Franklin Piland (b. 1990) is a Native American musician. He earned his Masters in Music Composition with emphasis in wind band conducting from the University of Texas at Austin and his Bachelor of Music in Wind Performance with emphasis in music technology and music composition from Eastern New Mexico University. He currently serves as Chief of Staff with the Earth’s Call Foundation and the Orchestra Manager with the Earth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Steven Mercurio.
As a composer and arranger Franklin has been fortunate to have his works premiered and recorded by a variety of musicians, from young bands to collegiate and professional ensembles, and has collaborated on his music with some of the world’s most lauded human-beings. Arrangements of Franklin’s are widely-requested and numerous, and range from solos to symphonies. His choral and band works have drawn attention from legendary composers of our time, Eric Whitacre, Donald Grantham, Mark Camphouse, and David Holsinger being some of the most prominent. His band work Somnia Mortem was named a finalist in the ATSSB Composition Competition and has been championed beautifully by David Holsinger since 2013. He has been commissioned numerous works (20 since 2011 and counting) for a wide variety of ensembles, most recently Rose Made Man, a One-Act Opera, Hymn for band, and four works for the Pakistani/American fusion group Sangat! (Moon of the 15th, Sangat, Morning, and Sun of the 10th) currently on tour across the world. Franklin’s most recent projects include: an exciting collaboration with the Native American jazz group The Delbert Anderson Trio, recently featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, arranging three tunes from their first album for rapper, jazz trio, and wind band and a commission for Lauren Cook for soprano, string quintet, and percussion inspired by Lakota Death Rites.
As a lifelong educator and advocate of music education, Franklin has served as Director of Bands and Orchestras at East Austin College Prep in Austin, TX (grades 6-12). He continues to teach private lessons for music theory, composition, tuba, trombone, and euphonium. In 2016 he was Guest Lecturer and Composer in Residence at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi, Pakistan. He is sought after by both high school and collegiate ensembles alike in preparation of his music or for clinics and masterclasses, and always looks forward to collaborating with new musicians in the pursuit of educational, artistic, and humanitarian excellence. Mr. Piland believes teaching music is a community-based collaborative endeavor that encourages all members – teachers, parents, and students alike – to work together for the collective benefit of the ensemble in an effort to build something greater than the individual. This is at the forefront of all his teachings and is the motivator of his adamant belief in lifelong learning.
As a passionate conductor, he seizes any opportunity to collaborate with groups of all varieties. He has worked regularly with the Eastern New Mexico University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band and the Muleshoe High School Band. He has also been graced with guest appearances with the University of Texas Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony. He often conducted chamber ensembles for official recording sessions at the University of Texas at Austin. He recently held directorship positions with The Lonestar Brass Orchestra and the East Austin College Prep Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra.
As a performer he has played as the principal tubist for the Eastern New Mexico University Wind Symphony from 2008 to 2013; performed in a variety of wind ensembles in New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Ireland, and Pakistan; in addition to a number of solo and chamber recitals. In 2009 Franklin established The Greyhound Brass, an autonomous student-run brass quintet based in the Eastern New Mexico/West Texas area devoted to performing quality brass chamber music for the surrounding schools and communities. He has performed regularly with the University of Texas Middle Eastern Ensemble, the University of Texas Hispanic/Caribbean Ensemble, and the Cedar Park Winds. Franklin continues to perform with the international touring group Sangat!, the Lubbock Concert Band, and the Westwinds Brass Band.
As a professional audio and video recording engineer and producer, Franklin has had the immense fortune to work with and for some of the greatest musicians, organizations, and projects of this age. He has recorded such groups and soloists as the Miró Quartet, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Spinal Tap, the Cordova Quartet, Anton Nel, Hear No Evil, Time for Three, and the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra. Recording projects under his direction have been numerous and include the Austin Chamber Music Festival’s 2015 season, University Interscholastic League (UIL) concert and jazz festivals, and private sessions for up-and-coming composers and artists in the field. Recently he had the pleasure of collaborating on the official recording sessions for Donald Grantham’s War Prayer, Charles Hoag’s Concerto Marais de Cygnes, Andrew Boss’ Telestai, and the UT Wind Ensemble’s live performance of John Mackey’s Wine Dark Sea and the world premiere of Steven Bryant’s Concerto for Trombone featuring Joe Alessi. Franklin worked as an Audio/Video Recording Engineer with the University of Texas at Austin Recording Studio for four and a half years.
Franklin has had the great honor of membership in the National Band Association and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Fraternity for College Bandsmen, which he served as Chapter President for numerous years in both. Franklin is also an active member of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
Despite all of his numerous obligations and responsibilities, Franklin is a lover of tennis, painting, and Batman (though oddly enough he has yet to paint Batman playing tennis). Franklin currently resides in Lubbock, Texas with his husband Alex.