Artistic Leadership

Joseph Parisi, Music Director


Joseph Parisi is a Professor at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance where he conducts the Conservatory Wind Ensemble and serves as the chair of music education and music therapy. Professor Parisi has also made professional appearances both nationally and abroad conducting music festivals, adjudicating ensembles and presenting clinics, lectures and workshops throughout the United States, United Kingdom, China, and Europe.

His commitment to wind band music continues as he enters his 14th year as the director of the Conservatory Wind Ensemble. Under his direction, the Conservatory Wind Ensemble has collaborated with many outstanding artists and composers, has been invited to perform at state and regional performances, and continues to commission and perform new works each year. Parisi has several professional recording credits to his portfolio including the Fountain City Brass Band and additional ensembles as a conductor and trumpet performer. He is the principal conductor of the Summit Brass at the Raphael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver and the Fountain City Brass Band.

Since becoming the conductor of Kansas City’s Fountain City Brass Band the group has been recognized as one of the world’s top brass bands, with over a dozen winning performances at the North American Brass Band Championships and the US Open Brass Band Championship. As a result of Parisi’s work, he has been nominated numerous times for the Conductor of the Year Award, and received the winning conductor award at the 2009 Scottish Open.

Parisi completed a bachelor’s degree in music education at the State University of New York at Potsdam (Crane School of Music); a master’s degree in trumpet performance from Florida State University and a PhD in instrumental conducting/music education from Florida State University. While at the Conservatory, Parisi has received the Kauffman Outstanding Service Award (2005) the Kauffman Excellence in Teaching Award in (2009), and the Kauffman Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (2015).

Roger Oyster, Principal Guest Conductor
Roger Oyster

Roger Oyster has been the Principal Trombone with the Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern, Music Director, since 1998; he has played this role as a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, and as a guest with the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He began his career in the United States Marine Band, where he was Euphonium Soloist, featured in more than 80 solo performances nationwide. He has played euphonium or bass trumpet with many orchestras, including the Kansas City Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He can be heard on more than 50 commercially released recordings with the St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, Detroit, and Pittsburgh Symphonies; these recordings include numerous Grammy nominated discs and two Grammy Award winners. He studied conducting with Carl St. Clair at the University of Michigan, and has conducted public performances of chamber music with members of the United States Marine Band, as well as with the Kansas City Brass Ensemble, the St. Louis Brass Band, and the award winning Fountain City Brass Band.

Lee Harrelson, Artistic Director

Lee Harrelson is an Associate Professor of Music at Missouri Western State University. At Missouri Western he serves as the Chair of the Department of Music, coordinator of the music theory program and instructor of low brass and chamber music. Dr. Harrelson attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied music education and music performance before completing his masters and doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Dr. Harrelson is the founder of the Fountain City Brass Band and currently serves as its artistic director and principal euphoniumist. The Fountain City Brass Band (FCBB) is one of the America’s premiere brass and percussion ensembles and has been featured throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and competitions. The FCBB is the current top ranked brass band in the United States and the reigning North American Champions. Under Dr. Harrelson’s artistic leadership the band has won six North American Brass Band Association Championships, seven U.S. Open Brass Band Championships and one Scottish Open Brass Band Championship since it began competing in 2004. During his tenure the FCBB has produced three commercial recordings, performed with countless world-class soloists and developed a youth brass program, the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy, that serves over 100 school aged students per year. At the 2011 All England International Brass Band Competition, as a member of the FCBB, Lee was named Best Instrumentalist; a first for an American at an English brass band competition.

Dr. Harrelson can be heard on numerous commercially released recordings and has appeared throughout North America and Europe as a clinician, soloist and chamber musician. Lee Harrelson is a Buffet Group/Besson Performing Artist.

Upcoming Performances

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