The Lee University School of Music honored the late Dr. Brandon Wood as the first recipient of its distinguished alumni award. The award was presented by Chair of Musicianship Studies Dr. Phillip Thomas.
“We honor Brandon Wood because of his outstanding accomplishments and the ways in which he represented the Lee University School of Music as the kind of alumnus we highly prize,” said Dr. Thomas. “Wood was an outstanding professional in his chosen field who determined to use his musical gifts to share the love of Christ.”
Dr. Wood appeared in Lee’s annual honor recital each of his four years as a student, was a key member of the Percussion Ensemble, and served as president of the Symphonic Band.
“From the time Brandon arrived at Lee as a student, he immediately took his place as a leader among his peers,” Dr. Thomas said.
After graduating from Lee, Dr. Wood studied at Florida State University, where he was the principal percussionist with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and played with the duet, North Star Percussion, which he co-founded. Over the years, Dr. Wood also played with The King’s Brass, an ensemble that provided innovative worship through sacred brass music.
In 2012, Dr. Wood completed his doctorate in percussion performance at the University of Kentucky. While still in that program, Dr. Wood began commuting two days a week to teach at Lee. According to Dr. Thomas, “he was an effective studio and classroom teacher, who received high marks from his students.”
On Oct. 28, 2012, at the age of 28, Dr. Wood was the victim of a fatal single-car accident as he returned home to Lexington.
At the time of his passing, Lee President Dr. Paul Conn said the following, “Since he first arrived on campus as a student, Brandon has been one of those students who was a leader, in every sense of the word, among his fellow band students and music majors. His death is a shocking and tragic loss, and he will be greatly missed by everyone in the School of Music and his many friends elsewhere.”
Dr. Thomas presented the award to Kellie Wood, Brandon’s widow, during the departmental breakfast at homecoming this fall.