Another legendary musician who believed in the power of music to transform lives and heal divisions, Bruce Morton Wright (1946-2011) graduated from Strong Vincent High School, earned his B.A. in Music from Gannon University and Mercyhurst College in 1969. His education continued at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, and then he returned to Gannon where he earned achieved a Master of Public Administration.
As Music Director and Instructor of Fine Arts at Gannon, Bruce served as the beloved Director and Conductor of the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the successor to the Erie Bayfront Orchestra which he founded in 1978. He also founded and directed the Erie Opera Theatre in 1983. Bruce Morton Wright’s mission was to introduce classical music and enrich the quality of life for the people of this community by providing both orchestra and opera performances free of charge. He also directed Gannon’s Concert Band, the Lake Erie Ballet Orchestra and the Bemus Bay Pops. Before his return to Erie, Mr. Wright had served as the Assistant Conductor of the Vienna Conservatory of Music, the Assistant Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, and the Director of the Music Academy of Tunja, Colombia. He also enjoyed guest conducting throughout his career in both the United States and Europe.