Wesley J. Broadnax is in his first year as Assistant Professor of Music & Director of Bands at Drexel University. His duties include conducting the Concert Band, Chamber Winds, and the Pep Band. Prior to Drexel, Dr. Broadnax served as Director of Bands/Instrumental Music Education on the faculties of the University of Delaware, California State University East Bay, and Michigan State University.
A native of Texas, Dr. Broadnax received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Stephen F. Austin State University and taught for several years in the Texas Public Schools. He received both the master’s and doctoral degrees in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University. While at Michigan State University, he was a regular performer on bass trombone and euphonium, where he was a member of the West Shore Symphony, Greater Lansing Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, and Midland Symphony, in addition to various chamber ensembles that included both the West Shore Symphony Brass Trio and Capitol Brass Quartet in Lansing. In California, he performed as bass trombonist with the Silicon Valley Symphony and Mission Chamber Orchestra. His conducting teachers include John L. Whitwell and Frank L. Battisti; his bass trombone/euphonium teachers have included Nathaniel Brickens, Curtis R. Olson, Philip Sinder, J. Mark Thompson, and William Young.
Dr. Broadnax maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. He has conducted several All-State and honor bands both nationally and internationally, having most recently conducted throughout Central Italy in August 2012 (Bandas di Norcia e Bevagna), and has presented resident conducting seminars at Michigan State University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Indiana State University, Bemidji State University, and St. Ambrose University. He has served as guest conductor for both the 56th Annual Stanislaus County Junior High School Music Festival in Modesto, Calif., and the Fresno-Madera Counties Music Educators Association in Reedley, Calif. He adjudicated the Western Band Association Concert Band Festival in Atherton, Calif., and conducted the Rocky Mountain Honour Band in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). He is a strong advocate of new music and has won the praises of several composers, including Joseph Schwantner, David Maslanka, Michael Weinstein, Dana Wilson, Jere Hutcheson, Paul Barsom, Davide Zannoni, Lawrence Singer, Joel Puckett, Nicholas Vasallo, and Stephen Rush. He participated in the Pierre Boulez Symposium on 20th Century Contemporary Music at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the focal work being the composer’s Le Marteau Sans Matre, with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain. In the summer of 2002, Dr. Broadnax completed a four-week residency as a conducting fellow at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, where he co-conducted the Young Artists Wind Ensemble and Chamber Music Program with master teacher Frank L. Battisti. In addition, Dr. Broadnax served as guest conductor for the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra Children’s concert series in Spring 2005 titled The Circle of Life, as part of its Black History Celebration. He also served for three years as music director/conductor for the Lansing Concert Band, and two seasons for the Oakland Municipal Band (California). Scholarship & Research activities include presentations at the Conductors Guild National Conference (Chicago), Delaware Music Educators Association (Smyrna, DE), Schwantner Music Festival (Newark, DE), and published articles on a variety of topics related to music education—including a recent article titled Ensemble Intonation: Five Strategies for Long—Term Improvement for the School Band & Orchestra Magazine (SBO).
Dr. Broadnax holds professional membership with the Conductors Guild, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), California Music Educators Association (CMEA), Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA), and the International Trombone Association (ITA), and he is an honorary member of Kappa Kapp Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha and Pi Kappa Lambda organizations.