Artistic Director and Conductor

Mark Fonder


Mark Fonder taught fulltime instrumental music and band from elementary school through college for over 35 years.  As professor of music, he was the conductor of the Ithaca College Concert Band and taught instrumental music education courses at Ithaca College from 1989 until his retirement in 2015.  From 1994 to 2003, he was the Chairman of their Music Education Department and in 2017 was named Professor Emeritus.  He is still active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, school music consultant, and clinician and serves in these capacities throughout the United States.  Internationally, he has guest conducted, given research presentations or adjudicated bands in Australia, Japan, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, throughout the Euro zone and the United Kingdom.  Dr. Fonder, a graduate of and twice a fellowship recipient at the University of Illinois, was director of bands at Park Falls (Wisconsin) High School and was on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Texas-San Antonio prior to coming to New York.  He has also served on the faculties of The University of Washington, VanderCook College and the Eastman School of Music.  Dr. Fonder authored an award-winning book, Patrick Conway and his Famous Band (Meredith Publications, 2012) and his research (over 30 articles) has been published in various journals including the Music Educators Journal, Winds, Band Directors Guide, Instrumentalist, Journal of Band Research, Council for Research in Music Education and the Journal of Research in Music Education.  He was chair of the Music Educators Journal Editorial Committee from 1998-2002 and was the editor of the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education from 2003 to 2015.  He is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Band Research.  Dr. Fonder has played principal trombone with the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Symphony, the Green Bay Packer Band, and the San Antonio Brass, and for such entertainers as Robert Goulet, Rich Little, and Rita Moreno.  In 1987, Dr. Fonder was awarded the National Band Association-Wisconsin Chapter Citation of Excellence, in 1998, the Ithaca College President's Recognition Award, in 2013, the Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award, in 2015, the New York State Band Directors Association Band Director of the Year, and has been the recipient of a University of Wisconsin teaching fellowship.  He has been elected to Phi Delta Kappa, an honorary education fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary scholars fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda, an honorary music fraternity and the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.  In 2015, he moved back to his home state, Wisconsin, and is currently the conductor and artistic director of the Wisconsin Symphonic Winds.