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.