Brian K. Sparks, 71, formerly of Garden Grove, CA and a recent resident of Washington, passed away at 1:49 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
He was born November 29, 1948 in Carmel, CA to the late Dr. Frances H. and Georgia C. Young Sparks. He is survived by his son, Douglas B. Sparks, (Danielle) and granddaughter, McKenna L. Sparks, as well as a large extended family and many dear, lifelong friends.
Brian was a United States Army and Coast Guard veteran, serving as former lead saxophone in the U.S. Coast Guard band before retiring. Brian was a musician of international distinction whose venues included the American Academy in Rome, the Manoel Theatre in Valletta, Malta, the Instituto de Bellas Artes in Morellia, Mexico and Octobersky Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia. He performed with the New York Pops, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the Lakewood Philharmonic, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Brian was the Director of the Hartford Festival Orchestra and was also the conductor of Wind Ensembles at Chapman University and Director of Bands and Orchestras at East Los Angeles College. A native of California, Brian was on the faculty of the University of California at Irvine, Chapman University, Loma Linda University and East Los Angeles College, and later the music faculty at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island. Brian earned his Doctor of Music degree in conducting at the University of Connecticut and earned a master’s in music in Wind Ensemble Conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition to his passion for music and performing, Brian loved to travel, spend time in the company of entertaining individuals and loved classic cars.
Per Brian’s wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. There will be no services.
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