Music Director

Scott MacLennan, PhD

Since 1997, Dr. Scott MacLennan has been Music Director at the Byng Arts Academy in the Performing and Visual Arts in Vancouver, B.C. He is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and has been the Music Director of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Wind Ensemble. As an in-demand guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, he frequently works with ensembles, schools, and festivals in Western Canada, as well as having guest conducted the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (2008-09) and the Saskatchewan Honour Orchestra (Saskatchewan Music Educators’ Association’s conference, 2014). He has conducted his award-winning ensembles in various locations throughout the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, China, the United States, and Canada. His ensembles have won Gold and Superior grades from every provincial, national, and international festival that they have entered since 2002 and have performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, New York, USA, and Santa Maria della Pieta (Vivaldi’s Church) in Venice, Italy.

He holds a Bachelor of Music (1988) and a Bachelor of Education (1990) from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Music (2010) in Conducting (Wind Band) from Sam Houston State University, Texas, and a Ph.D. (2015) from the University of British Columbia. He studied conducting with Ken Hsieh, Morihiro Okabe, and Wayne Toews and participated in numerous conducting master classes given by Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Anthony Maiello, Ralph Hultgren, and Robert Ponto. Some of the other specialists he has worked with are: Paula Crider, Ed Lisk, Eugene Rousseau, Tim Lautzenheiser, Sam Pilafian, Pat Sheridan, Greg Yasinitsky, Lowell Graham, Robert Spring, Jan Van der Roost, Robert W. Smith, Allen Vizzutti, and Johan de Meji. With Johan de Meji’s endorsement, Dr. MacLennan conducted the Canadian premiere of his composition At Kitty O’Shea’s in March 2011.

His Ph.D. research involved studying students’ conceptions of ancillary movements (physical movements not necessary in the production of sound) in instrumental music performance. Dr. MacLennan’s teaching philosophy is based upon striving for musical excellence in performance as well as the education of the whole student through an embodied approach to teaching. Through this approach, music performance becomes so much more than just an intellectual appreciation of master works, but a re-examination of “music” as a vehicle for self and group meaning-making. Student engagement is increased through linking conceptual images of past experiences (physical and non-physical) with expressive musical qualities in the music being performed. As well, students become active participants in the decision-making process surrounding the subtle details of their artistic response, while the music director still holds overall artistic license of the music to be played. A summary of his research was published in the Canadian Music Educator’s Journal and can be found at: CME Journal 57-4 article. His dissertation can be accessed at:

In 2006 to 2008, he was hired by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to edit and draft curriculum for their VSO Connects (Secondary) program. In October 2006, he chaired the BC Music Educator’s Association’s Conference Pulse 2006 and currently sits as a board member of the Chamber Music in the Schools Society, BC Band Association, and the Vancouver School Music Teachers’ Association. He is a recipient of the BC Music Educators’ Association’s Outstanding Professional Music Educator’s Award in recognition of exemplary commitment, talent, and leadership for music education in British Columbia.

Scott and his wife Nancy live with their two children in Ladner, 30 minutes South of Vancouver.

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