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Alan Wagner

Associate Director for Academic Affairs

Alan Wagner joined the Southern Methodist University faculty in 1998. He holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in music education and conducting from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in music education from Florida State University. Further studies in conducting have been completed with Frank Battisti, James Arrowood, Craig Kirchhoff, Elizabeth Green, Larry Rachleff and Carl St. Clair. He taught instrumental music and jazz studies in the public schools of Ohio, New York and Florida for fourteen years and at Emory University prior to his current appointment.

Active as a guest conductor and clinician/consultant for music education, he has presented sessions for the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Midwest Clinic, and for state conferences in Ohio, Georgia, and Texas. His research has been presented internationally in Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. He has also performed on bass clarinet and percussion with Opera Sacra (Buffalo, N.Y.), Erie County Wind Ensemble (Buffalo, N.Y.), and Pick of the Crop Dance/Music Ensemble (Buffalo, N.Y.). In Dallas, he directed the Lovers Lane Jazz Band, an ensemble exploring “sacred jazz,” and hosted the first sacred jazz festival in 2007. His book, A Bio-Bibliography of Composer Warren Benson, was published in 2005 and received the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Scholarship. Dr. Wagner’s other research interests include wind ensemble repertoire, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, sacred jazz, rhythm reading, classroom management, jazz pedagogy, music to accompany silent film, and ballet music. He has collaborated with the José Limón Dance Company and the Martha Graham Center on ballet projects. During his time at SMU, Dr. Wagner founded the Meadows Jazz Orchestra and Meadows Jazz Vocal, has taught both graduate and undergraduate music education courses, has served as associate conductor of the Meadows Wind Ensemble, and has conducted pit orchestras for silent film and ballets. He has also served in various administrative positions since 2003 and is currently the Associate Director for Academic Affairs.


Ph.D. in Music Education, Florida State University; M.M. in Conducting, Ohio University; B.M. in Music Education, Ohio University


Warren Benson’s Music, Jazz-Influenced Wind Repertoire, Sacred Jazz, Ballet Music for Winds, Silent Film Music, Jazz Pedagogy, Rhythm Reading, Classroom Management

Professional Experience

Middle School and High School Band Director (Concert Bands, Marching Bands, Jazz Ensembles, Pit Orchestras); Choral and Orchestral Conducting; Marching Band Drill Design; Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Music Education, and Administration at the University Level; Farming, Sailing, and Woodworking.


Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Vocal, Conducting, and all Instrumental Music Education Courses


A Bio-Bibliography of Composer Warren Benson


Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, Jennings Scholar, Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Scholarship

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



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