As the Dean of the Augustana School of Music at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dr. Peter J. Folliard has worked tirelessly to establish local, regional, national, and international partnerships to support the growth of the School of Music and better prepare its students for success in the world. Under Folliard’s leadership, the School of Music launched a new major in Multimedia Entrepreneurship, combining music, business, and multimedia software courses with industry-recognized certifications to give students a unique and highly relevant educational experience. Folliard’s dedication to the growth and success of the School of Music has been instrumental in its continued development and success

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Folliard began his studies in music at age four and aspired to be a conductor from the very beginning. With studies in the violin, piano, organ, voice, flute, trumpet, trombone and euphonium Folliard received his undergraduate degrees in music education and instrumental performance from the University of North Texas, master’s degrees in instrumental performance and conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music.

Following his master’s degrees, Folliard won his first conducting position with the United States Air Force Bands program. Upon earning his commission from Officer Training School, Folliard was assigned to work with the Air Force’s premier musical unit in Washington, D.C., The United States Air Force Band. There, Folliard was appointed conductor of the Air Force String Orchestra and conductor of The Singing Sergeants. Additionally, Folliard served as the associate conductor with the Concert Band and Ceremonial Brass, and producer of the organization’s recording projects.

Following his work in the Air Force, Peter went on to earn his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music with master pedagogue Neil Varon. There, he also held the position of Eastman Conducting Fellow with the Rochester Philharmonic.

Previously, he served as Augustana’s Director of Orchestras, and as a visiting assistant professor at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Folliard is sought out for guest conducting, guest speaking, teaching and record production across the country. His most recent appearances include teaching conducting at Juilliard’s esteemed Pre-College division, conducting All-State Orchestras, and presenting workshops about leadership, practicing habits, innovation and enhancing ensemble musicianship through his arrangements of Bach chorales (The Bach Initiative) at regional, state and national music education conventions.

Throughout his career, Dr. Folliard has consistently been recognized as an outstanding leader, performer, and educator. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being selected as the University of North Texas’s “Outstanding Member” and “Bandsman of the Year.” The military has consistently recognized his excellence, awarding him for his “leadership, integrity, professionalism, team contribution, and fellowship.” Eastman has also recognized his outstanding dedication and excellence in teaching, awarding him their prestigious graduate teaching assistant prize. These achievements demonstrate Folliard’s exceptional talent and dedication to his craft.

Folliard is highly respected for his skills as a conductor, producer, and leader, but it is his genuine and sincere approach to working with people that truly sets him apart. He has the ability to adapt to his surroundings and communicate in a way that inspires the best from those around him. His passion and enthusiasm for people and music are infectious and uplifting, making him a unique and inspiring figure in the world of classical music.

Dr. Folliard believes that the performing arts offer a unique opportunity to celebrate and showcase the full range of human capabilities, including imagination, creativity, hard work, and self-discipline. Through the public expression of emotions ranging from love and joy to fear and despair, the performing arts provide a platform for us to experience and share in the full spectrum of the human experience.

Positions Held:

  • Dean, Augustana University School of Music (2020-current)
  • Director of Orchestras, Augustana University (2017-2020)
  • Interim Director of Orchestras, Crane School of Music (2016)
  • Eastman Conducting Fellow, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (2014-2016)
  • Conductor, Singing Sergeants (2012-2014)
  • Associate Conductor, The United States Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra (2010-2014)
  • Conductor, Air Force Strings (2010-2012)