Dr. Travis J. Cross serves as associate professor of music and department vice chair at UCLA, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and directs the graduate wind conducting program. He holds a concurrent appointment as associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. As wind ensemble conductor for five years at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., Cross led students in performances at the Virginia Music Educators Association conference, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall and developed the Virginia Tech Band Directors Institute into a major summer conducting workshop.
Cross earned doctor and master of music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the bachelor of music degree cum laude in vocal and instrumental music education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. His principal teachers were Mallory Thompson and Timothy Mahr. Prior to graduate study, he taught for four years at Edina (Minn.) High School, where he conducted two concert bands and led the marching band program.
In 2004, Cross participated in the inaugural Young Conductor/Mentor Project sponsored by the National Band Association. The same year he received the Distinguished Young Band Director Award from the American School Band Directors Association of Minnesota. From 2001–2003, Cross served a two-year term as the recent graduate on the St. Olaf College Board of Regents. In 2006, he was named a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the United States Department of Education. From 2011–2015, he served two terms as national vice president for professional relations for Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity.
Cross contributed a chapter to volume four of Composers on Composing for Band, available from GIA Publications. His more than 20 original compositions and arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Daehn Publications, and Theodore Music. He has appeared as a guest conductor, composer, and clinician in several states; Canada, China, Korea, Thailand; and at the Midwest Clinic and leads honor bands and other ensembles in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, and Singapore during the 2016–17 season.
Cross is a Yamaha Master Educator.