kirkpromo1Assistant Professor of Music

Director of Bands

D.M.A. (Composition): Arizona State University

Performance Certificate (Saxophone): Northwestern University

M.M. (Conducting): University of Denver

M.M. (Composition): Bowling Green State University

M.M. (Saxophone Performance): Bowling Green State University

B.S. (Saxophone and English Literature) Indiana University

Courses Taught:

Concert Band

Contemporary Music Ensemble

FYS 177: The Year 1912-1913 in Music, Art, and Literature

Introduction to Composition

20th Century Harmonic Practice


Phone: (610) 330-5359




Kirk O’Riordan is an active composer, conductor, saxophonist, and teacher. His music has been performed in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, and Russia; and in 23 of the fifty United States. Performances of his works have been featured at the Ravenna Festival (Italy), the Western Illinois New Music Festival, the 2008 Eugene Rousseau Birthday Celebration, national and regional conferences of the Society of Composers, Inc. and the College Music Society; and in concert by such performers as the Eaken Piano Trio, Orchestra Bruno Maderna (Italy), the Arizona State University Chamber Winds and Symphony Orchestra, the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Cleveland State University Orchestra, the University of Colorado Chamber Wind Ensemble, the University of Delaware University Singers, the Williamsport Chamber Chorus and Orchestra, the Susquehanna University Orchestra and Chamber Singers, Kenneth Tse, Jeffrey Lyman, Marco Albonetti, Russell Peterson, Emily Bullock, Andrew Rammon, Reuben Councill, John Perrine, and Holly Roadfeldt-O’Riordan.

Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards as both a composer and a performer, including annual ASCAPlus awards, a Composer’s Assistance Program grant from the American Music Center, the 2001 Arizona State University Composition Competition, the 2000 Contemporary Music Society competition, and an ERM-Media Masterworks Prize. In addition, his Cadenza for Piano Trio was one of two works selected by audience members at the CMS Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Super-regional Conference for performance at the 2008 CMS National Conference.

Kirk’s music has been broadcast on KBAQ, WQSU, and WVIA radio. HisĀ Cathedral for Alto Saxophone and Organ appears on a recording by Frederick Hemke and Douglass Cleveland (EnF Records), andĀ River Lights will appear on Masterworks of the New Era vol. 15 (to be released in 2009 on ERM-Media). He has recently received commissions from the EastWind Ensemble, saxophonist Farrell Vernon, flutist Reuben Councill, the University of Delaware University Singers, and the Grammy-nominated Eaken Piano Trio. In the 2009-10 season, Kirk’s music will be heard in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, and North Dakota.

In August, 2009 Dr. O’Riordan joined the faculty of Lafayette College where he serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands. In addition, he has served on the faculties of Bucknell University and Susquehanna University where he has taught music theory, composition, music appreciation, and (English) writing. He has also served on the faculties of Lock Haven University, Colorado Christian University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and Paradise Valley Community College. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University (the first recipient of that degree from ASU); the Certificate of Performance in Saxophone from Northwestern University; and three Master of Music degrees (composition, saxophone performance, and conducting).

His academic pursuits have ranged from writings on musical aesthetics to works in musical analysis and aural skills pedagogy. Several of his writings were developed from essays presented on his radio program, Face the Music, which aired from 2007-2008 on WQSU-FM. His current scholarly work focuses on interdisciplinarity: he presented On Teaching Composition: Similarities, Differences, and Aesthetics of Teaching Music and Prose at regional and national conferences of the College Music Society, and continues an active interest in contemporaneous art works which span multiple disciplines, and developed a seminar course on art and music of the year 1912-13 for Lafayette College.

Kirk has studied composition with Rodney Rogers, Randall Shinn, James De Mars, Glenn Hackbarth, Jay Alan Yim, Burton Beerman, Marilyn Shrude, and Donald M.Wilson. He has studied saxophone with Frederick L. Hemke, John Sampen, Eugene Rousseau, and Iwan Roth.