Gerard Morris joined University of Puget Sound School of Music faculty in fall 2009, and currently serves as director of bands and department chair for winds and percussion. In 2016 he became an associate professor and was honored as the recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Morris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Western Michigan University, a Master of Music Education degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Doctor of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University.
As a member of the Puget Sound faculty, he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. With passion for new music, Morris has commissioned wind compositions by Michael Colgrass, Carter Pann, Joel Puckett, Jake Runestad, Daniel Kellogg, Andrew Ardizzoia, Gregory Youtz, Christopher Stark, Michael Markowski, Geoffrey Gordon, James Stephenson, Kevin Day, and Puget Sound student composers. Under his direction, the Puget Sound Wind Ensemble has been recognized for outstanding performance through its juried selection to appear at the 2016 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Regional Conference, the 2014 Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) State Conference, and the 2014 California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Conference. Morris has led the Puget Sound Wind Ensemble to perform world premieres of Das Bach Book (Carter Pann), Glass House Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble (Andrew Ardizzoia), This Life Glowed (Christopher Arrell), The House of Life and Take Time (Robert Hutchinson), Lurgy (Neil Thornock), Fireworks (Kevin Day), as well as the north American premiere of Argentinian composer Alejandro Rutty’s A Future of Tango.
Morris was recently named conductor and artistic director of the esteemed Tacoma Concert Band (TCB), and his credits also include conducting appearances at The Midwest Clinic, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Western/Northwestern Divisional Conference, Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) State Conference, California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Conference, University of Georgia JanFest, Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua, Steamboat Strings Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival, Heartland Marimba Festival, West Valley Winds Workshop (Canmore, Alberta), Calgary Summer Band Workshop, and as featured conductor on composer Neil Thornock’s compact disc recording Between the Lines, a project that Morris also co-produced. In addition, he has appeared as guest clinician/lecturer at CBDNA National Conference, WMEA State Conference, CMEA Bay Section Conference, University of North Carolina at Greensboro New Music Festival, Northwestern University Conducting and Wind Symposium, University of British Columbia Wind Conducting Symposium, and guest artist in residence at American Community School (Abu Dhabi/Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Iowa State University, Xavier University, California State Polytechnic University (Pomona), and St. George’s School (Vancouver, British Columbia).
Morris’s conducting and teaching are informed by years of professional performing experience as principal euphonium with Boulder Brass and United States Marine Corps Band, Hawaii. With these organizations he toured the United States, Australia, and Costa Rica as both an ensemble member and soloist.