Peter Loel Boonshaft holds Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude), Master of Music Education in Conducting, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Dr. Boonshaft was also awarded a Connecticut General Fellowship for study at the Kodály Musical Training Institute, from which he holds a Certificate.
He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He is Conductor of the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, professor of conducting and music education, and Director of the graduate wind conducting program. Prior to this appointment, Boonshaft was on the faculty of Moravian College and the University of Hartford. He was Founder and Music Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Honors Concert Band and the Connecticut Valley Youth Wind Ensemble. In addition, he held the post of Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston.
Peter Boonshaft has been a consultant or recorded for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Southern Music Publishers, Kendor Music Publishers, Daehn Publications, and C. Allen Music. Active as a proponent of new literature for concert band, he has commissioned and conducted over thirty world premieres by such notable composers as W. Francis McBeth, Johan de Meij, Fisher Tull, H. Owen Reed, Vaclav Nelhybel, David Gillingham, Philip Sparke, Andrew Boysen, Robert W. Smith, David Holsinger, Robert Washburn, Elliot Del Borgo, Herbert Deutsch, Robert Hawkins, Larry Lipkis, Ian McDougall, Reber Clark, Gregory Sanders, Roland Barrett and Jared Spears.
Boonshaft is also the author of Vaclav Nelhybel: His Life and Works, the only authorized biography of the composer, and articles for Instrumentalist Magazine, the National Band Association Journal, MENC’s Teaching Music and Band Director’s Guide. In addition, he holds the post of Band/Wind Ensemble Editor for the School Music News. Among the soloists who have appeared in performance with him are John Marcellus, Harvey Phillips, Ed Shaughnessy, Lynn Klock, Don Butterfield, Dave Steinmeyer and the United States Air Force “Airmen of Note,” Chester Schmitz, and the Vienna Schubert Trio.
Boonshaft has been awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi, as well as twice receiving the University of Hartford Regent’s Award and that University’s Outstanding Music Educator Award. He has received official proclamations from the Governors of four states and a Certificate of Appreciation from President Ronald Reagan, as well as performing for President and Mrs. George Bush, and for Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His honors also include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts “Artist in Residence”, three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University.
Extremely active as a guest conductor and clinician for festivals, concerts, and workshops nationally and internationally, he was chosen to conduct the All-Eastern Band for the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, Maryland; as a clinician for the National Convention of the Canadian Music Educators Association in Halifax, Nova Scotia; as conductor of the All-Eastern Directors Band for the MENC Eastern Division Conference in New York City; as guest conductor and clinician for the European Music Educators Convention in Heidelberg, Germany; as a clinician and speaker for the National Convention of the American School Band Directors Association in Honolulu, Hawaii; as a clinician for the MENC Northwest Division Conference in Spokane, Washington; was named conductor of the MENC National High School Honors Band for the National Convention in Nashville, Tennessee; as guest conductor of the Goldman Memorial Band; as conductor of the All-Northwest Band for the MENC Northwest Division Conference in Portland, Oregon; and recently received invitations to conduct in China and Brazil.