Virginia Allen is the Assistant Dean for Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where she also teaches The Art of Teaching in the Music Studio and serves as Artistic Director of the Conducting Workshop for Music Educators. At Juilliard she previously served as Associate Dean for Administration, taught conducting, co-founded and conducted The Juilliard Trombone Choir, and served as Executive Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies. She currently teaches conducting at Teachers College, Columbia University and is Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony. She has also served as Artistic Director of the Sun Valley Summer Music Workshops in Idaho, where she founded and conducted the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra.
Prior to teaching on the college level, Virginia enjoyed a 20-year career as a conductor and administrator in the U.S. Army Bands Program and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. As a pioneer for women in military bands she was the first woman to command and conduct an active duty military band that included women when she was appointed Principal Conductor of The U.S. Army Forces Command Band in Atlanta. As the Associate Conductor of The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, she was the first woman conductor of that historic organization, as well as the Cadet Glee Club and Cadet Band. She also performed on stages from the Hollywood Bowl to Europe as the first woman conductor of the Army's premier touring ensembles from Washington, D.C., The U.S. Army Field Band and The Soldiers' Chorus. Her military career included an assignment as the Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer in Washington, D.C., where she managed over 100 Army bands and band activities worldwide.
Virginia frequently guest conducts, adjudicates and teaches master classes in the U.S. and internationally. She conducted Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard Trombone Choir on a compact disc recording released by the International Trombone Association in 1999 and now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Virginia collaborated with Mr. Alessi again another Summit recording, Trombonastics.
As a composer and arranger, her music has been premiered, performed and recorded by members of the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Washington Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard Trombone Choir, The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, and The U.S. Military Academy Band. Her music has been published by Carl Fischer, Southern Music, Ludwig Music, and TRN Music. A member of ASCAP, she is a former board member for the Conductors Guild and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
Virginia studied French horn and conducting and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Diploma in Wind Conducting from the University of Calgary. She earned a Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of Music at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, where her dissertation topic was Developing Expertise in Professional American Orchestra Conductors. Virginia also completed an internship in Performance Activities at Juilliard.