Faculty Profile

Pete Nowlen
Director of the Concert Band

Music director Pete Nowlen has been a member of the UC Davis faculty since 1988 and the California State University, Sacramento, faculty since 1990. 

Nowlen has been a dynamic part of the northern California musical scene for nearly 30 years.  Dedicated to renewing and sustaining classical music’s relevance in our society, Pete’s career has led him to surprisingly diverse opportunities.

Currently, he holds artistic and musical director positions with seven organizations ranging from Music in the Mountains in Nevada County to the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and including the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra, Camerata California Chamber Choir and Orchestra, the CalCap Chamber Music Workshop and Sacramento’s VITA Academy. A long-time faculty member at both UC Davis, where he is director of Concert Bands, and Sacramento State, Pete has mentored a generation of musicians and music educators for our region and beyond.

As a guest conductor, Pete has led performances of the Sacramento, Auburn, Camellia, Veridian, UCD and CSUS Symphonies as well as the Sacramento Philharmonic. He has served as musical director for more than a dozen theatrical programs ranging from “La bohéme,” “Magic Flute” and “Hansel und Gretel” to “Rocky Horror Show” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

A prize-winning French horn soloist, Pete came to Sacramento in 1987 to join the horn section of the Sacramento Symphony. He joined the Music in the Mountains Orchestra in 1989 and has performed frequently with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet Orchestras and all of the prominent orchestras of the Bay Area and Northern California.  For several years he served as principal horn of the International Orchestra of Italy, performing and recording in Italy’s most prestigious festivals and venues.

Teaching Schedule

Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00–6:00 pm


UC Davis Concert Band Program
Pete Nowlen, director

UC Davis Concert Band Program

For auditions, please sign up for an available time online.

The UC Davis Concert Band Program has existed on the campus for more than 50 years, performing in commencements, ceremonies, and its own concerts.


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