• TonissenHeadshotDr. William J. Tonissen


    Dr. William J. Tonissen Jr. is currently the Concert Band Director at White Plains High School. Under his direction, the Concert Band has received Gold Ratings in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Majors Festival. He is also the Music Director of the Columbia Summer Winds, and has worked as the Assistant Music Director of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble. Dr. Tonissen has also served as a guest conductor both the United States and Europe (Prague, Check Republic, and Budapest, Hungry) and was recently invited to conduct the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Youth Wind Ensemble. He has taught at the elementary and middle school levels in the State of Michigan and has served as a Band Teaching Artist with Project Music, an El Sistema program based in Stamford, Connecticut.

    Dr. Tonissen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from the University of Michigan and Teachers College, Columbia University and a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  His research interests include student motivation in band ensembles, band methodologies, and pedagogical practices. He has presented his research at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Conference, the Michigan Music Conference, and the NAfME Eastern Division Conference. He has also published articles in the NYSSMA School Music News.

    Dr. Tonissen maintains an active career as a freelance Horn Player and Conductor in New York City. He has studied French Horn with Bryan Kennedy, Corbin Wagner, Soren Herrmanson and Robert Fries, and has worked with such conducting teachers as Michael Haithcock, Dr. Mallory Thompson, Jeffrey Grogan, Allan McMurray, and Dr. Craig Kirchoff. In addition, Tonissen holds memberships in the Westchester County School Music Association, Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, National Association for Music Education, NYSSMA, New York State Band Directors Association, and the College Band Directors National Association.