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Dr. Gary SousaGary Sousa

Professor of Conducting
Hired: 1997

University of Tennessee
227 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
1741 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN  37996-2600
Phone: 865-974-7520
UT Band website

Gary Sousa is one of the most respected wind band conductors in the United States.  An elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, Sousa has conducted throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.  His ensembles have performed for national conferences of the American Bandmasters Association and College Band Directors National Association, state conferences of the Texas Music Educators Association and Tennessee Music Education Association, and in such celebrated concert venues as Carnegie Hall and Houston's Wortham Center.

Under Sousa's leadership, concert ensembles have received critical acclaim from both composers and conductors alike for excellence in performance, interpretation, and creative programming.  In particular, his work has been heralded by Pulitzer Prize composers Michael Colgrass, David Del Tredici, and Karel Husa, and renowned composers Eric Ewazen, Donald Grantham, John Mackey, Scott McAllister, Cindy McTee, Ron Nelson, Stephen Paulus, Fisher Tull, Joseph Turrin, Dan Welcher, and Dana Wilson for outstanding preparation, performance, and interpretation of their music.

An advocate for the creation and performance of new music, Sousa has actively participated in the commissioning of over forty new works for the wind band.  He has chaired the American Bandmasters Association/University of Florida Band Commissioning Committee, the Southeastern Conference Band Directors Commissioning Committee, and the College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Committee.

Professor Sousa holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Rhode Island, and both his master's and doctorate from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he studied with Craig Kirchhoff.  He taught both middle school and high school band in Weston, Connecticut (1976-1980), was Associate Director of Bands at Baylor University (1982-1986), Director of Bands at Sam Houston State University (1988-1997) and Director of Bands at the University of Tennessee (1997-2014).

As the senior member of the band faculty at Tennessee, Sousa conducts the University of Tennessee Wind Ensemble, teaches courses in conducting, history, and repertoire, and directs all aspects of the graduate program in Wind Conducting.

  • Ph.D. in Music Education/Conducting – Ohio State University (1988)
  • M.A. in Music Education/Conducting – Ohio State University (1982)
  • B.M. in Music Education – University of Rhode Island (1976)

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