in April, 2010.

Brian is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), a Research Fellow and member of the Research Council of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Internet2 Performance Events Advisory Committee. He is also active in the College Music Society (CMS), the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). Brian serves on the editorial review board for the CMS Symposium journal and is a former member of the music editorial review board for MERLOT (Multimedia and Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching). He is also an audio recording "coach" for the New World Symphony in Miami Beach Florida.

Family Photo
Phantom (2000–2014), Phillip, Cecei, Jenny, Abby, and me
Dr. Shepard earned his Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Kansas, his Master's in Conducting from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and his Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Oklahoma.

Born into a U.S. Army family at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Brian had a rather nomadic upbringing, living in Kentucky, Texas, Germany, Indiana, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. He now resides in Los Angeles with his wife Jenny and their dog Abby. Their son Phillip lives in Davis, OK and daughter Cecilia lives in Austin TX.

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