Nicholas J. Carlson serves on the faculty at the University of Illinois Chicago where he is the Assistant Director of Bands. His responsibilities include conducting the University Band, directing the UIC Pep Band, teaching clarinet and chamber music, and assisting with all administrative aspects of the UIC band program. Prior to his work in Chicago he was a graduate associate for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) band department where he earned a Masters of Music with a dual concentration in instrumental conducting and clarinet performance under the direction of John Climer and Todd Levy respectively. He served as the graduate conducting associate with the UWM University Band and UWM Youth Wind Ensembles, and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program.
Mr. Carlson is an active educator and freelance clarinetist and performs regularly throughout the Midwest. He is currently the Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble, and principal clarinetist of the Chicago Arts Orchestra (Chicago, IL) and FullScore Chamber Orchestra (Zion, IL). As a featured soloist of the FullScore Chamber Orchestra he performed the world premiere of Donald Walker’s Clarinet Concerto (February 2013) and the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto (August 2014). He has also performed with the Milwaukee Skylight Opera, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, and the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. Other recent performances include the world premier and recording of Music for Five by Marc Mellits, and the Midwest premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s clarinet concerto Tahrir (March 2017).
Mr. Carlson attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music education. Mr. Carlson taught instrumental music in the La Crosse Area School District and maintained a large private lesson studio.