Nicholas J. Carlson

Nicholas J. Carlson serves as Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of Bands at University of Illinois at Chicago. His responsibilities include conducting the UIC Symphonic Band, directing the UIC Pep Band, teaching clarinet and chamber music, and assisting with all administrative aspects of the UIC band program. Prior to his work in Chicago, he was a graduate associate for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) band department, where he earned a Masters of Music with a dual concentration in instrumental conducting and clarinet performance under the direction of John Climer and Todd Levy, respectively. He served as the graduate conducting associate with the UWM University Band and UWM Youth Wind Ensembles, and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program. 

Mr. Carlson is an active conductor, clinician, and freelance clarinetist and performs regularly throughout the Midwest. He is the Music Director/Conductor of the University of Chicago Wind Ensemble and the Music Director/Conductor of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble. He has given numerous clinics throughout the Chicagoland area and has guest conducted honor bands in Wisconsin and Georgia. He is the principal clarinetist of the Chicago Arts Orchestra and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO). Recent performances include the world premiere and recording of Music for Five by Marc Mellits, the Midwest premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s clarinet concerto Tahrir, and a featured performance with the concert series New Music Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center. As a featured soloist of the LCSO, he performed the world premiere of Donald Walker’s Fantasy for Clarinet & Orchestra (February 2013) and the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto (August 2014). He has also performed with the Milwaukee Skylight Opera, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, and the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. 

Mr. Carlson attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education with honors. Mr. Carlson taught instrumental music in the La Crosse Area School District and maintained a large private lesson studio. His professional affiliations include College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Illinois Music Educators Association, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Music Service Fraternity.