Dwight Banks, Composer/Trumpet

When Words Fail…Music Speaks


Dwight Charles Banks

370 Nathan Hale Road

West Palm Beach, FL 33405




Ph.D in Music Composition, University of California, Berkeley, Spring, 2003.

  • Dissertation: Scenes and Events for Orchestra.
  • Dissertation advisors: Dr. Olly Wilson (chair), Professor Edwin Dugger, Dr. John Thow.
  • Qualifying Exam Topics:
    • Twentieth Century Literature and its Development
    • The Chief Problems Occupying Composers Today
  • Discussion and analysis of the following pieces:
    • Lutoslawski: Mi Parti
    • Stravinsky: Agon
    • Varese: Octandre
    • Ravel: Chansons Madecasses
    • Webern: Symphonie Opus 21
    • Ellington: Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue

Master of Music in Composition, California State University, Northridge,1995.

  • Thesis: Expansions for Orchestra
  • Thesis committee: Dr. Daniel Kessner (chair), Dr. William Toutant, Professor George Heussenstamm
  • Primary instructors were Daniel Kessner, Aurelio De la Vega, Beverly Grigsby, Frank Campo, and George Skapski

Bachelor of Fine Arts, City College of New York, 1982.

  • Majored in Jazz performance, composition and arranging. Primary instructors were John Lewis, Edgar Summerlin, Roger Verdesi, Ruth Rowen, Jack Shapiro, Robert Norden

Teaching Experience:

  • 2017-present-Adjunct Professor, University of Miami, Frost School of Music
  • Courses taught:
  • Musicianship Skills
  • Music Theory
  • Orchestration
  • 2007-2013-Private Music Instructor
  • Courses taught:
    • Midi Sequencing
    • Trumpet
    • Fundamentals of Music

Additional Teaching Experience:

  • 2000-2003-Music Instructor and Program Director, Camp William Mendenhall
  • Courses taught:
    • Midi Sequencing
    • Audio Recording
    • Music Fundamentals
    • Music Appreciation
    • Small Instrumental Combo/Percussion Ensemble
  • 1999-2003; Graduate Student Instructor, U.C.Berkeley
      • Introduction to Music History
      • Musicianship
      • Piano
      • Music Fundamentals

Additional Administrative And Performance Experience:

  • 2016-present:
  • Member of Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches and Orchid City Brass
  • 2006-2013-Member of Officer’s Council and National Treasurer, National Association of Composers, USA
  • 2005-2006-Treasurer, National Association of Composers, USA, Los Angeles Chapter
  • Personnel Manager, U.C. Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, 2001
  • 1982-1987: Performances with McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Palmieri

Fellowships, Honors and Awards:

  • Selected Artist, American Composers Forum, Music of the Unsung America, 2021
  • James Irvine Foundation Honorary Fellowship, 2005
  • ASCAPlus Awards, ASCAP, 2005 thru 2020
  • Winner, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Emerging Composers
  • Program, for orchestral piece Pupil of the Eye, March 2002
  • Composition Selection Committee, Artists Enclave at I-Park, 2007
  • Resident Artist Fellowship, Artists Enclave at I-Park, September, 2006
  • Resident Artist Fellowship, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, May 2005
  • Louise Patterson Award for Academic Achievement 1998, 1999
  • Graduate Opportunity Program Fellowship 1997-1999
  • Graduate Opportunity Program Dissertation Fellowship 2001-2002

Primary Trumpet Instructors:

  • William Fielder (Professor Emeritus of Trumpet, Rutgers University)
  • Malcolm Mc Nab (Professor of Trumpet, UCLA and studio musician)
  • Roy Poper (Professor of Trumpet, Oberlin College, former principal trumpet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra )
  • William Bing (Professor Emeritus of Trumpet, California State University, Northridge, former co- principal trumpet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra)
  • Roy Stevens
  • Bob Mc Coy (former lead trumpet, N.B.C. Orchestra and studio musician)
  • Vincent Penzarella (Professor of Trumpet, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, former second trumpet, New York Philharmonic)
  • Melvyn Broiles (Professor Emeritus of Trumpet, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, former principal trumpet, Metropolitan Opera)
  • Carmine Caruso

Selected Conferences, Papers and Presentations:

