Dr. Richard McLendon is an American composer, arranger, and educator. He was born in Troy, Alabama on July 9, 1953. His music compositions have been honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (2006-2012) and by the Percussive Arts Society (1984). He studied music theory, composition, and/or music industry with the late Dr. David L. Walters, Robert W. Smith, Jim Mahaffey, and the late Dr. Gerald Burke. He studied conducting with the late Dr. John Finley and Dr. John M. Long, a member of the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors. Dr. McLendon is an Educational Artist Innovative Percussion, Inc. based in Nashville, TN.
His latest film project was a non-theatrical release for The John Philip Sousa Foundation. Completed in December of 2017, “National Programs & Projects of The John Philip Sousa Foundation” is a documentary short that examines the various awards promoted and presented by the foundation. The awards are presented to exceptionally significant bands found in middle school, junior high school, high school, university, military, and adult community bands. The film was produced and directed by Deborah Bradley, narrated by Gene Fender, and original music composed by Dr. McLendon (also the film’s editor).
He has attended film music seminars presented by George S. Clinton (Primetime Emmy-nominated composer), Peter Golub (Director of the Sundance Film Festival Music Program), Don Davis (Primetime Emmy award winner), Thomas Newman (multiple Oscar-nominated composer), and several other established film composers. He has been privately coached by well-known film orchestrator and film/video game composer, Penka Kouneva. She is known for her orchestration work on movies such as Ender’s Game (2013), Need for Speed (2014), Elysium (2013), Angels & Demons (2009), and many others.
Dr. McLendon has also attended video game seminars presented by award-winning composers Penka Kouneva, Marty O’Donnell, Austin Wintory, and other established video game composers. He has also attended a lengthy conducting session given by Oscar-nominated film composer, David Newman. Newman has composed for movies such as Anastasia (1997), Ice Age, (2002), Daddy Day Care (2003), The Phantom (1996), and many other films.
He gained valuable insight by observing Tom Provost’s screenwriting classes and chatting with the writers in attendance. Provost is a graduate professor of screenwriting at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. He has been an actor and was in a recurring role on Steven Spielberg’s SeaQuest 2032 (1993-96). He has edited short films and features, and edited and produced award-winning promos for the WB and Bravo Television Networks. During this time he was hired to adapt a script for Morgan Freeman’s production company, Revelations Entertainment. The screenplay, nominated for an Edgar Award in 2001, was for the film Under Suspicion (2000) starring Freeman and Gene Hackman, and was directed by Stephen Hopkins.
Dr. McLendon has observed Mark Stolaroff’s directing classes and talking with directors in attendance. Stolaroff is an independent producer and a founding partner of Antic Pictures. Stolaroff, and award-winning writer/director, Henry Barrial’s previous feature, The House That Jack Built, which premiered in the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, played theatrically in 2015, and is now streaming on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Stolaroff has extensive production experience on several low budget features and shorts, including production management of the Academy Award-winning short film My Mother Dreams The Satan’s Disciples in New York (1998). His background includes two years in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.
As a 34-year music educator, his performing ensembles have toured most of the United States, eastern Canada, most of western and central Europe, and the countries of Ecuador and Colombia, South America. At his first public school job in 1979-80, the Murray High School Band in Murray, KY was invited to perform in the 1980 Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. That same year, the band was recognized by the National Band Association as one of the top bands in the United States and performed at their National Convention in Knoxville, TN. A second group that he was also writing for and consulting, the Enterprise High School Band from Enterprise, AL, was also selected and performed in Knoxville.
In 1983, Dr. McLendon’s entire 32-piece percussion ensemble for the Pride of Cincinnati Drum & Bugle Corps was host to jazz artist Chuck Mangione after he visited their rehearsal. Mangione’s album Journey to a Rainbow (Columbia Records, 1983), had just been released. Mangione asked McLendon if the percussion ensemble would like to accompany him at a performance for his wife’s graduation reception at the University of Cincinnati. Of course, his invitation was happily accepted.
In 1995, Dr. McLendon was recognized by Georgia Governor Zell Miller and the Georgia General Assembly for his teaching and musical accomplishments when his students from Moultrie, GA became the state’s first high school band program to perform in the Republic of Ireland. In 1998, and his students performed 16 concerts in 8 European countries. In 1999, an invitation from the mayor of Maastricht brought his students to perform in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. All of these performances were televised.
Some of the many nationally televised parades that Dr. McLendon’s groups have performed in include the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Parade, the 2006 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA, the 2001 and the 2008 Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC, and the Thanksgiving Day Parades in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He has presented percussion clinics at regional universities, state music conventions, and South America.
He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, The Society of Composers & Lyricists, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society in Music.
Dr. McLendon has earned the
B.S. in Education, Jacksonville State University (AL)
M.M. in Performance, University of Louisiana in Lafayette
Ed. Specialist in Music Education, Troy University (AL)
Ed. D. in Education Leadership, Argosy University in Sarasota, FL. (Part of his doctoral research was conducted in the industrial city of Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo, Russia which is located in southwestern Siberia.)
Dr. McLendon has performed in All-State and District honor bands during his high school years, as well as high school and university marching band, symphonic band, orchestra, a capella choir, brass choir, percussion ensembles, and faculty ensembles. He has also performed in competitive drum & bugle corps. His experiences also include university and community orchestras in operatic performances (Don Giovanni, Amahl and The Night Visitors, etc.) and in musicals (Oklahoma, The King & I, Grease, etc.). He also performed with several members of the Atlanta Symphony in a community performance of Handel’s Messiah.
Dr. McLendon is a published author and an Eagle Scout (1964).