Douglas Akey began his musical training in the public schools of Elmhurst, Ill. He went on to attend Arizona State University on a performance scholarship, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music (1979) and a Master of Music in Solo Performance (1985). He also studied brass performance at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in Alberta, Canada. He has studied horn with Carroll Simmons, Grant Park Orchestra (Chicago); William Strickland, free-lance hornist (New York); Ralph Lockwood, ASU; and Roland Pandolfi, Principal Horn, St. Louis Symphony.
Since 1979, he has been teaching junior high school band in the Phoenix area. His school ensembles have been invited to perform at numerous education conferences, including the 1994 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and the 1998 Music Educators National Conference. He is often called upon to serve as a clinician, having di¬rected many junior high and high school honor bands throughout the country as well as presenting sessions for music educators in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio and Wyoming.
In 1985, Akey received the Stanbury Award of the American School Band Directors Association as the outstanding young junior high school band director in the United States. Since that time, he has become recognized as an accomplished composer of music for winds and percussion. His works appear on dozens of state contest lists and are performed by bands throughout North America, Europe, Australia and the Far East. In 1996, he was honored as the National Federation of Secondary Schools Music Educator of the Year for Section 7 (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah). He has composed 32 commissions for bands throughout the U.S. and has 45 published works for band.
Akey is an active performer, having played with the Del Sol and Arizona Brass Quintets, as well as the Phoenix and Tucson Symphony orchestras. He was a member of the Tempe Symphony Orchestra horn section for more than 30 years, most of those serving as principal horn. In addition to his three decades on the podium, he has worked in the studios of Los Angeles as both a conductor and producer. He is now in his second season as Music Director of the Tempe Symphony Orchestra.