2018 Sr. County Band Conductor
Dr. Christian Wilhjelm, conductor, professional musician and educator, has served as the Music Director of the New Jersey Wind Symphony since it was founded in 1983 as the Ridgewood Concert Band. He is also the band director at Ramapo College of New Jersey. From 2000 – 2005 he was the Music Director of the Goldman Memorial Band in New York City.
Dr. Wilhjelm is an honors graduate from The New England Conservatory where his principal professors were Frank Battisti, John Heiss, Richard Pitman, Gunther Schuller, and Harry Shapiro. He received his doctorate from Columbia University. As a professional horn player, he performed with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops and, as a principal, with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, the Boston Opera Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony. While a student and a young professional he spent three summers as a member of the Tanglewood Fellowship Orchestra where is was honored as a Leonard Bernstein Fellow.
He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Allentown Band, the West Point Military Academy Band, the United States Army Field Band, The Acadian Wind Symphony, the South Jersey Area Wind Symphony, and The Virginia Wind Symphony. This past June, Dr. Wilhjelm retired after 40 years of teaching as a high school band director. During this time, he also served as the interim director of the New York University Wind Ensemble, the Montclair State University Concert Band, and the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra. In 2000, Harvey Phillips invited him to direct the annual Tuba Christmas program at Rockefeller Center, an event he continues to direct. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Concert Bands, is serving as the NJ state chair for the National Band Association, and serves on the selection committee for the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Silver Scroll Award. He has received honors from the Association of Concert Bands, the John Philip Sousa Foundation, Montclair State University, NAfME, and Rotary International.