When approaching Col. L. Bryan Shelburne (Ret.), one couldn't possibly be aware that he spent the better part of 20 years serving as either associate director or director of the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own."
On Sunday, residents will have the opportunity to see the man who once directed the U.S. Army Chorus in front of guests of honor Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Shelburne will serve as guest conductor of the Brazil Concert Band Sunday at Forest Park. Concert time is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Even though Shelburne retired from his position of conductor of the U.S. Army Band in 2000, he said directing musicians is in his blood and it's something that can be difficult to walk away from.
"It keeps me alive, to still conduct," Shelburne said. "Conducting is important."
He added he didn't like sitting around at home with nothing to do.
"I enjoy people," he said.
Sunday will mark the second consecutive year Shelburne has conducted the Brazil Concert Band. He guest conducted with BCB last summer as well and offered to return this year.
Brazil Concert Band Director Matt Huber said he was introduced to Shelburne by his son John.
"I found him to be a sensational conductor and musicologist," Huber said. "I has asked him about conducting (BCB) and he said, 'All you have to do is ask.' We've become very good friends."
Shelburne took control of the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own," in 1990 and was the sixth appointee in the position since the band's formation in 1922.
He had previously served as executive officer and associate director of the Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, which he was quite fond of.
"We played everywhere," Shelburne said of the band in 1976. "That was a time when people were hungry to be proud again. There was a real explosion of patriotism."
Shelburne said he also directed the U.S. Army Chorus as well. In fact, his first "job" was conducting the chorus in front of the Reagans as well as Tip O'Neill and Howard Baker.
"It sort of blew my mind," Shelburne said.
Shelburne grew up in Texas and was the oldest of eight children.
"Hot, dry, tumbleweeds, mesquite trees and rattlesnakes," Shelburne said of his childhood home. "Still, when I go back, there's a sense of home."
He said he grew up in "modest means," in a small community, much like Brazil. When he decided he wanted to join band, he said his parents -- who did not have enough money to purchase an instrument for him -- "bartered" around the neighborhood for enough money to buy their son a trombone.
Shelburne left the post of conductor of the U.S. Army Band in 2000 and was presented with the Distinguished Service Metal. Even though he has officially retired from the military, Shelburne also serves as Director, Special Resources/Owner of Global Educational Tours.
"I travel quite a bit," he said.
He has a Bachelor of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the military, Shelburne served as a high school band director in Houston.
On Sunday, Shelburne will lead the band in "Second Suite in F," by Holst, "The King And I," arranged by Bennett, "The British Eighth," by Elliott, "Duty, Honor, Country," By Walters (narrated by Jim Chesterson), "Hands Across The Sea," and "The Stars and Stripes Forever," both by Sousa.
"This is a great honor," Huber said. "It's welcoming back a friend and that's the most important thing of all."
"This is like coming home," Shelburne added.