José Oliver Riojas

Assistant Professor/Director of Bands



University of Georgia



José Oliver Riojas is the Director of Bands, Director of Instrumental Studies, Chair of Performance, and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he guides all aspects of the UIC band program, serves as conductor of the UIC Wind Ensemble, and coordinates all aspects of the UIC Instrumental Area.  He studied wind conducting with a minor in music theory at the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee and music education at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Prior to this, José Riojas taught in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, TX, during which time, his bands enjoyed great success. He has also held a position at UTSA as Director of the Athletic Pep Band. He has guest conducted throughout the United States and has recently held residencies at Middle Tennessee State University, the University of West Georgia, and California State Polytechnic University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.  He continues to champion new music for the wind band, most recently commissioning and performing new works by composers James Syler, Joseph Schwantner, and Jess Turner.  Future commissioning projects include works for winds from David Biedenbender, Steven Bryant, and Andrew Boss.
As a performer, José Riojas has performed with award-winning saxophone players and musicians all over the country and is continually forming new musical ensembles in the Chicago area. Riojas has also formed a career as a published arranger, transcriber, and composer around the world, having received commissions from four continents. He has done work for several of the finest saxophone players and ensembles, such as the New Century Saxophone Quartet, The Moanin’ Frogs, Stephen Page, and James Houlik.  He has worked closely with composers to transcribe music for the saxophone such as Marc Mellits, Aaron Perrine, John Mackey, Steven Bryant, and Jacob ter Veldhuis.
His professional affiliations include American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), College Band Directors National Association, The Midwest Clinic, College Music Society, Music Educators National Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Alpha National Music Men’s Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi National Music Service Fraternity, Texas Music Educators Association, and Illinois Music Educators Association.

Courses Taught

Wind Ensemble
Orchestration and Arranging