Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

John Swain

From Wind Repertory Project
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Swain


John Swain (12 August 1950, Yankton, S.D. – 3 August, 2003, Rosemead, Calif.) was an American composer and educator.

Swain grew up in Tyndall, S.D., and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1972 with a BFA in Music. In 1972, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army and served in Ft. Knox, KY, for two years. In 1977, he completed a MM at the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in Music at Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, in 1986. Swain taught music for 27 years, starting in public schools in South Dakota, and at Olivet College, in Michigan where he served as director of bands and later as chair of the Department of Performing Arts. During the 1998-99 academic year, he served as a high school instrumental music teacher in Eden Prairie, MN.

During his tenure at Cal State Los Angeles, Dr. Swain served as chair of the Department of Music and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters. As chair of the University Music Administrators of California and as chair of the California Council on Music Education, he was a leader in setting agendas to examine issues in music education in California and developing programs that serve the needs of teachers and students in music education.

Swain has performed as a professional musician both as a low brass specialist and as a singer. He performed with the Los Angeles Gregorian Schola, the Pasadena Pro Musica and as a freelance instrumentalist, having performed with ensembles such as the California Brass Ensemble and Rising Winds Chamber Ensemble. He was the founding conductor of the Golden State British Brass Band and has served as guest conductor of a variety of instrumental ensembles in Southern California and elsewhere. He served regularly as an adjudicator and clinician for band, orchestra and choral festivals. His published texts include The Brass Instruments: A Reference Manual. He was also a composer/arranger of works for band, brass band, orchestra and small ensembles.

Works for Winds


  • John Swain, Cal State LA Accessed 1 March 2016
  • Schuman, Jr., Mohamad S. "Palotoloyo." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 193-199. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.