Byron C. Mayes .Edu / Biography

The Man...

Louisiana-born composer Byron Christopher Mayes began his formal music training at the age of 10 on a ukelele given to him by his favorite aunt and culminated that training with studies in trombone and composition at Indiana University and the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. Along the way he studied piano and mandolin, sang in church youth choir, did time in high school and college marching bands, played euphonium on the National Ellipse at TubaChristmas, performed professionally in orchestras and big bands, froze his arse caroling outdoors in period garb, and listened actively to music in all genres.

With so much music going in, eventually something had to come out.

...and His Music

Mayes’ output includes symphonies, big band works, monologues with music, vocal and choral works, chamber music, marches, and most other Western musical forms. His works draw heavily on all aspects of his Southern African-American heritage and Northeastern urban adult experience. Mayes’ musical style, encompassing the traditional and the adventurous, also often reflects his sense of humor.

Mayes has received honors from the Virginia United Methodist Church for his choral-orchestral Hymn Anthem: A Thousand Tongues, and he received an honorable mention in the 1992 National Association of Composers, USA Young Composers’ Competition for his Patrick Nagel Suite for string quartet and vibraphone.