For God and Country

Patrick Lenz

Music can transport people to other worlds. Patrick Lenz, B.M. ’17, writes music with the goal of leaving audiences excited for the next concert, which has led him to his position as Composer/Arranger for the Regional U.S. Air Force Bands. He is now one of only six to hold the title. 

Lenz serves as Airman First Class at Langley Air Force Base.

The audition process for this prestigious position began with a submission of a portfolio of original works and arrangements, a resumé and other materials. Lenz and a number of other applicants made the initial cut and were given arranging and transcription assignments to be completed within a two-week period. Lenz attributes his success in part to his learning and experiences in the Wayne Fisher Jazz Program under the direction of Alex Parker, senior lecturer in the Baylor School of Music. 

“The arranging assignment was for jazz ensemble, and the only reason I found success here is because of Mr. Alex Parker and his incredible passion and deep knowledge that I had the privilege to absorb for four years in The Wayne Fischer Jazz Program,” Lenz said.

Lenz also credits his mentors and Baylor professors with his achievements as they provided him with the skills necessary to succeed in his new job. 

“Dr. Eric Wilson and Dr. Michael Jacobson taught me what exquisite music making was like, and how to heartily pursue it. Mr. Parker opened my ears and mind in so many ways, I couldn’t begin to describe how much wisdom he imparted to us all, but anyone who studied with him knows what I mean,” Lenz said. “Finally, Dr. Scott McAllister was my first composition teacher. He encouraged me, pushed me, gave me loads of music to listen to, was never anything but wholeheartedly invested in helping me find my voice, and inspired me to work harder at every lesson. And perhaps most importantly, through his own music, showed and continues to show me the importance of being sincere to my own voice.”

Prior to his appointment as Composer/Arranger for the USAF Bands, the Houston Symphony commissioned Lenz’s piece, What it Takes to Thrive, as a part of their 2019 concert series, Refugee Resilience. Additionally, Lenz’s composition, Internal and External Martial Arts, was the winner of the 2018 International Woodwind Duo Symposium Composition Contest. 

His wind ensemble composition, Pillar of Fire, won the 2019 Charles B. Olson Composition Contest, the 2018 Red Note New Music Composition Competition, and the 2016 Baylor University Composition Contest. 

“Being awarded this position has turned a proverbial ‘question mark’ for what would happen after I finished school into an ‘exclamation point’! Not only am I able to put my time and talents to use, but it is for the great purpose of glorifying God with His gifts to me through serving our country,” Lenz said.