Ronald Foster: Composer/Conductor

Bio PhotoRonald Foster is one of the new breed of composer/conductors capable of working within a wide variety of musical genres. Whether on the concert stage, in the theater, or with jazz and popular music, Mr. Foster has earned a reputation as a creative, innovative, and sensitive musician.

Mr. Foster's guest conducting engagements include the Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Anchorage Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Traverse Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Waukesha Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and Soundscapes Chamber Ensemble. He was Co-Artistic Director of An Evening at the Ballet (with Mireille Favarel), a symphonic program for dancers and orchestra, from 2013-19. 

Ronald Foster was Composer/Conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony's Arts in Community Education (ACE) program from 1997-2013, and Guest Composer with the MSO in January, 2000. He was Artistic Director of the St. Luke's Chamber Music Series from 2010-12. Mr. Foster was Adjunct Professor at Carroll University from 2009-21 (American Film Music, The Music of the Movies: Cultural Perspectives), and Adjunct Professor of Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1999-2006. He was Music Director/Conductor/Co-Founder of the Broadmoor Pops Orchestra from 1992-98, Music Director/Conductor of the Pikes Peak Civic Orchestra from 1989-91 and 1994-95, Conductor of the Colorado College Chamber Orchestra from 1990-95, Assistant Conductor of the Pueblo Symphony from 1989-91, and Music Director, Conductor, Composer, and Arranger for the Broadmoor Ice Revue Orchestra from 1985-95.

The music of Ronald Foster has been performed and/or recorded by the Milwaukee Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Amarillo Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, Cape Cod Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Traverse Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Kokomo Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic (Plymouth Symphony), Ohlone Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Wellesley Symphony, Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, Lamont Symphony, Bloomington Pops, Broadmoor Pops, Aureole, Da Vinci String Quartet, Eclectix, Juilliard Brass Quintet, Present Music, Stephen Burns, Woody Herman, Bobby McFerrin, Heidi Grant Murphy, Doc Severinsen, David Shostac, The Four Freshmen, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, St. Luke's Chamber Players, Air Force Band (DC), Air Force Academy Band (Air Force Band of the Rockies), Air Force Band of Liberty (Boston), Air Force Band of Flight (Dayton), Band of the Royal Air Force College, and leading chamber, collegiate, and military ensembles. His works include music for orchestra, wind ensemble/band, brass and percussion ensemble, string quartet, chamber ensembles, solo clarinet, solo guitar, chorus, children’s chorus, jazz band, and electronic orchestration. He is the former Chief Composer/Arranger for the United States Air Force Academy Band.

Mr. Foster attended the University of North Texas, with degrees from Denver University (MA: Orchestral Conducting/Composition) and the University of Southern Colorado (BS: Music Performance/Woodwinds). He studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Vincent La Guardia, and Daniel Lewis; composition with John Corigliano and Donald Keats; and was mentored by John Giordano. Mr. Foster won the 1993 America the Beautiful Commissioning Project, receiving yearly ASCAP Composer Awards from 1992-2014. On the Wings of Angels, commissioned for the Dayton Philharmonic and the Air Force Band of Flight, commemorating the 2003 Centennial of Powered Flight, premiered in 2003. His chamber orchestra version of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel, commissioned by Milwaukee’s renowned Skylight Music Theatre, opened the Skylight’s 2007-2008 season.