Ronnie Wooten


Ronnie Wooten

Ronnie Wooten DMA, Professor of Music, believes that “It is absolutely critical for those of  us who are engaged in the art and practice of musicing-- particularly in colleges and universities, to actively assist all others in their quest to find and recognize their own personal uniqueness as people.”

He is widely recognized and frequently invited to share with others in both traditional/ nontraditional, musical/non-musical venues his own energetic, passionate and continuously evolving uniqueness in the intentional human activity that is universally recognized as MUSIC.

Ronnie Wooten remains actively engaged in the areas of conducting—its pedagogy, history and evolution with particular focus on applications of nonverbal communication systems in conducting pedagogy; historical and theoretical analysis of wind band repertoire---including the unique contributions of Black Composers, intersectionalities and functions of music in human societies, and pedagogical approaches and methodologies in diverse populations in musicing and education.

Dr. Wooten is “a strong advocate for assisting students, colleagues and others to find their uniqueness through musicing”. He received degrees in music education and conducting from East Carolina University (with honors) and Michigan State University where he studied conducting with conductors Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Kenneth G. Bloomquist and Herbert L. Carter. He studied applied clarinet with Deborah Chodacki and Frank Ell, piano with Donna Coleman, and completed additional studies in conducting and wind band literature at the University of Calgary, Campbell University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan. 

Prior to his appointment at NIU as Conductor of the Wind Symphony and Area Coordinator of Music Education in Fall 1994, Dr. Wooten previously held posts as Director of University Bands at SUNY Fredonia and Florida International University. His initial teaching and conducting career began in the public schools of North Carolina, where he served as Assistant Director of Bands of the three-time Bands of America Grand National Champion Rocky Mount High School Band, and as Director of Bands and Instrumental Music for grades 8-12 in the Goldsboro City School District.    

Dr. Wooten maintains an active national and international musicing schedule as guest conductor, adjudicator, lecturer and consultant for instrumental music and education, and was invited to serve as Guest Conductor of the United States Army Field Band at Ft. Meade, Resident Orchestra Conductor for the international conference: “A Multicultural Celebration of Diversity in Music”, where he conducted a performance of Black composer Florence Prices’s Symphony No. 3 , which at that time had not been heard in over 60 years;  a live recreation of the 1930s landmark “Deep River Radio Hour, which featured live actors for the commercials, soloists and lesser-known full orchestral works by African-American composer William Grant Still and others, all of which were aired over National Public Radio. 

He served as Guest Conductor of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band, the Provincial Honor Band of Alberta, Canada, the International Music Camp Band, and as guest conductor of All-State and All-District Honor Bands in 32 US states thus far. Wooten has served as Chief Adjudicator for Bands and Solo Wind Instrument Performance for the Kiwanis International Music Festivals in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada and has presented original research for the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, College Band Directors National Association, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and Texas Music Educators Associations, Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education, People of Color in Predominantly White Institutions Conference and The National Association of Black Cultural Centers. He delivered the keynote address for the Rhode Island Music Educators Association Conference and served as Artist-in -Residence at the University of Louisville for their annual Festival of African American Music.

Additionally, Dr. Wooten has conducted the NIU Wind Ensemble at the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music Conference and the Illinois Music Educators Association In-Service Conference.  In 2013 he was invited by PanTrinbago to serve on an international panel of adjudicators for the National Steelband Finals Championship in Trinidad and Tobago where he also presented a workshop at the National Performing Arts Center entitled: “The Maestro at Work”.

Dr. Wooten holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, where he served as a member of the Task Force on Ethnicity and Gender Issues, The National Association for Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association, Mid-America Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Kappa Kappa Psi.

Dr. Wooten received the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Northern Illinois University where has taught the following courses:

(Undergraduate): Introduction to Music Education, Secondary Instrumental Methods, Techniques of Woodwind Instruments, Black Music, Student Teaching, Conducting; 

(Graduate): Foundations of American Music Education, Supervision and Administration of the Music Program, Diverse Populations in Music Education, Wind Instrument Literature, Conducting, in addition to conducting the NIU Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble and All-University Bands.


D.M.A., Michigan State University


  • Music Appreciation



Contact Us

Music Building
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - noon
1 - 4:30 p.m.
Brigid Findley (Crawford)
Coordinator of Admissions
Request Information