Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras
Arizona State University
Dr. Jason Caslor was appointed Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras at Arizona State University in 2015. In addition to directing various instrumental ensembles, Caslor also mentors graduate conducting students, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses.
From 2010-2015, Caslor served as Assistant Professor of Instrumental Conducting at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and oversaw the undergraduate and graduate instrumental conducting programs. Prior to that, Jason spent three seasons as Resident Conductor with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (TBSO). During his tenure with the TBSO, he conducted over 75 concerts (including a CBC Radio national broadcast), designed and implemented numerous education and outreach initiatives, was instrumental in helping secure numerous local, provincial, and national grants, and recorded a full-length, internationally distributed CD with Canadian blues artist Rita Chiarelli.
Recipient of an “Excellence in Teaching Award” from the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union in 2012, Caslor also spent several years teaching in the public school system as an instrumental and choral instructor. His commitment to conductor training stemmed from being a faculty member with the annual Canadian Wind Conductors Development Program from 2005-2011. He is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for festivals, honor bands, and music camps.
Caslor’s current research interests include improving the ways musicians can collaborate via the Internet, improvisation as it pertains to both conducting pedagogy and large ensembles, and incorporating United Sound, a school-based instrumental music club for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their typical peers, at the collegiate level. In addition to numerous regional engagements, he has presented his research at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles International Conference, and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Caslor completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts (Conducting) at Arizona State University. Prior to earning a Master of Music (Conducting) degree from the University of Manitoba, Jason earned his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.
Nothing fancy here! Bring your baton to this session that will review the basics of conducting while shifting our focus away from time keeping towards gestures that show the music and empower our students.
This session is based on many years of adjudicating bands across Canada and throughout the United States. Topics will include repertoire selection, philosophical reasons for attending festivals, and common things that keep groups from showing their best.
Choosing repertoire often feels like a full time job. Then there is still the score study and actual rehearsing. UGH! This session will aim to remind us to program music we are passionate about, be honest about what our students are capable of, and be mindful of how the music we pick is essential in setting up our students for success.
This session will offer ways to include improvisation and non-traditional repertoire in rehearsals and performances that will enhance our interaction with standard repertoire and also challenge how we traditionally approach the large ensemble experience with our students. Thoughts on why improvisation is important, tried and tested games and exercises geared at introducing students to improvisation, and suggestions for unique uses of performance spaces will be offered.