Jonathan Caldwell

Jonathan Caldwell

Wind Ensemble

Jonathan Caldwell is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Virginia Tech. Prior to this appointment, he held positions at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and in the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina.  In addition to the Wind Ensemble, he also teaches music education courses including rehearsal techniques and lab ensemble.

Contact Me

242U Squires Student Center

Areas of Expertise

  • Research/Production: Symphonic Wind Ensemble
  • Teaching Areas: Rehearsal Techniques, Lab Ensemble

Education & Training

  • D.M.A., University of Michigan
  • Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy, University of Michigan
  • M.M., University of Maryland, College Park
  • M.A.T., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.M., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What gives you the most satisfaction as a teacher?

When I hear a student start a sentence with "I didn't think I could do it, but..." If I hear those words, I know the student has discovered something new about themselves. Students always have more potential than they think they do. I hope that my classes open them up to new horizons and new ideas about what they are able to accomplish.

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

Kevin Durant, the All-Star small forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder, once wrote that his favorite quote was "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." There is a perception that talent is all you need to succeed as an athlete or an artist. While that may be true on some level, the reality is that if you work hard, you will be successful. Consistent hard work and effort are critical to success as an artist.

Name a play, film, or recording that has influenced you and that you would recommend to others.

The Mercury Records recordings produced in the1950s by the Eastman Wind Ensemble conducted by Fred Fennell were huge influences on me as a young musician. These recordings set a new standard for bands and wind ensembles and produced landmark versions of standard wind repertoire: the Holst Suites, Lincolnshire Posy, the Hindemith Symphony in B-flat, and more. They remain wonderful recordings while also reminding us how far wind ensembles have come over the last 60+ years. The video of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring with the Martha Graham Company is one of the most breathtaking artistic performances ever produced. Appalachian Spring, in my opinion, is the greatest piece of American music ever written, and to see it with Martha Graham's choreography as she dances the lead role is an unbelievable experience. It is a perfect example of how music, dance, drama, and visual art can come together to create a complete work of art. There is a video of the Graham Company's first reproduction of the ballet in 1959 available on YouTube in four parts (the piece was premiered in 1944). If you have never seen Appalachian Spring as a ballet, you should absolutely check this out.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • College Band Directors National Association
  • Conductors Guild
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Alpha Rho)
  • Tau Beta Sigma (Beta Eta, Honorary)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi

To make a gift to the School of Performing Arts visit the link below, enter your gift amount, and click on the blue “designate your own” button. Then type in School of Performing Arts.

Make a Gift
load indicator