Young composer from Moorpark College honored at Kennedy Center

By Debra Tash

Brendan McMullin’s “Sal y Pimienta” for jazz big band won first place at the third annual National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Composition

Brendan McMullin

Brendan McMullin

Competition. As a result the composition was performed by the Airmen of Note, the top US Air Force Jazz Band, at the Kennedy Center on Monday, April 21st.  The concert was broadcast live on the internet and the recording is now posted at They start introducing McMullin at the 08:45 mark on the video, and they allowed him to say a few words about his composition.

The Moorpark College Wind Ensemble concert will be on May 4th at 2:00 PM. Mr. McMullin is their director.  They plan on performing the entire Russian classic composition “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky. Also on their musical dance card, the modern epic work “Catalyst” by John Frantzen.  Frantzen, the composer, has come to a few of the ensemble’s rehearsals and worked with them on their performance.

McMullin is also the director for the Moorpark College Jazz A Band. The band was just awarded first place in the community college division at the Reno Jazz Festival on reno.jazzApril 10th 2014. There were eight bands from seven colleges in the division and Moorpark was given a score of “1” from all three judges. This was also the first year they had a jazz combo compete. You can hear these talented, hardworking students yourself on May 3rd at the first Moorpark Jazz Day. This event will feature all of the jazz bands from Moorpark College, Moorpark High School, Mesa Verde Middle School, and Chaparral Middle School. They will also be welcoming Karl Hunter, the saxophonist for the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, as their guest artist.  Please check out our events section for where you can buy tickets or click on:

Brendan McMullin stays busy working as a composer, trombonist, vocalist, conductor, and professor in the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas. He has shared the stage and recorded with such artists as Duffy Jackson, Barry Manilow, Eric Whitacre, Barbara Streisand, and Clyde Reasinger, and has performed on stage at the Academy Awards. His compositions have been performed by numerous high school and college jazz bands, wind ensembles, and chamber ensembles. Recently his composition “Why You Gotta Be Like That (Jazz Overture for Full Orchestra)” was recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic and is featured on the album “Masterworks of the New Era (Vol. 12)” which received a JPF Award nomination under the category “Best Classical Album.” He also arranged the music and performed on the critically acclaimed latin jazz album “Hector Contreras & His Latin Jazz Ensemble.” Brendan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition and California Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge, and his Master’s Degree in Music Composition from University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently on faculty at Moorpark College where he runs the jazz program, directs the wind ensemble, and teaches trombone, music theory, and music appreciation. He also teaches online music appreciation and audio engineering classes at California Virtual Academies.

 This talented young man has certainly done his college proud.

Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis

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