Dr. Cody Birdwell

Dr. Cody Birdwell

Director of Bands
University of Kentucky


Dr. John Cody Birdwell is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Kentucky, where his duties include conducting the University of Kentucky Wind Symphony, directing graduate studies program in wind-band conducting, teaching graduate courses in instrumental conducting, history and literature, and supervising the administration of the comprehensive University of Kentucky Bands program in the School of Music. Prior to his appointment at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Birdwell served as Director of Bands at Texas Tech University, Director of Bands at Utah State University, Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, and Director of Bands at Northern Michigan University.

Dr. Birdwell's ensembles have toured extensively throughout the United States, China, and Great Britain, and the University of Kentucky Wind Symphony was selected to perform at the 2013 National Convention of the College Band Directors National Association. Ensembles under Dr. Birdwell's direction have also performed at numerous CBDNA national and division Conferences, and have also performed for the Kentucky Music Educator’s Association, Texas Music Educators Convention, Texas Bandmaster's Association Convention, and the Utah Music Educators Association. In 2008 the UK Wind Symphony toured the People’s Republic of China and performed to capacity audiences in the cities of Suzhou, Yangzhou, Changzhou, and Beijing. Dr. Birdwell and the University of Kentucky Bands served as hosts for the 2017 National Convention of the American Bandmasters Association in Lexington, and the UK Wind Symphony was featured as a performing ensemble during the ABA convention. In May 2019, the UK Wind Symphony will perform as part of the University of Kentucky School of Music 100th Anniversary Gala Concert in New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

An elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, Birdwell holds degrees from The University of North Texas and West Texas A&M University.

Dr. Birdwell serves as Past President of the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division and holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Kentucky Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha. He remains active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad.

  Session Titles

Choosing Repertoire Wisely for the Young (And Not so Young?) Director


How to Select the Best Repertoire and How to Program Successfully for Your Concert Band

Discipline, Morale, and Esprit de Corps


Classroom Management Guidelines for Music Educators: Helping the Young Teachers Succeed Quickly!

The Ultimate Band Rehearsal


Five Simple and Effective Steps for Rehearsal Planning and Execution that Leave Your Students (and YOU!) Looking Forward to the Next Rehearsal