John P. LaCognata



John P. LaCognata was appointed Director of Bands/Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2010.  At UNCW, his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, and Pep Band; teaching applied trumpet, and conducting; directing the UNCW Honor Band Festival and UNCW Summer Honor Band Workshop, and administering the entire band program.  In addition to his work at UNCW, he conducts the Wilmington New Horizons Concert Band in association with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the UNCW Division of Public Service and Continuing Studies.  Dr. LaCognata received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois (1986), Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Auburn University (1989) and PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida (2010) where he was awarded a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship.


Prior to his appointment at UNCW, Dr. LaCognata has held a variety of teaching positions throughout his twenty-five year career as a music educator.  At the collegiate level, he served on the faculties of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Louisiana State University, and Iowa State University.  At the secondary level, he held positions at Hillcrest High School (Country Club Hills, Illinois), Tavares High School (Tavares, Florida), Cypress Creek High School (Orlando, Florida), and Winter Park High School (Winter Park, Florida).


Concert bands under Dr. LaCognata’s direction have performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Florida Music Educators’ Association Conference in Tampa, Florida, and most notably, the 60th Anniversary of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois in 2006.  Marching bands under his leadership have made appearances at the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Sylvania Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. LaCognata is an active adjudicator, clinician and performer.  He has served as a guest conductor and clinician for bands and honor bands throughout the United States.  He is a member of the UNCW Faculty Brass Quintet as well as the Cape Fear Brass. His professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the International Trumpet Guild, and the North Carolina Bandmasters Association.