The musical journey of Brian Cambrel began early, in his hometown of Woodbridge, Virginia. At age 12, he learned to play the clarinet as part of his middle school band. After entering high school, Brian discovered a true passion for musical composition and arrangement, which propelled him into further study. In college, Brian picked up the saxophone to facilitate a growing interest in jazz, while he continued to hone and develop his talent for composition and orchestration. Some of his most noteworthy early musical experiences sharpened his individual skills. He served as a soloist and section member in the Essentially Ellington high school competition, sponsored by “Jazz at the Lincoln Center” and later served as a featured soloist in a collegiate wind ensemble performance at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. Brian also worked for Walt Disney Music and had his music recorded and mixed at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, California.
Brian began his professional career while still in college, and has since served as a freelance composer, arranger, orchestrator, transcriber, copyist, teacher, clinician, clarinetist, saxophonist and continuing student. Brian has served as a staff member for several high school music programs in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area; he worked as a marching band instructor, staff arranger, and as a composer. He has also served as a pit musician for many musical productions.
Brian has learned to adjust and succeed though faced with personal adversity. Brian has also learned the importance of independence, education, self-advocacy, service, and good character. Demonstrating a commitment to these ideals, Brian recently served as a volunteer at the Chicago Lighthouse, a non-profit social service agency for the blind and visually impaired in Chicago, Illinois, assisting in outreach programs for children (and parents of children) with disabilities. Brian has recently served as staff at the Lighthouse as a Job Coach / Peer Mentor in the Youth Employment Program. Brian has also recently was involved with the Chicago Area Alumni Association of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national men’s music fraternity.
A recipient of several awards and scholarships (both music and non-music related), Brian graduated cum laude from Shepherd University, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition. Brian has recently completed graduate work at Columbia College Chicago’s Master of Fine Arts program in Music Composition for the Screen, a program designed for the scoring of music to film, television, and other visual media.