Anthony Lai

Anthony Lai, M.M.

Lead Faculty, Director of Bands

Anthony Lai is a multi-faceted musician from metro Detroit. He is active in both the classical and popular music worlds as a composer, conductor, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter.

Four-times nominated as “Outstanding Classical Composer” in the Detroit Music Awards, his music draws upon a wide variety of influences from the clean orchestrations of Aaron Copland to the experimentation of the Beatles, or unexpected blends of contemporary folk and chamber music heard on The Goat Rodeo Sessions. As a composer and orchestrator, his work has been performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Vanguard Voices and Brass, the Flux Quartet of NYC, Sage Strings of Washington D.C., and the Boston New Music Initiative.

In addition to his work in classical and academic music, Lai is an experienced performer and orchestrator of jazz and popular music. In 2012, he recorded guitar and mandolin with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in Nashville for fellow HFC alumnus Sarah Sherrard's EP, Where I Come From. With Rick Goward and the Henry Ford Big Band, he performed at the 2015 Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy and at the 2009 Michigan Democratic Party’s inaugural ball for President Obama. He worked with Luis Resto to orchestrate Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” for the DSO, and in 2016, scored string arrangements for American Idol contestant and runner-up Jena Irene Asciutto.

Anthony Lai holds an M.M. in conducting and a B.M. in composition from Wayne State University. You can listen to his latest album Take Me With You anywhere you stream or download music. More info can be found at