Dr. Travis J. Cross serves as professor of music at UCLA, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate wind conducting program, and chairs the music department. He was also associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity during the initial years of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Cross has conducted the UCLA Wind Ensemble at the California All-State Music Education Conference and College Band Directors National Association Western/Northwestern Division conference and prepared the band for centenary performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
During five years as wind ensemble conductor 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. In 2017, Cross taught the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps as brass co-caption head.
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 more than 30 states; Canada, China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates; and at the Midwest Clinic and has engagements in California, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia during the 2018–19 season.
Cross is a Yamaha Master Educator.