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Meet the Musician

Captain Brian O. Walden,

Commanding Officer/Leader

CAPT. Brian O. Walden

A native of Trenton, S.C., Capt. Brian O. Walden holds a bachelor's degree in music with a double major in religious studies from Saint Leo (Fla.) University and a master's degree in wind ensemble conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mass., where he was a student of Charles Peltz, Frank Battisti and William Drury. He also studied conducting with Richard Hoenich, former assistant conductor of the Montreal Symphony, and doctoral studies in music education at Boston University. He is a current student in the doctoral program in music education at George Mason University, studying with Dr.Brian Wuttke. In 2012 he was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award by the Alumni Council of the New England Conservatory of Music. A 2004 fellow at the Conductors Institute of the University of South Carolina, Walden has also studied music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Northern Illinois University, Old Dominion University and Newberry (S.C.) College. He has guest conducted ensembles and performed as a trumpet instrumentalist in over 74 countries. He also holds a graduate diploma in national security strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Walden enlisted in the Navy in 1981 and served as a trumpet instrumentalist in Charleston, New Orleans, Guam, the Marianas Islands and Norfolk. Highlights of these tours were his selection as the Commander, Naval Forces Marianas Sailor of the Year (1988) as well as assistant leader of the U.S. Navy Showband for UNITAS (1991) throughout South America and Africa and tours onboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), USS O'Bannon (DD 987) and USS Barnstable County (LST 1197). Before assuming his current position, he was the leader of the U.S. Naval Academy Band. At the Navy School of Music in Little Creek, Va., he has served as the executive officer as well as the director of training. Other previous officer assignments include tours as the director of the Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) Band in Naples, Italy, and as the director of Navy Band Great Lakes (Ill.).

He has performed with the Virginia Wind Symphony, the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra and La Orquesta Salsa y Mas, a Latin salsa ensemble. He has served as director of music at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Md., and St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Virginia Beach, Va., and also served as the orchestral brass instructor for the Virginia Beach Public Schools Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. He has lectured at Old Dominion University on the music of American composer Charles Ives. His current research project is on the music and literature of composer George Thaddeus Jones.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Meritorious Unit Award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (seven awards) and others.