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Dr. Karen Fannin

Director of Bands
Strauss Performing Arts Center | Office 222
phone: (402) 554-3446

Karen Fannin begins an appointment as Director of Bands at the University of Nebraska Omaha where she conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Band, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, instructs courses in music education, and provides leadership for all aspects of the UNO band program.

Fannin comes to UNO from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where she served as Director of Bands and Department Chair. While in Arkansas, Dr. Fannin also held the position of music director and conductor of the Little Rock Wind Symphony. A native of Osage, Iowa, Fannin began her teaching career in the Lynnville-Sully Schools as Director of Bands and subsequently served as Director of Bands at Lockport Township High School in suburban Chicago, where she established a composer-in-residence program.

Dr. Fannin maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Recent professional engagements include a residency in Guangdong, China, as well as guest conducting or adjudicating in Canada, Washington, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana, and Arkansas. An active presenter, Fannin has shared her research at national, regional, and state conferences, including the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National and Southwestern Division conferences, the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE), the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, and the Iowa Bandmasters Association. Passionate about making interdisciplinary connections that impact a conductor’s work with an ensemble, Dr. Fannin has presented on topics such as pacing in rehearsals and performance, communication in music, parallels between the ensemble and business, and the lineage of Nadia Boulanger through wind repertoire. She is also a contributing author to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series published by GIA.

Dr. Fannin earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Colorado, where she studied with Allan McMurray; a Master of Music in Conducting from Northwestern University, where she was a student of Mallory Thompson; and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa, where she studied euphonium with Jeffrey Funderburk. Upon graduation from UNI, Dr. Fannin was awarded the Purple and Old Gold Award for Conspicuous Achievement in Music.

Fannin’s professional affiliations include Pi Kappa Lambda, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the National Association for Music Education.