Thomas Gamboa HEADSHOT

Thomas Gamboa

  • Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting
  • Director, University Bands, New Music Ensemble


DMA, Band Conducting, University of Michigan
MM, Band Conducting, Northwestern University
BA, Music Education and Bassoon Performance, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


Dr. Thomas Gamboa serves as the Director of University Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. At UW-Milwaukee, Dr. Gamboa oversees all aspects of the band program, guides the graduate wind conducting area, and serves as music director of the New Music Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble, the University’s premier wind band.

Previously, Dr. Gamboa was the Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Wind Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He served as the music director of the CCM Wind Ensemble, taught undergraduate- and graduate-level conducting courses, supervised music education interns, taught graduate-level wind literature courses, and directed the Doctoral Cognate Program in Wind Conducting.

Dr. Gamboa is originally from San Diego, California and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Music Performance in bassoon from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University studying with Mallory Thompson, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan studying with Michael Haithcock.

An accomplished conductor, Gamboa previously held the rank of Captain and served active duty as Conductor and Commander of the United States Air Force Band at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He later served as Associate Conductor and Flight Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He earned his commission from Officer Training School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in February 2011. He traveled with the USAF Band on numerous national and international tours including Spain, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, and Kuwait. In 2011, Gamboa was involved with the planning, execution, and editing of the final television broadcast of the band for their “Holiday Notes from Home 2011” performance, which featured guest artists Little Big Town and Lee Ann Womack. The Band of the Air Force Reserve celebrated a historic second nomination for an Emmy Award in Entertainment Programming for this broadcast. The performance was viewed by 1.1 million in 174 countries.

Dr. Gamboa’s scholarly and creative activities include peer-reviewed publications in the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Journal, contributed to The Horizon Leans Forward: Stories of Courage, Strength, and Triumph of Underrepresented Communities in the Wind Band Field, presentations throughout the United States and internationally, producing recording albums through Klavier Records, and various guest conducting engagements with honor bands and professional ensembles worldwide including the West Point Band at the U.S. Military Academy.

A seasoned educator, Gamboa taught and served as the Instrumental Music Director and Music Department Chair at West Adams Preparatory High School in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Central Los Angeles. During his tenure, he founded and conducted the high school’s marching band, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, and symphonic orchestra. He was also an instructor of conducting and chamber music for the National High School Music Institute where he served as Assistant Conductor for the Wind Ensemble. Dr. Gamboa also served as co-conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble Symphonic Winds and music director of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble Chamber Winds. Additionally, Gamboa teaches drum major camps as a Head Instructor with the United Spirit Association during the summer. He currently serves as the Chair of the Conducting Curriculum Team where he designs the conducting program and trains drum major camp instructors. Dr. Gamboa continues to be in demand as a speaker, presenter, and conductor throughout the United States and abroad.