A native of Chicago, Jon Ceander Mitchell is conductor of the Chamber Orchestra at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he is also Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Performing Arts. In addition he teaches conducting and orchestration there. Before his 1992 arrival in Boston, he held full-time music faculty positions at The University of Georgia, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), and Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana), all of which involved conducting.
During his tenure at Carnegie Mellon, the Wind Ensemble, under his conducting, was selected to perform at the 1991 MENC Eastern Division Conference. Also during that time he was conductor and music director of the North Pittsburgh Civic Symphony.
In recent years he has done a significant amount of guest conducting, including the Sinfonia Bucuresti, Archangelsk (Russia) Chamber Orchestra, Filharmonia Sudecka of Walbrzych, Poland, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Zlin, Czech Republic), Hradec Kralove Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Vratza, Bulgaria Philharmonic, the Pazardjik, Bulgaria Symphony Orchestra, the Keweenaw Symphony (Michigan), Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Boston), The Longy School Orchestra (Boston), Waltham Philharmonic, and The Belmont Orchestra.
Among guest artists who have appeared with him are clarinetists Wojciech Mrozek, Chester Brezniak, and Michael Dejnova, the Renaissance City Winds, Cuarteto Latinoamericano (string quartet), pianists Grigorios Zamparas, Yoko Hagino, Zofia Antes, Timothy McFarland, Jeffrey Jacob, and Maria Stäblein, guitarist Joe Negri, sopranos Marilyn Bulli and Aga Winska, mezzo soprano Suzanne Ehly, and flutists Judy Grant, Mary Oleskiewicz, and Natasha Uzunova.
He has appeared as conductoalso features Linnéa Bardarson, this time with The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra of Olomouc, Czech Republic. It contains J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D Minor (BWV 1052), Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D “Haffner,” and the premiere recording of Gustav Holst’s Gavotte [H190A].
His research covers many areas, but is centered mostly on two compoaers: Holst and Beethoven. He has over fifty publications, including three published books, The Braunschweig Scores: Felix Weingartner and Erich Leinsdorf on Beethoven’s First Four Symphonies (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005), A Comprehensive Biography of Composer Gustav Holst (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2001) and From Kneller Hall to Hammersmith: The Band Works of Gustav Holst (Tutzing, Germany: Haus Hans Schneider, 1990). Two articles have been solicited: “Gustav Holst: The Hammersmith Sketches” (for the premiere issue of the CBDNA Journal) and “JAC Somerville and the British Band in the Era of Holst and Vaughan Williams” (for The Wind Ensemble and Its Repertoire; Essays on the Fortieth Anniversary of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, 1994, ed. Donald Hunsberger). Among other important articles are “Holst, Stock, and The Planets” (Journal of the Conductors Guild), “Adrian Boult and Bruno Walter: A Forty-Year Friendship” (JCG), “John Philip Sousa: A Comparative Study of Selected Orchestral Manuscripts at the Library of Congress” (JCG), and “Paul Robert Marcel Fauchet: Symphonie pour Musique d’Harmonie” (Journal of Band Research), in which the true composer of the work is identified. He also served as editor of the first issue of The WASBE Journal and is currently editor of the CODA (College Orchestra Directors Association) Journal. He has edited some music, including Bach’s Fugue a la Gigue, arr. by Gustav Holst, for Boosey & Hawkes’ Windependence series (2005). His latest book, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Wind Works, is available from Meredith Music Publications.
He received the Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from Millikin University, and the Master of Science in Music Education and Doctor of Education in Music Education degrees from the University of Illinois.
His conducting mentor at University of Illinois was Harry Begian and since that time he has attended conducting workshops featuring clinicians Florin Totan, Victor Feldbrill, Jonathan Sternberg, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Elizabeth Green, H. Robert Reynolds, and Craig Kirchhoff. His teaching/conducting career started in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, where he was part of the University of Illinois-Puerto Rico Programs. In his spare time (which is very lean), he also composes; his Piano Concerto in F, Op. 15 was premiered by pianist Timothy McFarland. Three works have been composed especially for his performing ensembles: Landon Rose’s Natick Fanfare, Nancy Galbraith’s Two Psalms, and Timothy Broege’s Sinfonia XIV.
Recently, he was honored by inclusion in the 57th edition of Who’s Who in America and the 30th edition of Dictionary of International Biography. Hobbies include a burgeoning coaster collection and model railroading. He, his wife Ester and son David, the youngest of their three children, reside in the Greater Boston area.