(808) 956-7657

Faculty & Staff

Jeffrey Boeckman

Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman
Professor of Music
Director of Bands
(808) 956-2169

Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa. He conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches courses in conducting and wind literature, and oversees the entire UH Bands program. In the first years under his direction, the UH Bands have embarked on an ambitious agenda of programming, commissioning, touring, and professional development, including the development of an MM Conducting degree program, collaborations with guest artists, the UH Conductors Workshop, and a composer residency program, all with the goal of developing the UH Bands into a national and international-profile band program.

Dr. Boeckman has served as guest conductor with the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Hawai‘i, and has conducted both the O‘ahu Band Director Association and Central District Honor Groups. He has served as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician across the US and internationally. Ensembles under his direction have performed at such venues as the W/NW CBDNA conference, California, Hawai‘i, and Texas MEA conferences, and throughout North America and Europe. His scholarly work has been presented at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) International Conference, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference, and the California & Hawai‘i Music Educators Association State Conferences, and has been published in the Music Educators Journal and the Journal of Band Research. His book, A Counterpoint of Characters: the Music of Michael Colgrass, was published by VDM Verlag.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Boeckman held positions at California State University-San Bernardino (where he founded the Inland Empire Youth Wind Symphony), Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Roanoke College. He also directed the bands and orchestra program at Shasta High School in Northern California, and served as conductor of the Redding Symphony Youth Orchestra and guest conductor for the Redding Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Boeckman holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His principal conducting teachers include Michael Senturia, Gregg Hanson, and James Smith.

Dustin Ferguson

Dr. Dustin Ferguson is the Interim Associate Director of Bands and Marching Band Director at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In this role, he conducts the Symphonic Band and Fall Concert Band, directs the Rainbow Warrior Marching Band, and teaches courses in music education.

Dr. Ferguson’s academic journey is distinguished by his recent tenure as a Doctoral Graduate Teaching Associate in Instrumental Conducting at The Ohio State University. There, he played a pivotal role in teaching conducting courses and marching band techniques, guest conducting various ensembles, and contributing to the OSU Marching and Athletic Bands as both conductor and staff member.

Before embarking on his doctoral studies, Dr. Ferguson served as one of the Band Directors at Park Vista Community High School. Under his leadership, the school ensembles consistently earned Superior ratings at both district and state levels. His direction led the marching band to become a Grand Nationals Semi-Finalist and participants in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl LIV Half-Time Performance. His excellence in teaching was recognized early on when he was named Beginning Teacher of the Year in 2019.

A native of Florida, Dr. Ferguson holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters degree in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Florida. He holds memberships in the College Band Directors Association, NAfME, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda, as well as honorary membership in Kappa Kappa Psi.




Dr. Dustin Ferguson
Assistant Professor of Music
Interim Associate Director of Bands

Gwen Nakamura

Ms. Gwen H. Nakamura
Assistant Band Director
Pep Band Director
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Gwen Nakamura is Assistant Band Director, Assistant Director of the Marching Band and Director of the Concert Band at the University of Hawai’i. She received her Bachelor of Education in Music and Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of Hawai’i. She conducts and writes shows for the Marching Band and is the conductor of the Pep Bands.

Ms. Nakamura is an accomplished saxophonist and bassoonist and has taught applied music for the University of Hawai’i on the saxophone. She has many secondary students on both the saxophone and bassoon. Before coming to the University, she led successful band programs at Castle High School and Kahuku High School.

Her professional affiliations include the National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Hawai’i Music Educators Association, and the College Band Directors National Association.

Dean Taba

Dean Taba is a freelance bassist, composer, producer, and educator living in Honolulu, HI. He began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6 and played french horn in the Hawaii Youth Symphony. It was a desire to play in the high school jazz band that introduced him to the bass and improvised music.

After studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Dean moved in 1984 to Los Angeles to further refine his skills on both the Acoustic and Electric bass. For 20 years, Dean worked in the studios of LA with his musical heroes, mentors, and contemporaries recording countless albums, TV shows, jingles, movies, and video game soundtracks. He was even instrumental in creating Trilian, an award winning Virtual Instrument. In spite of a very busy recording and touring schedule, Dean made time to teach at The Dick Grove School of Music, Musician’s Institute, and the Los Angeles Music Academy, as well as recording three of his own albums.

He is now back home in Palolo Valley performing, teaching, recording, and producing some of Hawai’i’s most influential and innovative artists. And he is very excited to be director of the Hawai’i Youth Symphony Combo and the Jazz Band of The University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Mr. Dean Taba
Jazz Ensemble Director

Justin Woo

Mr. Justin Woo
Director of Operations
(808) 956-5207

Justin Woo is the Director of Operations for the University of Hawaiʻi Bands. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Music. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in General Music and Masters of Arts in Sports Industry Management. 

During his time at UH Mānoa, he served as a student equipment manager and a member of the UH Bands program. As the Director of Operations, he is responsible for day-to-day operations and logistics of ensembles offered within the UH Bands program. His duties include overseeing undergraduate equipment staff, event logistics, instrument repair, social media and many other duties that keep the UH Bands program running smoothly.

Aside from his duties with the UH Bands, he is a marching band technician, substitute music teacher and intermediate girls soccer assistant coach for Punahou Schools, Senior Producer for Gameday Events for the UH Athletics Marketing Department, Band Liaison for ESPN Events Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic & EasyPost Hawaiʻi Bowl) and is a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT).

Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell is the Drumline Director and Arranger for the University of Hawai`i Rainbow Marching Band. Born and Raised on Oahu, he started playing drums in 2005 at `Iolani School where he performed in the Stage Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Concert Orchestra and Fall Musical Pit Orchestra. After high school, Sean attended the University of Hawaii at Mānoa where he participated in the Jazz Band and Drumline. He started as a Drumline Instructor and Arranger in 2013 working with many local high schools, including `Iolani, Punahou, Radford, Roosevelt and Mililani. Sean is currently working with Mililani High School as their Battery Instructor. He is eager to raise the standard for Drumlines here in Hawai`i.

Sean Mitchell
Drumline Director

Robynne Asato 

Robynne Asato
Color Guard Director

Robynne Asato is the Color Guard director for the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warrior Marching Band. She graduated from Aiea High School where she was a member of the color guard and marched saxophone. She graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi and was a member of the UH Color Guard for 5 years. Aside from her duties with the UHCG, she was a member of the Kaikalino Independent Winter guard, former technician for the Kaiser High School Guard program. She is currently the Color Guard instructor for the Aiea High School Na Aliʻi Marching Band and the founder for Hoʻolina Independent Winter guard.

Janelle Bayne

Janelle Bayne is the Director for the Rainbow Warrior Dancers (UHRWD). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in travel industry management from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Master of Business Administration degree from Chaminade University. She was a member of UHRWD for 4 years, and was notably part of the dance team that cheered on Colt Brennan and the Warriors at the 2008 Sugar Bowl. Janelle was a professional dancer for the Disneyland Resort and served as the first Disney Ambassador for Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Aside from her work with the University of Hawai’i, she teaches jazz/technique dance classes at studios around the island and serves as the Brand & Community Specialist for Hawaiian Airlines.

Janelle Bayne
Rainbow Dancer Director

Fernando Pacheco

Mr. Fernando Pacheco

Fernando Pacheco is a proud alumnus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has been the voice of the Marching Band since 2016. 

The former tuba player began entertaining radio listeners in 2001, hosting various programs on Star 101.9 KUCD-FM and 105.9 KPOI-FM. Pacheco also produced and hosted his own television show, “Almost Local” on Time Warner Cable’s OC16. 

Aside from his work with the University of Hawaii “Rainbow Warrior” Marching Band, he currently hosts the Ka Moana Luau and serves as a Communication Specialist for Hawaiian Airlines.

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