It was a lazy 1976 autumn afternoon, rife with leftover summer heat. Staring out the window at the dancing trees in the forsest that bordered his country home in Wilberforce, Ohio, in the United States,eight year-old Brian Wingard replayed the images of the saxophones that he had seen marching in yesterday's parade, his eyes still aglow with the possibility of one day having one in his hands. Images of the shimmering brass, curvaceous lines, and dozens of levers and buttons that were calling his name starting daily pleading that would continue steadfastly for the next three years. Finally, his mother decided to push against the wishes of the many dozens of that were pushing for Brian to put all his energy into becoming a basketball player, and announce that she was taking him to the local music store to get a horn. She barely had time to get the words out of her mouth before Brian was sprinting through the house, to get to the car.
Fifteen minutes later, Brian, his mother, Barbara, and his older brother Mark arrived in nearby Xenia, Ohio, where the quiet, slow-moving, white-haired owner of Kinder Music Company proceeded to explain with the tone and manner of a lovable story-telling grandpa, as to why the alto saxophone might be a better choice, given its smaller, more manageable size. You would think that it wouldn't take him a full fifteen minutes to notice that the skinny, wide-eyed kid was not hearing him, at all. His body shaking from excitement, his face hurting from smiling all the way to the store, he only saw the open space on the table next to the alto, the place waiting for the instrument that had entranced him for the last three years, the instrument he was determined to one day hold, launching his dream into reality--theTENOR saxophone. When the old gentleman brought it out, the many sleepless nights for the rest of the Wingard family began--and so did the fulfillment of Brian's dream.
Twenty five year-old Bill Schumacher would shape Brian's thinking and skills for the next three years, trusting him to take home over twleve instruments during his first summer of Junior High School band, along with several instruction books--some of which were from his personal collection. Many an afternoon was spent in after-school learning with Schumacher, who continually encouraged, disciplined, and cheered as he instructed. It was that investment that set up Brian to be the first tenth-grader to earn a spot in the Central State University "Invincible Marching Marauders," under director Danny B. Davis.
En route to or from visiting the office where his father, Edward L. Wingard, was Dean of Education, Wingard began feeding his hunger by dropping by the music department. It was there that he quickly noticed professors would routinely welcome him with their eyes, allowing--even encouraging--him to walk right into a class in progress, sit at the back of the room, and absorb all that was said. It was that experience that led to the decision to enroll at CSU, upon high school graduation, where he would eventually earn a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (2001).
Time invested there included training from Norris Turney (Duke Ellington orchestra), Lester Bass (Count Basie orchestra, Lionel Hampton orchestra), Vince Genova (Sonny Stitt, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Eddie Harris, and more). It was also there that Brian launched a career of performance and composition--forming the first Brian Wingard Jazz Quartet.
2005 brought a move to the state of New Mexico, setting up current study relationships with seasoned jazz veterans Bobby Shew (Grammy-nominated trumpeter) and Eddie Daniels (Grammy Award-winning clarinetist/saxophonist).
In 2016, the long-awaited dream of moving to New Orleans finally became reality. Donald Harrison, Herlin Riley, the Iconic Marsalis Family, Ike Stubblefield, an many others graciously shared their stage with Brian, pouring into what is most certainly an exciting future!