- Professor Emeritus, Music
DMA, Conducting, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music
MM, Conducting, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Cognate in Trombone Performance
BM, Music Education, University of Akron
John Climer is Director of University Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. At UW-Milwaukee, John oversees all aspects of the band program, guides the graduate wind conducting area, and serves as conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the University’s premiere wind band. Before his appointment in Milwaukee, he served for fourteen years as Director of Bands at Ohio University, where he served as conductor of the Wind Ensemble and New Music Ensemble. As a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Climer has led performances at festivals, universities, and concert venues nationally and internationally including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and the Conservatorio di Musica in Salerno, Italy. Ensembles under his direction have performed for four conferences of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), including the 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, five conferences of the Ohio Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, the Wisconsin State Music Conference, and the Society of Composers Inc. In July of 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble performed for the 16th International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in San Jose, CA.
An avid supporter of new music, Climer has participated in numerous commissioning projects culminating in works by composers Roberto Sierra, Chen Yi, Walter Mays, John Orfe, Robert Rodriguez, Andre Previn, Warren Benson, Akira Miyoshi among others. In addition, the UW-Milwaukee band program has collaborated with renowned composers Joseph Schwantner, Michael Colgrass, John Mackey, Michael Markowski, Mark Camphouse, Jack Stamp, Aaron Perrine, Mark Phillips and Frank Ticheli. In April of 2019, the UW-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble will give the premiere performance of Roger Zare’s new concerto for oboe and wind ensemble with Katherine Young Steele as the soloist.
John is the recipient of three university teaching awards including the Ohio University College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, the Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Outstanding Music Educator Alumni Award from the University of Akron. He is Past-President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association and the former Editor of the CBDNA Report. He is a contributing author for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, and his professional memberships include Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the College Band Directors National Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. His biography is published in the third edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and in the spring of 2019 he will be inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
Dr. Climer earned degrees from the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He studied conducting with Gary W. Hill and Terence Milligan, and trombone with Edward Zadrozny, Tony Chipurn, and John Leisenring. He has held teaching appointments at Ohio University, the University of North Dakota, Ohio Northern University, and Emory University (Atlanta, GA) where he also served as the conductor of the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.