Dr. Nicholas J. Contorno is presently retired after 24 years as the Director of Music Programs, bands and orchestra at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. |
He began his teaching career in 1961 as an Instrumental Music teacher in the Glendale (WI) Public Schools and also served as Director of Bands at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In 1968, he accepted the position of Music Curriculum Supervisor and Director of Bands at Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin. In 1983, he was appointed Director of Bands at Marquette University.
Dr. Contorno is an A.S.C.A.P. award winning composer and arranger, and is represented in the catalogs of C.L. Barnhouse, Bourne, Daehn Publications, Hal Leonard, Jenson, Pro-Art, Global Musical Interests Publications, Educational Programs Publications, JPM Publications and Really Good Music, LLC.
As an active professional musician, he has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Holiday on Ice Orchestra, Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus Band, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and Les Elgart Orchestra. In addition, he had performed with many national shows
and artists, including “Annie,” 42nd Street,” Linda Ronstadt, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, Vic Damone, Johnny Mathis, Dinah Shore, Mel Torme, The Four Lads, and Sonny & Cher, to mention a few.
Dr. Contorno also has been guest soloist, conductor, adjudicator, and clinician with many school bands in Wisconsin as well as in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Tennessee, and the People’s Republic of China.
He is listed in “Leaders of Secondary Education” (1972), “World’s Who’s Who of Musicians” (1977), and “Encyclopedia of Band Composers” (1991).
His many honors include the Hugo Anhalt Music Achievement Award (1973); Commendation from the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors (1979); National Band Association Outstanding Jazz Educator Award (1982); University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Music Alumni Achievement Award (1990); and the Milwaukee Police Department Chief of Police Superior Achievement Award (1992).
Dr. Contorno also holds memberships in numerous professional organizations, such as the American Federation of Musicians - Local 8, ASBDA, Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, the Wisconsin Bandmasters Association, and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has served on the board of directors of the Goldman Memorial Band of New York City, currently serves on the board of the Festival City Orchestra of Milwaukee and the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra and serves as a clinician for DEG Instrument Co. in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In addition, he has been the musical coordinator of Festa Italiana-Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1982 to 1998, and has served as the Musical Director/ Conductor of the First Brigade Civil War Band of Wisconsin from 1970-1982 and The Milwaukee Concert Band from 1996-2002. In addition, he has served as guest conductor of the Goldman Band of New York and the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band as well as high school and university bands around the country.