Dennis Gowen

Dennis Gowen is a native of Maine and holds degrees in conducting performance and teaching from Western Michigan University and the University of Southern Maine. Gowen has served as principal trumpet with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony and the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra over 30 years.

Gowen regularly conducts the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, a select ensemble drawing from the region’s finest musicians, and has also served as conductor as well as interim artistic director for the local Bismarck-Mandan Symphony. He has been a featured soloist with these and other orchestras and wind ensembles in the north central region.

Gowen began his tenure as director of bands and brass at the University of Mary in 1987. He currently serves as the head of the University of Mary band program and directs the University of Mary’s Concert Band and various brass ensembles. In 2012 the Gabrieli Brass Ensemble, which Gowen initiated in 1998, performed for mass at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy. His students and ensembles have performed or competed at local, state, regional, and national events, and are employed worldwide. Gowen also teaches Applied Horn and Trumpet courses, Conducting, Brass Methods, Brass Pedagogy, and Secondary Instrumental Methods at the University of Mary.


As a performer, Gowen has worked with various ensembles and orchestras in Canada, and the U.S. He has served as president of the North Dakota National Band Association and the College Band Directors’ National Association. He has served as conductor for various prestigious honor ensembles, including the College Band Directors National Association’s 10-state North Central Intercollegiate Band (Michigan), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Honor Band Festival.

  • Conductor & Principal Trumpet, Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra (MVCO)
  • Conductor/Interim Artistic Director & Principal Trumpet, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra (BMSO)
  • Conductor, Montana AA Honor Band
  • Conductor, CBDNA Intercollegiate Band (10-state North-Central Region)
  • Conductor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Honor Band Festival
  • Soloist, MVCO (Neruda - Concerto in Eb; Ives - Unanswered Question)
  • Soloist, BMSO (Vivaldi – Concerto for Trumpets & Orchestra)
  • Creator/Author for State Music Educators’ Journal (Band Music Reviews)
  • Presenter for ND Music Educators (10 Ways to Be a Better Conductor; Pedagogical Brass Techniques)
  • Adjudicator, various local & regional solo & ensemble festivals (ND, SD, IA, Canada)
  • Conductor, clinician & soloist, various local & regional honor ensembles and band programs (ND, SD, MN, MT, MI, ME, Canada)  
  • Adjudicator, Montana Arts Council
  • Recipient, 2019 Citation of Excellence (ND Nat’l Band Assoc.)
  • Recipient, 2007 Best Practices Award (University of Mary)


Awards, Compositions, & Arrangements:

Gowen received the University of Mary Best Practices Award in 2007 and the Citation of Excellence Award from the North Dakota National Band Association in 2019. He has been nominated by students and selected three times as a member of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

  • Beyond the Shadows (2016) Concert Band & Two Vocalists
    Written in conjunction with the 2015-2016 UMary campus read: Into the Wild         
  • Premiered by University of Mary Concert Band
  • Commencement Fanfare (2017)
    Premiered by University of Mary Concert Band
  • Mack the Knife (2017) 9-Part Dixieland Ensemble
    Premiered by the Doc Lindelow Memorial Dixieland Band
  • Cantique de Noel (2016) Brass Quartet
  • Too Little Time (2015) Chamber Orchestra
  • Summertime (2015) Chamber Orchestra
  • Stompin’ at the Savoy (2015) Chamber Orchestra