Dean McDowell studied conducting at the University of Michigan and received his BA in Music Education in 1975 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. For 11 years Mr. McDowell worked as an instrumental, choral and elementary school music teacher in Ohio. In recognition of his enthusiastic and effective work with student musicians, Dean was awarded the Martha Holding Jennings Scholarship for Outstanding Teacher and Leadership. Dean also pursued his love for making music by directing community theatre productions as well as playing euphonium in the Capital Pride Band of Columbus which his partner Bob helped found. His ability to make things happen transitioned Dean’s career as a Music Educator to a specialized and sought after tour planner working with hundreds of high school music departments, creating
tours of a lifetime for literally thousands of students in the U.S. and abroad. He is again working in that industry part time for Bob Rogers Travel as a tour director.
Dean moved full time from Columbus, Ohio to the Coachella Valley in 2006. The Desert Winds Freedom Band was in need of a permanent Artistic Director and Dean was recruited for the position in 2007. Under his seasoned leadership, the Band has grown into a highly esteemed, openly LGBT and LGBT-friendly musical organization for the Coachella Valley. Dean enjoys the challenge of bringing out the best of the Band’s volunteer musicians and the audiences have responded in kind. Designing future
performances that continue to draw audiences, seeking greater visibility and maintaining financial viability for the band are his priorities.
Eleven years ago, Dean suggested broadening the educational outreach of the Band by bringing in guest composer/conductors to be featured with the Desert Winds, performing their compositions and sponsoring workshops with these prestigious composers with local high school band programs. In addition, the Desert Winds has awarded thirty-four $1000 scholarships to deserving high school seniors accepted to major in music in college.