Kevin McKeown is the conductor of the Wind Ensemble at the University of California, Irvine. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he attended UCLA and earned B.A. and M.M. degrees in music education and instrumental conducting. He was a 4 year Drum Major of the “Sold Gold Sound” of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, and a Graduate Associate Conductor of the UCLA Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. He is a “Highly Qualified Teacher” (HQT), receiving the Certificated Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles. His teachers include: Dr. Thomas Lee, Gordon Henderson, Dr. Jennifer Judkins, Donald Neuen, Robert Winter, and Gary Gray.
Mr. McKeown is currently the conductor of the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble and is Director of Bands at Santa Monica High School, where he directs four concert bands, the SAMOHI Viking Marching Band, and oversees two jazz bands, a percussion methods and winterguard classes. In 2013 he made his debut at historic Chicago Symphony Center as part of the Chicago International Music Festival, collaborating with Mr. Chris Martin, principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, featuring a performance of Alexander Arutiuian’s Concerto for Trumpet.
As an active adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout California, Kevin McKeown is also a member of the California Band Director’s Association (CBDA), Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), and the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He is a promoter of new music for the wind band, having commissioned and collaborated on numerous projects featuring local composers. Conducting appearances have included UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall and Royce Hall, The J. Paul Getty Center (Los Angeles), Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Chicago Symphony Center, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Plaza del Sol Performance Hall (CSUN), Barnum Hall, Green Music Center (Sonoma State University), and Claire Trevor Theatre and Winifred Smith Hall, on the campus of UC Irvine.