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Panhandle PBS

60 Seconds On Leadership with Larry Lang

We chat with Amarillo Symphony Executive Director Larry Lang about leadership.

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In his 30+ year career, Amarillo Symphony Director Larry Lang has had plenty of opportunities to learn about strong leadership. 

“I’ve been really fortunate, I’ve had a terrific career,” Lang said. “I started as a university professor teaching music. Then, I joined the United States Air Force and had a terrific 30-year career leading Air Force bands and orchestras, choirs and jazz bands, all sorts of music all over the world, ending with a tenure in the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., where I got to work with presidents, senators and congressmen, leaders from all over the world and military.”

Lang’s career has taken him to many places, and he’s excited to bring his unique skillset to the Amarillo Symphony at such an important time for the organization.

“We’re just about to celebrate our hundredth anniversary, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the symphony and a part of this arts community,” he said. “We’re excited about our upcoming season, we have a new conductor and music director, George Jackson, who has just joined us and he’s bringing a new energy that’s very exciting as well. We have a lot of neat plans, and we’re looking forward to sharing that with everybody.” 

Through everything the Amarillo Symphony does, from a season full of concerts to music education outreach programs that serve thousands of students, Lang aims to be an advocate and spokesman for the group.

“I believe in their mission. I believe in the excitement and beauty and art and education that we bring not only to our audiences, but to students throughout the Texas Panhandle,” he said.

At the end of the day, Lang believes that a key factor in being a good leader is to support the team you work with.

“What you learn early on, I think, in a career as a leader, is not to make it all about you, but to make it about the people you serve with, the people you work with,” Lang said. “It’s the same thing here. It’s a great team, the symphony is very strong, it’s very professional, the staff is wonderful. And so, all I need to do is encourage them, build them up, surround them with the things that they need and want, and we’ll make good progress together.”

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