First Coast Wind Ensemble Conductor
Artie Clifton is associate professor of music at Jacksonville University, where he teaches courses in music education and performance and conducts the wind ensemble and chamber winds. He holds degrees from Stetson University and the University of Cincinnati, and has done post-graduate study at New York University and Brooklyn College.
Mr. Clifton has taught band, chorus and orchestra in public schools in Orlando and Winter Park, Florida. From 1979-81, he was Music Director and Conductor of the Ocala (FL) Festival Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra.
From 1981-89, Mr. Clifton was Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There he conducted collegiate wind and jazz groups, and theatre orchestra productions. He was the recipient of two merit awards for outstanding teaching and four faculty research grants. Professional conducting activities (1982-89) included the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Festival Orchestra and the Muhlenberg Chamber Ensemble, a professional group that produced a concert series featuring chamber winds repertoire. He was also principal clarinetist of the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, whose activities included a 1987 compact disc recording with keyboardist Anthony Newman on the Newport Classics label.
Mr. Clifton is a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist. As a clarinetist, he maintains an active performance schedule that includes recitals and chamber music, and he has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1990. In addition to clarinet and bass clarinet, he has played soprano, alto and tenor saxophone with the JSO.
Mr. Clifton has served as a conductor of the First Coast Wind Ensemble since he co-founded the organization in 1990. The 60-member group provides an admission-free annual concert series as a cultural service to Northeast Florida. Under his leadership, the ensemble has produced three CDs and a DVD and has established a guest composer series and a concerto competition for high school musicians.
Mr. Clifton has produced and directed the Jacksonville Private Schools Honor Band at JU since 1993. This annual young artist program supports music education by providing talented high school students an opportunity to study and perform quality music literature in a university setting.
Mr. Clifton serves as a guest conductor and adjudicator in music festivals, and is a member of several professional music organizations and honorary societies.