Colonel (ret) Larry H. Lang is a recognized conductor, music executive, producer, and educator with over 40 years’ success leading professional and academic music organizations. During his distinguished military career, Colonel Lang led five Air Force bands, culminating as Commander and Conductor of the United States Air Force’s premier musical organization in Washington, DC, from 2012 to 2019. He led events on the world stage for five U.S. Presidents, numerous foreign dignitaries, and Congressional and Department of Defense officials. He served as a key advisor to Air Force senior leaders on the use of music to demonstrate excellence and build positive community and diplomatic relations around the globe.
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Lang is a graduate of New Mexico State University, where he received bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance (Trombone) and Music Education in 1980. He earned his Master of Music Education degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1982 and joined the faculty there the same year. He went on to serve as the Assistant Director of Bands at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, from 1983 to 1989, where he led the 200-member Cowboy Marching Band and Symphonic Band and created and administered the McNeese Summer Music Camp. In 1990, he was offered a Doctoral Fellowship in Conducting from Florida State University and simultaneously won the audition to become an Air Force bandleader. He chose to pursue a professional music career in the military, ultimately achieving the pinnacle conducting position in the United States Air Force.
Colonel Lang has produced and performed in multiple Emmy and Telly Award-winning productions for NBC, PBS, and many other broadcast organizations. Known for his innovation, he created several online music videos, including the Air Force Band’s popular holiday “flashmobs” that became a viral sensation and reached over 75 million viewers worldwide. He has also been the Executive Producer for over 50 recordings in almost every music genre, released on several major labels and widely distributed on commercial streaming services.
In 2005, he was honored with membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the professional association of master conductors and composers, considered the highest honor achievable by an American bandsman. His musical leadership has been recognized three times by The John Philip Sousa Foundation with a Colonel George S. Howard Citation Award for Musical Excellence, the premier international award for military concert bands and conductors. Col. Lang is in high demand as a conductor-clinician, leading music ensembles around the globe, and has been a clinician for the New England Conservatory of Music Conductor’s Forum, Shenandoah Conservatory Instrumental Conducting Symposium, the University of Oklahoma Conducting and Teaching Workshop, and the National Band Association’s Young Conductors and Composers Mentor Project.
Colonel Lang received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given to a select group of individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration. The Medal has been officially recognized by Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards and is annually memorialized in the Congressional Record.
Colonel Lang lives in Arizona with his wife of 40 years, Donna Lang, and serves as the Executive Director of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.