Richard Birkemeier

Richard Birkemeier

Professor Emeritus, Brass Chamber Music


Dr. Richard Birkemeier is Professor Emeritus of music at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. His teaching duties include applied trumpet, brass ensembles, and music history with a specialization in the 19th century Wind Band. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, University of Memphis and Northwestern University, Dr. Birkemeier has held faculty positions at Lakeland College, Northern Illinois University and Ohio Wesleyan University before coming to CSULB in 1985.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Birkemeier has served as Associate Dean of the College of the Arts, Vice-Chair of the Music Department, and Director of the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz. He is a professional trumpeter and conductor and has performed with the Columbus Symphony, Rockford Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and the Golden State British Brass Band, among many others. He also served as host and Conference Artist Committee Chair for the 2016 International Trumpet Guild conference held in Anaheim, CA.

Since 1988, Dr. Birkemeier has been Musical Director of The Americus Brass Band, a Los Angeles-based professional brass ensemble that recreates 19th and early 20th century American brass bands performing on original period instruments. He has led several national concert tours with the group, produced three critically acclaimed CDs, conducted the group at the Hollywood Bowl, and made more than a dozen TV and movie appearances including Glory, Gettysburg, Geronimo: An American Legend, and Hidalgo. The group is currently recreating of the Pathé Recordings of James Reese Europe’s Harlem Hellfighters Band from World War I. The new CD will be released in the Spring of 2019 for the 100th anniversary of these historic early jazz records.