Rob McWilliams, Chair of Music Department and Director of Bands
Dr. Rob McWilliams, an internationally accomplished musician, conductor, and educator, was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. A United States resident since 1991, Dr. McWilliams holds a Ph. D. in Music from the University of Minnesota, a Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Melbourne. While resident in Australia, Dr. McWilliams established a brand new instrumental program recognized throughout the country for its excellence at Eltham College, an independent K-12 school in Melbourne. He also served on the faculty of the University of Melbourne Institute of Education where he taught and coordinated courses in brass, jazz, and instrumental music pedagogy and conducted the Wind Symphony, Brass Choir, and Jazz Big Band.
An experienced and popular guest conductor and musician, Dr. McWilliams has traveled and worked extensively with professional and amateur student and adult groups. As a performing artist on trumpet and keyboard he has extensive performing experience with a number of domestic and international symphonic and jazz ensembles. He has served as guest conductor and clinician in Alabama, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Utah where he has worked with ensembles at the national, state, and regional levels. Internationally, Dr. McWilliams has conducted and presented at major music conferences in Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Europe, China, and all states of Australia. Dr. McWilliams has also served as a regular conductor for the Australian Wind Orchestra from its inception in 1990 including performances at conferences of the World Association of Symphonic Bands & Ensembles and a recording issued on the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra label.
Dr. McWilliams is currently the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, an advanced adult group he helped establish in 2004 comprising the best professional and semi-professional players in the greater Fox Valley region of Wisconsin. The WSW has performed at prestigious events such as the Green Lake Music Festival and the Wisconsin Music Educators Association annual conference.
Dr. McWilliams has presented research and workshops at state and national conferences of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association, the Australian Society of Music Educators, and in the USA at the Music Educators National Conference, the Southeastern Music Education Symposium, and the Wisconsin Music Educators Association. He has also served as an invited conducting clinician for the Singapore Ministry of Education. Dr. McWilliams has been published in a number of professional publications including the Journal of Band Research and Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and is a published composer with Alfred's Music.
Currently serving as Department of Music Chairperson, Dr. McWilliams is a Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education. In addition to administrative responsibilities, Dr. McWilliams conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in instrumental music education, conducting, and jazz.