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Directors Circle

Apr 15, 2020

This episode features my conversation with Dr. Scott Watson. In addition to being an acclaimed composer for band and orchestra, Scott is well known for his work as an educator, author, and clinician. 


Topics include: 

- Scott’s approach to composing

- Composing for student musicians

- Integrating technology into a music class

- Teaching young instrumentalists 



Scott’s website:

Scott’s youTube Channel:



Dr. Scott Watson received his B.S., Music Education from West Chester University and his M.M and D.M.A., Composition from Temple University and has taught music for 30+ years in the Parkland School District (Allentown, Pennsylvania) where he currently coordinates a large, vibrant elementary band/strings program and teaches several popular, creativity-infused high school music electives. Watson was recognized by the Parkland School District in 2015 with a Parkland Pride Award for outstanding achievement, and in 2020 he was awarded the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 10 Citation of Excellence in Teaching Award.

An award-winning and frequently commissioned composer, Dr. Watson’s output includes close to 90 published works at all levels for concert band and orchestra. Watson’s music, which has been performed around the world and in the U.S. at such prestigious venues as Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, the White House, and the Midwest Clinic (Chicago), has been described as “outstanding...with beautiful melodies and interesting harmonies" (The Instrumentalist) and "written with supreme craft" (Percussive Arts Society Percussive Notes). His music has received awards and recognition from the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the Percussive Arts Society, and others. Recent commissions include works for: Composers and Schools in Concert (for a consortium of 12 university and high school bands across the U.S.), Magic Valley Symphony Orchestra (Twin Falls, ID), Albemarle County (VA) Middle School Honors Band, MusicAlliance Honor Band Camp (Cleveland, OH), the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, and many school ensembles. Watson is an exclusive composer for Alfred Publications and a contributor and clinician for the Sound Innovations band series. He, along with co-authors Brian Beck and Robert Sheldon, created Alfred Music's Sound Sight-Reading method (Books 1 and 2) for concert band.

Watson has presented numerous workshops/clinics for music educators, including the 2019 New Hampshire Music Educators Association Conference, 2017 Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, IL), 2017 MENC Eastern Division Conference (Atlantic City, NJ), 2015 NAfME National Conference (Nashville, TN), the keynote for the 2013 Music Technology in Education Conference (Melbourne, Australia) and many other clinics and professional development workshops. He frequently serves as guest conductor for honor band festivals, including the 2020 East Central Mississippi Band Director's Association High School Honor Band, 2020 Winston-Salem/Forsyth All-County Middle School Honor Band, 2019 Mississippi Middle School All-State Band, 2019 PMEA 12 Delaware County 5th/6th Grade BandFest, 2018 PMEA 10 Elementary Band Festival, 2017 PMEA District 5 Freshman Band Festival, and the 2015 All New England Band Festival (Plymouth State University, NH). Additionally, Dr. Watson is an adjunct professor for a number of universities (Cairn University, University of the Arts, Central Connecticut State University, and Moravian College) and author of the highly regarded music education text, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (©2011, Oxford University Press). Watson's facility with and pedagogical application of music education technology has made him an in-demand presenter and professional development trainer.