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257 Fine Arts Center, Music wing
(413) 545-6056
Wind Studies website


Matthew Westgate was the Director of Instrumental Activities at Xavier University from 2008-2014, where he conducted the Symphonic Winds, Chamber Orchestra, and Xavier Pep Bands, and taught courses in Instrumental Methods and Advanced & Beginning Conducting to graduate and undergraduate music education students.

Matthew Westgate
He also served as administrator and advocate for all instrumental ensembles (Bands, Chamber Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Ensembles) and the wind and percussion faculty. In spring of 2013, Matthew was awarded Cincy Magazine's "Outstanding Educator" Award for his work as a teacher and conductor in Cincinnati.

Dr. Westgate is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and arranger, and performs regularly as a classical and jazz trombonist. He is a regular summer faculty member in both the concert (Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band) and jazz areas at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI, and has also served as a conducting assistant in the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, in Lucca, Italy.  In 2007, Matthew was chosen as one of eight conductors to conduct the Eastman Wind Ensemble as part of the first Frederick Fennell Conducting Masterclass, and in 2009 he was billed as one of the West Point Band's "Bernsteins of Tomorrow." Matthew completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he studied with Rodney Winther and his Masters Degree in Conducting at Western Michigan University where his teacher was Robert Spradling.

At Xavier University, he created a groundbreaking conductor mentorship program for undergraduate music education majors, started an annual "Young Composer Commissioning Project" to connect musicians to up-and-coming composers, and brought in Xavier's first Ensemble-in-Residence: Double or Nothing Ensemble.  In spring of 2014, Dr. Westgate and the Xavier University bands and orchestra traveled to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic on their first international performance tour.

His current research addresses "Real vs. Virtual Communication: The Increasing Importance of Building Community through Music Ensembles in the Age of Technology."  He is also working to bring a Full Score Edition of Rossini-Respighi's La Boutique Fantasque for wind band to publication. His professional affiliations include: the College Band Directors National Association, Conductor’s Guild, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and Ohio Music Educators Association.

In his spare time, Matthew is an avid ultra-marathon and marathon runner, triathlete, and hiker.  He is married to Erica Drake, a percussionist and teacher, and they have a daughter named Juniper.

Appointed 2014

Dance Department