Russell McCutcheon is the Director of Bands in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At Gettysburg, he conducts the Wind Symphony and the Sunderman Chamber Winds. In addition, he teaches conducting, music education courses, and supervises student teachers in the field.
Dr. McCutcheon received his Ph.D. in Music Education with a concentration in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida in Gainesville where he served as Assistant Conductor of the Wind Symphony. He was in the conducting studio of Dr. David Waybright and his music education advisors were Drs. Russell Robinson and Charles Hoffer. He received his Master of Science in Music Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
Prior to his appointment in the Sunderman Conservatory, Dr. McCutcheon served for three years as Associate Director of Band, Wind and Percussion Activities at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio and has eight years of high school teaching experience in the public schools. Bands under his direction have performed in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, at Smetana Hall in Prague, and in China, Singapore, England, Scotland, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. He has been a guest conductor at the WASBE 2005 International Conference in Singapore and in 2009 was in residence as invited guest conductor with the Universidad de Caldas Wind Ensemble in Manizales, Colombia as part of the 15th Annual Yamaha Latin American Wind Band Conference.
In 2016, McCutcheon was named as a finalist in the Conducting-University and College Bands Division of The American Prize national non-profit competition in the performing arts. Of his conducting, composer Steven Bryant said: “Russell McCutcheon brings a unique mix of talents and experience to his music-making…my work, Ecstatic Waters, requires the players and the conductor to go above and beyond their usual roles, and he demonstrated fantastic attention to both the musical and the technical details of my music.” In 2013, the Sunderman Conservatory Wind Symphony released a recording titled: “Gettysburg at 150: Music of the American Civil War.” This disc, commemorating the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, was named 2013 Grammy nomination eligible in two categories.
Dr. McCutcheon is the Conductor and Musical Director of the Pennsylvania Lions All-State Band, which performs yearly in Pennsylvania and regularly tours nationally and internationally. He is the founding conductor of the Atlantic Chamber Winds, whose recordings, Volumes I and II of The Cochran Chamber Winds Commissioning Series, were released in 2012 and 2016 on the Mark Masters label. Composer Adam Gorb noted: “I loved your performance of French Dances Revisited…your ensemble plays the work so sensitively and with such spirit.” In the September 2012 issue of WASBE World Magazine, Leon Bly wrote: “the Atlantic Chamber Winds and Russell McCutcheon are to be congratulated for making this music available on a first class recording.” Volume II of this series was named 2016 Grammy nomination eligible in the categories of Album of the Year and Best Orchestral Performance.
Dr. McCutcheon served as a contributor for several volumes of the best-selling book series, “Teaching Music through Performance in Bands,” and is an active clinician and guest conductor. He has been the featured clinician/conductor for many county and district honor bands, was invited to serve as the winds and percussion clinician for the Ohio All-State Orchestra, travels regularly to music camps nationally, and adjudicates band festivals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Mexico and the Bahamas.
McCutcheon is a voting member of The Recording Academy, an organization responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs and internationally known for the Grammy Awards. He is a Signature Artist with Etymotic Research Hearing Protection and endorses the Musicians’ Custom Fit earplugs as well as the MusicPro electronic earplugs.
Dr. McCutcheon is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the National Band Association, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Fraternity for College Bandmembers.
Outside of music, Dr. McCutcheon is active in the Gettysburg community as a volunteer with the Gettysburg Fire Department, where he serves as a firefighter, EMT, and the department’s Public Information Officer.