Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. He holds Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude), Master of Music Education in Conducting, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Dr. Boonshaft was also awarded a Connecticut General Fellowship for study at the Kodály Musical Training Institute, from which he holds a Certificate. He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He is Conductor of the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, professor of conducting and music education, and Director of the graduate wind conducting program. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Boonshaft was on the faculty of Moravian College and the University of Hartford. He was Founder and Music Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Honors Concert Band and the Connecticut Valley Youth Wind Ensemble. In addition, he held the post of Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston.
Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise
. As well, his first book for all educators, Teaching with Passion, Purpose and Promise
will be released in May 2010. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new beginning method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and
Sound Innovations for Strings. In addition, he is the author of Vaclav Nelhybel: His Life and Works
, the only authorized biography of the composer, a contributing author of The Music Director’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Program, and author of articles for Instrumentalist Magazine, the National Band Association Journal, MENC's Teaching Music, and Band Director's Guide. Dr. Boonshaft holds the post of Band/Wind Ensemble Editor for the School Music News, and has been a consultant or recorded for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Warner Brothers Publications, G. Schirmer, Southern Music Publishers, Kendor Music Publishers, Daehn Publications and C. Alan Music. Active as a proponent of new literature for concert band, he has commissioned and conducted over forty world premieres by such notable composers as Eric Ewazen, W. Francis McBeth, Johan de Meij, Fisher Tull, H. Owen Reed, Vaclav Nelhybel, David Gillingham, Philip Sparke, Sam Hazo, Andrew Boysen, Robert W. Smith, David Holsinger, Satoshi Yagisawa, Stephen Melillo, Robert Washburn, Elliot Del Borgo, Herbert Deutsch, Kenneth Lampl, Robert Hawkins, Larry Lipkis, Ian McDougall, Rossano Galante, Reber Clark, Gregory Sanders, Roland Barrett and Jared Spears. Among the soloists who have appeared in performance with Dr. Boonshaft are John Marcellus, Maynard Ferguson, Harvey Phillips, Ed Shaughnessy, Lynn Klock, Don Butterfield, Dave Steinmeyer and the United States Air Force "Airmen of Note," Chester Schmitz, and the Vienna Schubert Trio.
Dr. Boonshaft has been awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi, as well as twice receiving the University of Hartford Regent's Award and that University's Outstanding Music Educator Award. He has received official proclamations from the Governors of five states and a Certificate of Appreciation from former President Ronald Reagan, as well as performing for former President and Mrs. George Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and for Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His honors also include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts "Artist in Residence,” three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University.
Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician and speaker for conferences, festivals, concerts and workshops nationally and internationally, he has guest conducted the MENC (The National Association for Music Education) All-Eastern Band, MENC All-Northwest Band, MENC All-Eastern Directors Band, and Goldman Memorial Band. He was also named conductor of the MENC National High School Honors Band for the National Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. He has served as a speaker for the Canadian Music Educators Association National Convention, MENC National Conference, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Music For All/Bands and Orchestras of America Symposium, Samuel Barber Institute for Music Educators, Music Education Center of America, Conn-Selmer Institute, NESA Council of Overseas Schools Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and as keynote speaker for the MENC Northwest Division Conference, MENC Southern Division Conference, MENC Eastern Division Conference, European Music Educators Convention, National Convention of the American String Teachers Association, National Convention of the American School Band Directors Association, ACDA Western Division Conference, and numerous state and regional music education conferences.