  • Presentation of compositions and performance of electroacoustic work, Leeway, for trumpet and electronics, Artists Enclave at I-Park, October, 2006
  • Presentation on Compositional Techniques of Witold Lutoslawski, Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, September, 2006, Hawaii Inter national Conference on Arts and Humanities, January, 2006
  • Presentation of My Compositions, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, May, 2005
  • Presentation on Duke Ellington and his Extended Works, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, January, 2005
  • Presentation and Performance of Tre for Flute, Piano and Cello, Society of Composers Inc. Region VI Conference, January, 2004
  • Witold Lutoslawski: A Comparison of Compositional Techniques in Mi Parti, Epitaph for Oboe and Piano and Chain 3, University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • A Study of Duke Ellington’s Approach to Extended Form From 1935-1937 With an Emphasis on Reminiscing in Tempo and Diminuendo and Crescendo i n Blue, University of California, Berkeley, 2000. Research included analyses of Ellington’s original manuscripts at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
  • The Emergence of the Third Stream Movement in America, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
  • Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet Opus 131: An Analysis of Movements Six and Seven. University of California, Berkeley, 1998
  • The Great Trilogy: An Analysis of Symphonies 39, 40 , and 41 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, California State University, Northridge, 1994
  • An Analysis of String Quartet in B Flat Major Opus 130, First Movement by Ludwig Van Beethoven, California State University, 1993.
  • Analysis of String Quartet #4, First Movement, by Bela Bartók, California State University, Northridge, 1993
  • The Harmonic Concept of Olivier Messiaen’s Musical Language, California State University, 1992

Professional Affiliations:

  • The College Music Society
  • American Composers Forum
  • National Association of Composers,USA
  • Center for Black Music Research
  • American Music Center
  • Society of Composers, Inc.

Additional Information:

  • Knowledge of Finale, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, MAX/MSP, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint, Macintosh and Windows operating systems.
  • Experience as a performer in a diversity of musical styles with specialization in classical and jazz.  Instruments: B-flat trumpet, C trumpet, piccolo trumpet, fluegelhorn

Representative List of Compositions:

  • On the Other End of the Spectrum for Flute, Viola and Harp, 2021
  • Quadrilateral Equation for Four Trumpets, 2020
  • Connect the Dots for Brass Quintet, 2020
  • Episode Variations, For Symphonic Band, 2017
  • Thinking Outside of the Box, for Chamber Orchestra, 2016
  • Triple Endeavors for Three Trumpets, 2013
  • Three Etudes for Solo Trumpet, 2012
  • Convergences for Chamber Orchestra, 2009
  • On A Conveyor Belt for Small Ensemble, 2007
  • Tablets for Mixed Chorus and Piano, 2006 (7 min)
  • LEEWAY for Trumpet and electronics, 2006 (7 min)
  • String Quartet #2, 2005 (9 min)
  • ANCHORS for Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Piano and Percussion, 2005 (7 min)
  • Composite Sketches 2 for Trumpet, Clarinet, Cello, Piano and Percussion, 2003 (7 min)
  • Scenes and Events for Orchestra, 2003 (17 min)
  • Pupil of the Eye, 2001 (12 min) – Premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 2002; additional performance by the South Arkansas Symphony, 2003
  • Songs for Unity for Mezzo Soprano and Piano, 2000 (6 min) – Premiered at NACUSA Los Angeles Chapter concert, April, 2006
  • Tre, for Flute, Cello and Piano, 1999 (9 min)
  • Piano Suite, 1998 (7 min)
  • Tentet for Wind and Percussion Ensemble, 1997 (8 min)
  • Miniature Suite for Wind and String Quintet, 1997 (10 min)
  • Expansions for Orchestra, 1995 (17 min)
  • Triplex, for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, 1994 (11 min)
  • Composite Sketches, for Oboe and Bassoon, 1993 (10 min)
  • Interactions for Trumpet and Vibraphone, 1993 (9 min)
  • String Quartet, 1992 (17 min)
  • Music For Brass Quintet and Percussion, 1992 (10 min)
  • Light Invocation, for electronics,1992 (6 min)
  • Blue Magic Dance, for electronics,1991 (7 min)


Letters of Reference File is available upon request from:

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The following persons have written letters of recommendation on my behalf and may be contacted for reference:

Dr. Olly Wilson, Professor Emeritus
C/O Music Department
University of California, Berkeley
104 Morrison Hall #1200
Berkeley,CA 94720-1200
(510) 642-2678

Edwin Dugger, Professor Emeritus
C/O Music Department
University of California, Berkeley
104 Morrison Hall # 1200,
Berkeley, CA 94720-1200
(510) 642-2678

Dr. John Thow, Professor
Music Department
University of California, Berkeley
104 Morrison Hall # 1200,
Berkeley, CA 94720-1200
(510) 642-2678

Additional References:

Dr. Deon Price
Professor Emeritus, El Camino College

Dr. Daniel Kessner
Professor Emeritus, California State University, Northridge