Dennis J. Zeisler

Dennis J. Zeisler

Request Clinician

Director of Bands (Retired)
Old Dominican Univ.


DENNIS J. ZEISLER, Directory of Bands Emeritus, recently retired from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he served for 39 years as Director of Bands, Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone, and Chairman of the Music Department. Under his direction, the Old Dominion University Wind Ensemble has developed into a premiere performing ensemble. They have recorded for TRN Music Publishers and Frank Erickson Publications and have been featured in concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. While serving as a former Chair for fifteen years, he led the steady growth of the Old Dominion University Music Department at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Professor Zeisler has a B.M., B.M.E., and M.M. from the University of Michigan, where he was a solo clarinetist of the Symphony Band, under the direction of Dr. William D. Revelli. He was a solo clarinetist of the Detroit Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Leonard Smith, and a clarinet soloist with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. Mr. Zeisler had his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in May 1974 and has performed at three International Clarinet Society Conferences.

For 31 years, he was on the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan where he was the principal clarinet of the faculty orchestra and conductor of faculty and staff ensembles, and on the international conducting staff. In 1998, Professor Zeisler was awarded membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. In 1999, he received the Orpheus Award fromPhi Mu Alpha for, “significant and lasting contributions to the cause of Music in America,” and the Virginia Music Educator of the Year Award from the Virginia Music Educators Association. In 2004 he received the National Band Association Mentor Award, and in 2009 was awarded a University Professorship at Old Dominion University for excellence in teaching. He is the founder and conductor of the Virginia Wind Symphony, a professional wind group comprised primarily of music educators from throughout the area of southeastern Virginia. The Virginia Wind Symphony has recorded six commercial compact discs, has been featured in concert at conventions for the American Bandmasters Association (2004, 2011), and has appeared in concerts and sessions at The Midwest Clinic (2004, 2012, 2017). Zeisler is past President of the Southern Division of CBDNA, NASM Region VII, former Virginia State Chair of the National Band Association and the International Clarinet Society. He is currently chair of the NBA Merrill-Jones Composition Contest. He sits on the Boards of Directors of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation and the Midwest Clinic. Zeisler was the 77th President (2014) of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA). Dennis Zeisler is married to Carol Corcoran Zeisler. They have four children: Nate, Jennifer, Sarah, and Jeffrey.

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