Point Source Audio president James Lamb has been tapped as the first commander of the newly-formed California State Military Reserve (CSMR) Band.
Lamb, a lifelong trumpeter, composer, and arranger, earned an appointment as a Warrant Officer in the State Military Reserve in August 2013. In addition to playing trumpet and writing arrangements, he will help coordinate support for California’s three National Guard Bands, based in Sacramento, Oxnard, and Los Alamitos.
The California National Guard Bands uphold a long tradition dating back 150 years of Guard bands providing music at military and civic events across the state. The bands perform a wide-ranging repertoire that requires high standards of musicianship.
“The CSMR Band role is to act as a reserve to the Guard Bands, filling out the ranks as needed or providing other necessary support functions,” Lamb says.
As president of Point Source Audio, Lamb was already well prepared for his leadership role as Band Master. In addition to the intensive year long course he completed at the Warrant Officer Candidate School, finishing as Honor Graduate for Academic Excellence,
Lamb has a longstanding connection in his life between music and military service. He joined the Navy after attending the School of Music at California State University at Northridge, and performed in Navy bands throughout the 1980s, becoming an arranger, performer, and band leader touring the US, Asia, and Australia.
After leaving the Navy in 1991, Lamb enjoyed a career in New York City as a professional trumpeter, music arranger, and conductor, which took him to performances in storied venues including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He then transitioned into work in the audio industry, first for Apogee Sound, a manufacturer of high-performance sound reinforcement loudspeaker systems, and later for Digigram, a maker of networking products for audio and video distribution for the broadcast market.
“Many of the skills that you learn from playing in bands translate well into business,” Lamb observes. “Early on you learn to listen to the people around you, to communicate, and to work well with a group. Business organizations require much the same skills.”
In 2004, Lamb founded Point Source Audio, where he continues to draw on his performer’s perspective. “My background shapes my view and understanding of the market,” he says. “It gives me an understanding of how important quality and dependability are to ensuring that a performer can give their best performance. The ultimate goal for me all along has been to put tools in the hands of performers that allow them to do their job as well as they can.”
By 2009, with Point Source Audio established, Lamb felt it was time to give back to the military music community that had been so crucial in shaping his life and career. He stepped in as staff arranger and associate conductor with the National Guard band in Sacramento. When the state decided to form a formal reserve band, one of only three in the nation, Lamb was tapped to become its first Band Master.
The band is currently looking for qualified individuals who are interested in serving and playing with the band. “There is satisfaction in serving the community and helping the National Guard,” Lamb says. “As with all CSMR duties, we’re an all-volunteer force, the CSMR Band offers a unique way for those interested in serving a chance to apply their musical skills in a way that benefits the state and their local communities.”
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