About

Dr. Dale Lonis 

Email:  Cognitiveconductor@gmail.com

After years of working with and managing professional orchestras, Dr. Lonis has now returned full-time to his greatest passion of conducting, teaching and mentoring emerging musicians and teachers. His newest endeavor, The Cognitive Conductor, has enabled him to pursue what has brought him his greatest pleasure and success in the areas of conducting youth and training young conductors, throughout North America, as well as in South America, Israel, and Asia.

Dr. Lonis received his Ed.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois, and his Master’s Degree in Conducting at Northwestern University, where he was appointed to the music faculty immediately upon completion of his degree, and  where he remained for 7 years. In 1988 he became Director of Bands and Coordinator of Conducting and Performing Organizations, and later Founder and Director of the Fine Arts Residential College at the University of Missouri – Columbia where stayed for 13 years. Early in his career, he taught in the public schools of Crystal Lake, Illinois for 4 years.

In 2001 Dr. Lonis was appointed Director of the School of Music at the University of Manitoba, a position that was later promoted to Dean of the Faculty of Music. He joined the board of directors of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and was appointed Executive Director.  He led the orchestra back into solvency for the first time in many years, where it has continued to remain.  He left Winnipeg to return home to Chicago to become Chief Executive Officer of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in July of 2008.

In Elgin, Dr. Lonis successfully navigated the orchestra through the worst downturn in the American economy in nearly a century, keeping the orchestra solvent by reducing expenses and repositioning the orchestra for a sustainable future by investing in new revenue streams. He reshaped the Board of Directors from a management board into a policy board to increase board participation. He led the orchestra in artistic planning and the search for the first new music director in 37 years, raising quality of performance, as well as the breadth and depth of programming.  He also established the “Food for Tickets” program that was later adopted by the League of American Orchestras as a national movement.

Dr. Lonis is committed to the development of collaborative efforts between community programs, school music programs and professional musical organizations. In Winnipeg, he co-founded the Orchestra’s Professional Conducting Program and the Indigenous Music Festival while working with the Music Director to revive the internationally renowned “Winnipeg New Music Festival.” In Elgin he established “The Musicians Care Program” bringing professional musicians to local hospitals on a weekly basis, a program that earned national recognition.  He also brought a record number of Elgin area not-for-profit social service and arts programs together for collaborative fund raising efforts during the economic downturn. He has created conducting workshops in Australia, Canada and the U.S., and led others throughout the world. As a member of the Artistic Planning Committee for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Dr. Lonis led the educational and presentational programming for the WASBE International Conference held in the summer of 2009.

Dr. Lonis is the former Artistic Director and Conductor of the Israel Wind Symphony and the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble. As a conductor, Dr. Lonis has led Wind Ensembles, Brass Bands, New Music Ensembles and Orchestras across six continents. He is also a frequent keynote and motivational speaker at professional music, educational and leadership conferences throughout the world. He is considered a noted authority on conducting and pedagogy, and has been an advisor and mentor to professional conductors and music educators from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, Singapore, Spain, and Uruguay.

Extensive CV available on request.