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Pacific is thrilled to announce the appointment of alumnus Vu Nguyen '00 as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands

Vu Nguyen, Director of BandsProfessor Vu Nguyen '00 comes to Pacific from the University of Connecticut, where he serves as Director of Wind Ensembles and Conducting. He conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches graduate instrumental conducting, and serves as Coordinator of Woodwinds at UConn.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Connecticut, he served as the Director of Bands at the University of Indianapolis, conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Washington University in St. Louis, and visiting conductor of the Indiana University Concert Band. He began his career teaching in the public schools of San Ramon, CA.

Dr. Nguyen has conducted throughout the western United States and in Japan. He maintains an active schedule as a clinician and has served as guest conductor with the United States Air Force Bands of the Golden West and Mid-America, as well as regional honor bands in northern California, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at state music educator conferences in California and Indiana, at the Midwest Clinic, and most recently at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference. His research interests focus on contemporary wind band literature, the music of Frank Zappa, and conducting pedagogy. His book chapter on composer Carter Pann was published in the fifth volume of A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis, and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band (Meredith Music Publications).

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Nguyen earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of the Pacific (’00), a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Oregon, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Washington.

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Nguyen continues to serve as an officer in the Air National Guard (ANG) where he is the commander/conductor of the ANG Band of the West Coast. In this position, he is responsible for all activities of this 40-member squadron, including participation in ceremonies, parades, concerts and other public performances. The Band of the West Coast is one of five ANG Bands in the United States and covers an eight-state area of responsibility that includes California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Dean Peter Witte shared, “Professor Nguyen is an exceptional addition to Pacific’s faculty, he not only understands Pacific’s story, he’s living it. A first generation college graduate, a Major in the Air Force, a gifted musician, conductor, and educator, Professor Nguyen is a citizen-artist. He is uniquely positioned to lead Pacific’s storied band program onward.”

 “I am elated for the opportunity to return home to the Pacific Conservatory community. I look forward to being part of a diverse, inclusive, and close-knit community committed to inspiring and educating the next generation of performers, scholars, and music educators as well as continuing the legacy and relevance of the Pacific band program well into the future.”

Pacific is grateful for the efforts of the search committee for this position: Ruth Brittin (search chair), James Haffner, Betsy Keithcart, Nicolasa Kuster, Nicolas Waldvogel, and student representative Bryan Mah (’21, Music Education). Additionally, Pacific is grateful for the work of Conservatory staff Yvette Khan and Melissa Riley, for facilitating the search logistics, and to faculty Michael Downing, Brad Hart, Steven Perdicaris, and Nico Peruzzi (’20, Master of Music Education) for facilitating ensemble logistics during the search.

Professor Nguyen will begin at Pacific on August 17, 2020.