Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Etsushi Edward Kawakami is an impassioned music educator, active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator. He is the Director of Orchestral Activities, co-chair of the Department of Music, and a recipient of the Carthage College Distinguished Teacher of the Year award.
Prof. Kawakami has held a range of musical roles throughout his career, including collaborations with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwillich and with Grammy award winners, violinists Mark O’Connor and Mads Tolling. He also counts among his passions over two decades of experience with youth orchestras in California, Florida, and Wisconsin. While living in the Florida region, his credits also include Associate Music Director and conductor of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, Music Director of the Florida State University Campus Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Big Bend Community Orchestra, Music Director of the Tallahassee Virtuosi and the affiliated Music Rebuilds philanthropic organization. He has also conducted opera and ballet productions, musicals, film soundtracks, adjudicated a variety of music festivals, and had international appearances with the Jünge Philharmonie Salzburg, the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, and the Kharkov Philharmonic of Ukraine.
Prof. Kawakami’s research and educational interests lie in the perception and cognition of music and applied interpersonal skills within teaching and conducting environments, which reflect his background in the social and physical sciences. He has presented research posters at the 2014 NAfME Conference and the 2012 AMTA Conference. Former pupils from California, Florida, and Wisconsin have gone on to experience success in a variety of fields ranging from professional solo and ensemble musicians to public school and higher education teachers.
Prof. Kawakami holds a B.M. in Wind Performance from California State University, Northridge, an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting from the Florida State University where he studied with Dr. Alexander Jiménez, Dr. André Thomas, and Dr. Clifford Madsen.