2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference 2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference

Empowered Listening: Turning Accurate into Artistic

- MST
Theatre (Main)

Donald J. McKinney
University of Colorado Boulder, Director of Bands and Professor of Conducting

Donald J. McKinney is Director of Bands and Professor of Conducting at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducts the CU Wind Symphony, guides the graduate wind-conducting program, and oversees the university’s comprehensive band program. The CU Wind Symphony has collaborated with numerous artists & composers and most recently performed for the CBDNA Southwestern Division Conference on the CU Boulder campus. 

Prior to his 2013 appointment at CU Boulder, Dr. McKinney was the Director of Wind Ensembles and Associate Professor at Louisiana State University. While teaching at LSU the Wind Ensemble was invited to perform for the 2013 CBDNA National Conference in Greensboro, NC.

He has held additional faculty positions at Interlochen Arts Academy and Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music. From 2010-2015 he was the Coordinator of Bands for the renowned Interlochen Arts Camp. In this capacity he conducted the World Youth Wind Symphony and administered the summer band program. As a guest conductor he has appeared with the Dallas Winds, Concordia Santa Fe, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra, and numerous honor ensembles. He has also conducted concerts and clinics in Costa Rica and Canada. On numerous occasions, his performances with the Dallas Wind Symphony have been featured on National Public Radio Performance Today. Dr. McKinney has produced several recordings and was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Compendium Category.

Dr. McKinney holds degrees from Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Michigan. His primary conducting teachers include Michael Haithcock, Dr. Jack Stamp, Dr. Robert Cameron, and additional study with H. Robert Reynolds and Frank Battisti.



How can you and your students elevate your performances from accurate to artistic? This session seeks to answer this relevant and vital question by providing alternative strategies that will enhance your listening skills and empower your students to engage with the rehearsal process. We will explore new methods to create your personal aural image and heighten your expectation for student performance. By using examples from a variety of scores, we will examine how to quickly process and study the printed score to make informed decisions that will determine your performance expectation. Most importantly, we will explore ways to energize your rehearsals and empower your students’ listening. It will be our goal to turn ensemble rehearsals into exciting and creative spaces where students take risks, explore the unknown, and become collaborators in the artistic pursuit.