Meet the Conductor:
Robert Laguna is an accomplished performer, arranger, conductor, and practitioner weaving elements of the body-mind-spirit connection into his music and life.
Laguna was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and completed his bachelor's at Southwest Texas State University where he studied music education and went on to teach band in the Texas public school systems for 8 years. He then completed his master's at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin where he studied Asian medicine thereafter going into private practice as an acupuncturist. In 1999, he became the dean of students at his alma mater, AOMA.
He joined the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble in 1997. Later that year, he became the semi-conductor for the group, assisting Rick Glascock from 1997-2003 and Paul Crockett from 2003-2005. In 2005, he was selected as Conductor of the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble. While a member of ACWE, he joined other civic music groups including the Austin Philharmonic Orchestra and Cori Spezzatti. He also joined and formed performing ensembles like the Frontier Brass, Austin Brass Band, and the Brandished Brass.
Associate Conductor Gary Kehaulani Sapp
Although from Kailua, Hawai'i, Gary comes to us from Germany, where he worked for twenty years conducting concert and jazz bands, and playing woodwinds in classical, jazz and pop ensembles. He is also a 22-year vet. of Air Force bands as a French hornist, trumpeter, arranger and then band commander. Before that, he was a professional composer. He has concertized throughout Asia, the US and Europe, from Saigon to Moscow. Among his positions, he was Composer-in-Residence of the Dallas ISD, Chief of Bands and Music, USAF, and was awarded the Castle Lichtenburg Prize of Musikantenlandes, Germany. He holds BM and MM degrees from Univ. of N. Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts from The Catholic University of America.