Edward Kawakami

  • Director, Orchestral Activities; Co-Chair, Music Department; Associate Professor of Music
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    JAC 129

    Professor E. Edward Kawakami, the 2017-18 Carthage College Distinguished Teacher of the Year award recipient, an active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at Carthage College. 

    Prof. Kawakami has held a range of musical roles throughout his career, including collaborations with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwillich and with multi-Grammy award winner, violinist Mark O’Connor. While living in the Tallahassee, Florida region, his credits also include Associate Music Director and conductor of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, Music Director of the Florida State University Campus Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Big Bend Community Orchestra, Music Director of the Tallahassee Virtuosi and the affiliated Music Rebuilds philanthropic organization. He has conducted various opera and ballet productions, adjudicated a variety of music festivals, and was an invited guest clinician for an assortment of ensembles around the state.

    Before moving to Florida, Prof. Kawakami worked in Los Angeles as the conductor of the California State University, Northridge Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, as well as being employed as a conductor of various musicals, film soundtracks, and varied guest conducting positions around Southern California. Other conducting experiences included international appearances with the Jünge Philharmonie Salzburg, the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, and the Kharkov Philharmonic of Ukraine.

    Prof. Kawakami’s research and educational interests lie in the perception and cognition of music and applied interpersonal skills teaching and conducting environments, which reflect his background in the social and physical sciences. He has presented research posters at the 2014 NAfME Conference and the 2012 AMTA Conference. Former pupils from both the Southern California and Florida regions have become successful in a variety of fields ranging from professional solo and ensembles musicians to public school and higher education teachers.

    Prof. Kawakami holds a B.M. in Wind Performance from California State University, Northridge, an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting from the Florida State University.

    • Ph.D. — music education with an emphasis in orchestral conducting, Florida State University
    • M.M. — orchestral conducting, Florida State University
    • B.M. — wind performance, California State University, Northridge
    • MUS 0070 Carthage Philharmonic
    • MUS 1180 Introduction to Music Education
    • MUS 2000 A Survey of Symphonic Literature
    • MUS 2075 Instrumental Chamber Music Workshop
    • MUS 2080 String Techniques in Schools
    • MUS 2180 Conducting Fundamentals
    • MUS 3140 Learning About Instruments
    • MUS 400V/501D Research Methods in the Arts