The University of Arizona

Pride of Arizona

Band Staff


Director of Bands
Associate Professor of Music

Music Building, Room 166B
Tucson, AZ 85721
520.621.7024, fax 520.621.1916

Chad NicholsonDr. Chad R. Nicholson is the newly appointed Director of Bands at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, where he will conduct the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, the Chamber Winds, and instruct the undergraduate and graduate wind conducting students. Dr. Nicholson is an active author and pedagogue; he has published a book designed to aid conductors in repertoire selection and concert programming titled "Great Music for Wind Band," and he is a contributing author for the recently published sourcebook for music educators, "Engaging Musical Practices." Nicholson contributed to a new book edited by Gary Stith that will provide effective rehearsal techniques for band directors. Additionally, he has published articles in "The Instrumentalist" and in eight volumes of "Teaching Music through Performance in Band."

Dr. Nicholson's experiences as a music educator span all ages and ensemble types, including concert and athletic groups from public school through university levels. He has conducted many regional and all-state groups in addition to international bands. In 2014 Nicholson was the first conductor invited to lead the Shanghai International School Honor Band, and in 2015 he was a member of the distinguished international panel of adjudicators for the All-Chinese Wind Band Contest.

Nicholson is a frequent presenter and performer at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Nicholson led his ensemble in performance at the Taiwan International Band Clinic in Taipei and at the CBDNA Eastern Division Conference. Nicholson has presented twice at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and he will be a featured presenter at the upcoming NAfME National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas.

Previous to his appointment at the University of Arizona, Dr. Nicholson served as a conductor at the University of Delaware, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Colorado State University; he was a public school educator in Beaverton, Oregon and Lawton, Oklahoma. His primary conducting mentors include William Wakefield, Ken Van Winkle, Stephen Pratt and Ray Cramer. Nicholson holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma (BME), New Mexico State University (MM), and Indiana University (DM).


Associate Director of Bands
Assistant Professor of Music

Music Building, Room 166A
Tucson, AZ 85721
520.621.7027, fax 520.621.1916

Chad ShoopmanThe Fred Fox School of Music welcomes Chad Shoopman as the newly appointed Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands. His duties include conducting the Wind Symphony, directing The Pride of Arizona Marching Band and Pep Band, as well as teaching leadership and marching band techniques courses. A proud alumnus, Professor Shoopman earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education (1996) and Master of Music degree in conducting performance (1999) at the University of Arizona. While at UA, he studied conducting with Gregg Hanson. He continued studying choral and orchestral conducting with Dr. John Sinclair at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Arizona, Shoopman was a distinguished adjunct faculty member at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he taught Film Music History, trumpet and conducting. He worked for the Walt Disney World Company conducting and performing on countless multi-million dollar studio projects for Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Disney Cruise Lines. He also worked as a conductor, performer, arranger, and choreographer for live shows seen by millions of guests throughout Walt Disney World including FutureCorps, the Tomorrowland Countdown, the Main Street Philharmonic and Disney's Candlelight Processional. As the most requested clinician for Disney Performing Arts (formerly Magic Music Days), he was honored to lead thousands of educational workshops for middle school, high school and college bands and orchestras from all over the world.

In 2010, Professor Shoopman was appointed music director and conductor of the Brass Band of Central Florida. Under his baton, the BBCF won a national championship, recorded three albums, and earned the ranking of 13th best brass band in the world; the highest placement any band outside of Great Britain has ever achieved. He was known for innovative show designs and arrangements that appealed to a wide range of audiences while still maintaining artistic integrity in the ever growing American brass band movement.

Professor Shoopman has enjoyed numerous guest-conducting, adjudication, and clinic appointments in the United States, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, France and Australia. He is an active orchestral conductor, appearing with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra.

Professor Shoopman has conducted various musical theater productions including "Shrek The Musical," and is recognized for being equally comfortable conducting a wide variety of musical styles and ensembles.

He appears regularly as lead trumpet for Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Arturo Sandoval's L.A. All-Star Big Band, Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge, and the hr-Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as symphony orchestras throughout the United States.


Graduate Teaching Assistant

Music Building
Tucson, AZ 85721

Clifton WestonClifton Weston is in his second year of his Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting at the University of Arizona's Fred Fox School of Music, where he serves as the graduate teaching assistant in the wind band area. Prior to his graduate studies, Weston received his Bachelor of Music in Performance (Clarinet) and Music Education in 2014. During his undergraduate career, he was an active member within the music education department and the University's Outreach Honor Band, where he served as clarinet instructor and student conductor for the ensemble under Dr. Karin Nolan. Weston studied clarinet with Professor Jerry Kirkbride, Suzanne Fisher, and Emilie Finn. Weston has also been an active participant in the University's Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony including principal clarinet of Wind Symphony during the 2013/2014 academic year. After graduation, Weston continued to teach in and around the Tucson area before becoming the Interim Director of Instrumental Music at Sabino High School in 2015. Weston was awarded the College of Fine Arts Outstanding Senior in the School of Music during the fall of 2014. Still working in the public schools in Tucson, Weston is on staff with the Flowing Wells High School Marching Band and gives clarinet master classes to students of all ages. As a graduate student, Weston is excited to teach and study with the University's Band Department once again.


Graduate Teaching Assistant

Music Building
Tucson, AZ 85721

Evan GibsonEvan Gibson is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master's Degree in Wind Band Conducting at the University of Arizona. Gibson acquired his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Delaware in 2015. At Delaware, Gibson was an active member of the various musical ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Pep Band, Tuba Ensemble, and Marching Band playing tuba. He studied tuba with Professor Brian Brown, Principal tuba player in both the Philly Pops and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. After completing his undergraduate degree, Gibson taught general music and choir at a charter school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Program Coordinator, Senior

Music Building, Room 166
Tucson, AZ 85721
520.621.1683, fax 520.621.1916

Ivan Ugorich earned a Master of Arts degree in arts administration from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He has worked as director of marketing and fundraising at Versa Music Conservatory of Music in Georgia. There, he assisted in raising funds for student scholarships and improving visibility for the school. In addition, he worked as an arts administrator in the Southeast, assisting arts organizations such as Council on Culture and Arts (COCA), The Artist Series, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and Thomasville Entertainment Foundation.