Robert D. McCashin, DMA, is Professor Emeritus and former Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at James Madison University. He recently retired from academe after a 43-year career of conducting and applied string teaching at the college/university level. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Arizona. He was awarded JMU’s Distinguished Teacher Award for the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2015. For the past 24 years, Dr. McCashin has been Music Director for the JMU Symphony, Chamber Orchestra and Opera Orchestras, and taught all relevant orchestral conducting and academic courses within the MM and DMA curricular core, as well as applied studio strings. Dr. McCashin, a violinist, has been a successful writer and arranger of educational publications, having now published nearly 80 works for the Grade I through V educational performance levels. His original works and arrangements are published through Wingert-Jones, FJH Music and Tempo Press.
Prior to his position at James Madison University, Dr. McCashin served on the faculties of the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Wesleyan University. During his tenure in Texas he performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth Opera Orchestra, Wichita Falls Symphony, Gallery String Quartet, and the University Piano Trio, and performed extensively as a freelance violinist throughout the North Texas region. He was the founding conductor of the Arlington Youth Symphony, served as conductor for the Trinity Symphony and the Arlington Opera Association, and associate conductor of the Youth Orchestras of Greater Fort Worth. In addition, he maintained a substantial private violin studio of students at all levels. In addition to his publications for Wingert-Jones, he writes for other major publishers and his many compositions and arrangements are best sellers and Editors’ Choice selections in the educational music arena. He is co-author of the new popular collection of pieces for young string players, String Premiere, offered by Wingert-Jones Music Publications, as well as New Directions for Strings and A Scale in Time published by FJH Music.
Through his guest conducting and visitations as a clinician and adjudicator, Dr. McCashin has used his pedagogical knowledge to aid young string players from elementary through the high school levels. His guest conducting appearances have included regional level professional orchestras as well as district, region, and state honor orchestras. Dr. McCashin is Founder, Past President and former National Board member for the College Orchestra Directors Association.