Silas Huff

Director of Orchestras

Silas Huff joined the faculty of Northern Illinois University in the fall of 2023 as the director of orchestras. He also conducts the opera orchestra and teaches conducting and orchestration. Huff holds a B.M. degree from Texas State University in guitar performance, an M.M. from University of California Los Angeles in music theory and composition and a D.M.A. from University of Colorado Boulder in orchestral conducting. He also studied at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik (Germany), L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (France) and California State University-Long Beach.

Huff is also director of Maestri Series Workshops and co-director of the International Conducting Institute, organizations dedicated to training the world’s next generation of conductors. He has conducted ensembles across America and abroad in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan and Russia. Huff’s past positions include director of Orchestras at Washburn University (KS) and music director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC), U.S. Army Orchestra (DC), 44th Army Band (Albuquerque, NM), Round Rock Symphony Orchestra (TX), Topeka Youth Symphony (KS) and the critically-acclaimed Lost Dog New Music Ensemble (NYC).

In 2011, Huff won a coveted job as a U.S. Army music officer. As such, he conducted concerts at the White House, U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon and other important monuments and landmarks in Washington, D.C. Among other notable assignments, Major Huff served as director of The U.S. Army Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), company commander of the U.S. Army School of Music in Virginia Beach and commander of the 44th Army Band (“New Mexico’s Own” National Guard Band). Subsequently, he transferred to the Air Force to assume the role of commander of the 562nd Air Force Band (Air National Guard Band of the West Coast) until that band's closure in 2024.

In 1999, Huff won first prize in the Los Angeles Valley Composition Competition. In 2001, he was named Conductor of the Year by the California State University system, and in 2011, the Texas House of Representatives signed a resolution recognizing Huff’s distinguished musical service. The U.S. Army has conferred upon him two Meritorious Service medals, four Army Commendation medals, a Humanitarian Service Medal and an Army Achievement Medal (among others), and in 2020 the Boulder Concert Band won The American Prize for Band/Wind Ensemble Performance under Huff’s baton.

Credentials

D.M.A., University of Colorado (Boulder)

Duties

  • NIU Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conducting

Contact

shuff@niu.edu
815-753-1551

Contact Us

Music Building
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - noon
1 - 4:30 p.m.
815-753-1551
music@niu.edu

Austyn V. Menk
Music Admissions Coordinator
815-753-6306
avmenk@niu.edu

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