Rick Kirby was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1945 and was educated in the New England area. After arriving in Wisconsin in 1974, he taught at several high schools and universities. He retired from public school teaching in 2001 to pursue a full time career as a composer and arranger. Before retirement, Mr. Kirby's last public school teaching position was at Waukesha West High School.
Mr. Kirby has arranged or composed for many marching bands including groups from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Arizona, and California. He is presently the staff arranger for the award winning Sound of Sun Prairie Marching Band and the Wisconsin State Champion Waukesha West High School Marching Band. Mr. Kirby has also been involved in many commissioning projects including writing compositions for concert bands, jazz ensembles, choirs, orchestras, and other instrumental ensembles. His music is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Daehn Publications, Hal Leonard Music, Arrangers' Publishing Company, and his own publishing company, Spirit of the Music Publications.
Kirby presently directs the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. He was also the associate conductor of the Youth Wind Orchestra of Wisconsin for seven years and directed the Carroll University Jazz Ensemble for ten years.
Rick Kirby is the Wisconsin Music Educators Association's 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to a music educator for lifelong meritorious service, excellence and dedication to music education in Wisconsin. He is also the Phi Beta Mu (Wisconsin Chapter) Outstanding Band Director for 2007. Most recently an article about his composition "Different Voices" is featured in Volume Seven of GIA Publication's series Teaching Music through Performance in Band.
About Spirit of the Music
Spirit of the Music Publications is a music publishing company owned by composer and arranger Rick Kirby. Located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, the firm's goal is to make innovative, educational, accessible, and quality music reasonably available to school music groups, community groups and professional music organizations. Although emphasis is placed on instrumental music (band, small ensemble, jazz, and orchestra), a limited amount of vocal literature is also available
Music is shipped to the purchaser almost immediately via email or shipped as soon as possible using hard copies and "snail" mail. Groups who purchase music from Spirit of the Music Publications are allowed to duplicate as many scores and parts as needed for its conductors and members.
Spirit of the Music Publicationsis glad to work with directors on commissioning projects. The price of the commissioned works depends on grade level and length. "Creative" financing is also available.
Arranging services are also available for marching groups, jazz ensembles and concert bands.