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Prof. Rob McWilliams

Prof. Rob McWilliams Ph.D., M.Mus., B.Mus.Ed.

Prof. Rob McWilliams, an internationally accomplished musician, conductor, and educator, was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia.  A United States resident from 1991 to 2014, Prof. McWilliams holds a Ph. D. in Music/Music Education 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.  Prior to his time in the USA, Prof. McWilliams established a brand new instrumental program recognised 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.  In the USA Dr. McWilliams served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from 1996 to 2014 where he also served as Head of the Music Department from 2011.  In his tenure there Prof. McWilliams conducted most of the university’s symphonic and jazz ensembles, including the University Orchestra, and held primary responsibility for the University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. He also taught courses in instrumental music education, conducting, and jazz.

An experienced and popular guest conductor and musician, Prof. McWilliams has traveled and worked extensively with  groups at all levels.  In the USA he has worked with ensembles at the national, state, and regional levels and served as guest conductor and clinician in Alabama, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Utah.  Internationally, Prof. McWilliams has conducted and presented at major music conferences in Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Europe, China, and all states of Australia.  Prof. McWilliams also served as a regular conductor with the Australian Wind Orchestra from its inception in 1990 including performances at the Japan Band Clinic and conferences of the World Association of Symphonic Bands & Ensembles in Manchester, England and Hamamatsu, Japan.  He was a member of the faculties for the Bonyi International Youth Music Festival in Brisbane in 2007 and the Tutti International Festival in Beijing, China in 2011 and 2013.  While in the USA Prof. McWilliams served as the founding Artistic Director and Conductor for the Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, an advanced adult group comprising the best professional and semi-professional players in the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin.  In addition to ensemble direction, he has extensive professional performing experience on trumpet and keyboard with a number of symphonic, brass, and jazz ensembles.

Prof. 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.  Prof. McWilliams has been published in a number of professional publications including the Journal of Band Research, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and is a published composer/arranger with Alfred's Music.  In early 2015 he relocated to Brisbane, and is currently working for Yamaha Music Australia as an Educational Outreach Clinician as well as freelancing as a musician, educator, conductor, adjudicator, and composer/arranger.