Dr. Robert Franzblau serves as Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Rhode Island College, a position he has held since 1997. In addition to conducting the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, his duties include teaching courses in conducting and music education at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Under his direction, the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble has recently performed at regional conventions of the College Band Directors National Association and the Music Educators National Conference. In 2004 he founded the Music Institute at Rhode Island College, a summer honors camp for talented high school musicians.
Dr. Franzblau earned the Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of Iowa; studied conducting with John P. Paynter at Northwestern University, earning a Master of Music with a double major in conducting and music education; and received his Ph.D. in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Franzblau the author of So You Want to Be a Music Major: A Guide for High School Students, Their Parents, Guidance Counselors, and Music Teachers, published by Meredith Music Publications. He is also a contributing author to GIA Publications and The Instrumentalist magazine. Recent publications include, “Why Music Isn’t Basic” in theWASBE Journal, “A Conducting Analysis of Eric Whitacre’s October” in The Instrumentalist, “Serve it Fresh!” in The Music Director’s Cookbook, and an analysis of Steven Bryant’s Anthem in Volume 9 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Conference presentations include Temper, Temper: Teaching From Your Calm, Assertive Center and Confessions of a Videotaped Conductor for the Rhode Island Music Education Association, and What Makes It Great? A Conversation with The Stars and Stripes Foreverat the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference. He has produced and moderated a series of live/online “Town Hall Meetings” on the future of music education (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/whither-school-bands-a-town-hall-meeting). He hosts the Rhode Island College Instrumental Conducting Symposium each January, with guest clinicians including H. Robert Reynolds, Larry Rachleff, Frank L. Battisti, Weston Noble, Mallory Thompson, Allan McMurray, and Garwood Whaley.
In December 2008, Dr. Franzblau was named as the third Music Director and Conductor of the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble, a community band founded in 1969. Previously, he has served as Assistant Conductor, Acting Artistic Director, and Guest Conductor with the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, a Boston-area community band.
He is the founder and conductor of the Rhode Island Wind Orchestra, a chamber wind ensemble of professional musicians. Previous college teaching experience includes positions at Doane College in Nebraska and the University of Louisville; public school teaching experience includes five years in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and two years in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He continues to serve the band and music education professions as past president of the New England College Band Association and as board member of the Rhode Island Music Education Association. He is active in CBDNA and serves on the joint ABA/CBDNA Music Reprint Committee. He serves as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for bands throughout the country.