Bobby Lambert of Chicago, Illinois has been hired to replace Scott Rush as Wando High School band director.
After 15 years at the high school, Rush announced his departure in April. He is moving on to become arts educator in Dorchester District 2 as Director of Fine Arts.
“I first became acquainted with Wando in 2007 when they performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra clinic in Chicago. Then in 2009, when they made Grand National Finals with their marching band, I knew this was a serious program. Originally being from North Carolina, I am always happy to see a southern school represented well on a national scene. There are only a few,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to work with Lanie Radeke and Scott Rush at the Bands of America Summer Symposium where we became fast friends. For years, Wando has represented the best in music education both in performing ensembles and in the preparation of students for life. When the possibility of coming to Wando began to present itself, I pursued it quickly.”
Under his directorship at Wando High School, Rush’s bands have received consistent “Superior” ratings in the areas of concert and marching band. The Wando Symphonic Band performed at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and were the 2007 recipients of the Sudler Flag of Honor, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Wando marching band was named a finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 2009. Rush sent a memo to parents saying the that the next director of bands for Wando High School is Bobby Lambert.
Lambert comes from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. “Bobby is a fantastic musician, has tremendous moral character and will transform lives here at Wando,” said Rush.
Marian Catholic has placed in the top 10 at Grand Nationals every year since 1980 (Lambert has been there since 2001) and have won the Sudler Flag of Honor for outstanding concert bands. Lambert is married to Alysia, and they have two daughters, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old.
According to Lambert, early in undergraduate school, he committed to going wherever would provide two things: a fertile ground for musical education and a strong outlet for musical expression. That took him to Massachusetts to study with well-known saxophonist Lynn Klock for a masters degree and then to Illinois to work with one of the icons of music education, Greg Bimm. “Wando is a logical progression for educational exploration in keeping with my commitment. It is part of a thriving community in regards to both the surrounding area and the high school itself,” he said. “The staff is second to none, while the students and parents are known to be strong supporters. Add an incredible administration and it doesn’t get any better”
Lambert began his college career at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as a pre-law major and loved it. Yet, two months into the semester, he returned home to watch his high school band at a local contest. “I distinctly remember sitting in the stands and having an overwhelming epiphany that this was where I belonged - creating music with young people. I have had only a few moments of absolute clarity in my life, but that was certainly one of them.”
Lambert is highly regarded for his knowledge and skill as a band director and musician. The Marian Catholic High School Band has been Bands of America 2A Grand National Champion six times and finalist 13 times. This band has been five-time Grand Champions at the State of the Art Concert Band Contest, 11-time Class Champions in Illinois State University Concert Contest, and first “Second” Band invited to perform at the University of Illinois Superstate Concert Festival in 2013. He has also served since 2005 as the director of the Marian Catholic Leadership Program. Lambert has also worked as head drum major instructor for band camps held at Western Carolina and Illinois State University. Lambert has designed curriculum and served as division head for the Bands of America Drum Major Institute instructing more than 1,000 students each summer.
“When I see students who successfully take care of themselves, care for others with less experience or opportunity, and create art at a high level to be shared with all, I find professional and personal satisfaction,” he said.