MICHAEL VOTTA, JR. has been hailed by critics as “a conductor with the drive and ability to fully relay artistic thoughts” and praised for his “interpretations of definition, precision and most importantly, unmitigated joy.” Ensembles under his direction have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe and Asia for their “exceptional spirit, verve and precision,” their “sterling examples of innovative programming” and “the kind of artistry that is often thought to be the exclusive purview of top symphonic ensembles.”
He currently serves as Director of Bands at the University of Maryland where he holds the rank of Professor. Under his leadership, the UM Wind Orchestra has been invited to perform at the international conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles as well as national and regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association. UMWO has also performed with major artists such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and the Imani Winds. UMWO has commissioned and premiered numerous works by composers such as Andre Previn, Steven Mackey, Alvin Singleton, and James Syler.
Votta has taught conducting seminars in the US, Israel and Canada, and has guest conducted and lectured throughout the world with organizations including the Beijing Wind Orchestra, the Prague Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the National Arts Camp at Interlochen, the Midwest Clinic and the Conductors Guild.
His performances have been heard in broadcasts throughout the US, on Austrian National Radio (ÖRF), and Southwest German Television, and have been released internationally on the Primavera label. Numerous major composers including George Crumb, Christopher Rouse, Louis Andriessen, Karel Husa, Olly Wilson, Barbara Kolb, and Warren Benson have praised his performances of their works.
His arrangements and editions for winds have been performed and recorded by university and professional wind ensembles in the US, Europe and Japan. He is also the author and editor of books and articles on wind literature and conducting.
He is currently the President of the Eastern Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and is President-Elect of the Big Ten Band Directors Association. He previously served as Editor of the CBDNA Journal, as a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music (IGEB), and on the board of the Conductors Guild.
Before his appointment at Maryland, Votta held conducting positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, Ithaca College, the University of South Florida, Miami University (Ohio) and Hope College.
Votta holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degree from the Eastman School of Music where he served as Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and studied with Donald Hunsberger. A native of Michigan, Votta received his undergraduate training and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, where he studied with H. Robert Reynolds.
As a clarinetist, Votta has performed as a soloist throughout the US and Europe. His solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Partridge and Albany labels.
associate director of bands and director of athletic bands
The University of Maryland School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrea E. Brown as the new associate director of bands and director of athletic bands. Brown will become the first female director of athletic bands in the university's history and only the second female director of a marching band in the Big Ten Conference.
Brown comes to the University of Maryland (UMD) from the University of Michigan, where she served as assistant director of bands and associate director of the Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands. She received her doctorate in instrumental conducting from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and has held faculty positions at Georgia Tech and Austin Peay State University, in addition to teaching in the public schools.
Brown has served as guest conductor and clinician throughout the world and has numerous publications and conference presentations to her name, including several related to an interdisciplinary research project she has led to create
interim assistant director of bands and assistant director of athletic bands
DAVID WACYK has completed coursework toward a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting at the University of Maryland where he serves as Assistant Conductor with the UMD Wind Orchestra and UMD Wind Ensemble. In this capacity he also serves as personnel manager for the wind program. Prior to this appointment, David served as Director of Bands at North Harford High School, where he directed instrumental ensembles including concert band, chamber winds, marching band, and jazz ensemble, and taught courses in music theory.
In 2017 David accepted an invitation to present a poster session at the CBDNA National Conference titled "Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments: Toward a New Understanding of Pitch Structure. In 2014 he was invited by the MMEA (Maryland Music Educators Association) to present a performance plus session entitled “Chamber Ensembles: Creating Better Musicians for the Greater Good”. In 2012 David was awarded second place for the American Prize in conducting. From 2009-2015 David was the founding conductor of the Upper Chesapeake Wind Ensemble, a community-based flexible instrumentation group comprised of professional and amateur musicians in northern Maryland.
David holds a Master of Music degree in Conducting from University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Western Michigan University. His primary conducting teachers are Michael Votta, Jim Ross, Jose-Luis Novo, and he has additionally studied with Michael Haithcock, Tim Reynish, Charles Peltz, and Frank Battisti. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the Maryland region. David resides in Columbia, MD with his wife Laurel, and son Roger.
graduate assistant conductor
JOSEPH P. SCOTT will be graduating this spring with a Master of Music in Wind Conducting, studying under Dr. Michael Votta. Before coming to the University of Maryland, Joseph was the Director of Instrumental Music at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, California, where he was responsible for conducting the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Marching Band, as well as instructing Advanced Placement Music Theory.
Joseph earned his B.M. in Music Education from the University of Oregon where he studied with Dr. Wayne Bennett and Robert Ponto. While at the University of Oregon, Joseph was a founding member of the university’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. After graduating, he returned to San Francisco where he received his teaching credential from San Francisco State University. While at SFSU, Joseph was on staff at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts where he conducted the Concert Band and taught Music Theory and Survey classes. Joseph is a member of the College Band Directors National Association as well as the National Association for Music Education and served for three years as a board member of the California Music Educators Association-Bay Section. This spring Joseph was selected as a semi-finalist for the American Prize in wind conducting. Joseph was selected as a tier one conductor for the 2017 Frederick Fennell Memorial Conducting Masterclass at the Eastman School of Music where he worked with Mark Scatterday, Donald Hunsberger, and Craig Kirchhoff. Other conducting teachers include James Ross, Michael Haithcock, Courtney Snyder, and Harvey Benstein.
While in the Bay Area, Joseph kept an active schedule playing the clarinet, performing with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Chabot Wind Symphony, Golden Gate Park Band, and the San Francisco Wind Ensemble, which performed at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in 2015 and recorded its inaugural CD at Skywalker Ranch in 2014. Joseph looks forward to returning to the University of Maryland in the fall, when he will begin coursework towards a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.