Dr. Thomas Caneva

Dr. Thomas Caneva

Director of Bands
Ball State University


Dr. Thomas E. Caneva is Director of Bands, Professor of Music and Coordinator of Ensembles and Conducting at Ball State University. At Ball State, Caneva’s responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, coordinating the graduate wind band conducting program, teaching undergraduate conducting and administering the entire band program.

Since his arrival at Ball State in 2006, the BSU Wind Ensemble has been invited to perform at numerous festivals and conventions including the 2009 MENC North Central Division Convention, the 2010 and 2014 CBDNA North Central Division Conferences, the 2011 and 2017 IMEA State Conferences, the 2011 CBDNA National Conference in Seattle, WA and the 2017 CBDNA National Conference in Kansas City, MO. The performance in Seattle marked the first appearance of a Ball State concert ensemble at a national convention. In 2012, Ball State co-hosted (with Butler University, Indiana University, and Purdue University) and performed at the 76th Convention of the American Bandmasters Association in Indianapolis, IN. The BSU Wind Ensemble also appeared at the Mid-North Horn Workshop, which was hosted by Ball State University in 2016.

In 2007, Caneva founded the Ball State University Conducting Workshop, which has attracted aspiring conductors from throughout the United States. An advocate of new repertoire for wind band, he has been a part of more than twenty commissioning projects and premieres with the BSU Band program.

Previous to his appointment at Ball State University, Caneva was a member of the music faculties at the University of Illinois, University of Colorado, Auburn University, and the University of Texas. His teaching career began at Lincoln-Way Community High School in New Lenox, Illinois. In addition to university and public school teaching experience, Caneva has served as a conductor of adult community bands in Boulder and Denver, CO. Under his direction, the Boulder Concert Band performed at the 1998 Colorado Music Educators Association Convention. Since 2011, he has served as the Concert Band Division Coordinator for the Music for All Summer Symposium.

In 2001, Caneva was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association, where he serves as a member of the ABA/Ostwald Composition Contest Committee and the Edwin Frank Goldman Memorial Citation Committee. Currently, he serves as the Indiana State Chair of CBDNA. Other honorary and professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Educators, the Indiana Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary membership) and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (honorary membership).

Caneva received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  Session Titles

I wish Someone Would Have Told Me That!


Moving from the college music experience toward the first teaching position is often a challenge. This clinic focuses on the areas that college students, as well as band directors in their early careers might want to address.

Listening for a Change


Creating an environment which promotes performance sensitivity within an ensemble, focusing on methods that might be used to make students aware of how and where to listen.

Qualities That Make a Great Conductor


This clinic focuses on the skills needed to move beyond being a "time-keeping" conductor and moving toward becoming an artistic conductor

Rehearsal and Performance Etiquette


This clinic focuses on setting up a professional atmosphere in both rehearsals and performances.

Rehearsal Techniques for the Secondary Music Educator


This clinic focuses on the importance of the processes necessary to reach the desired performance goals of an ensemble.