For new Cal Band director, ‘everything begins and ends with the music’

Matthew Sadowski

Matthew Sadowski

When the Cal Band hits the field at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, as the Golden Bears kick of their season against the North Carolina Tar Heels, Matthew Sadowski will be making his debut as its new conductor.

Sadowski, who will arrive on campus from the University of Georgia in August, is UC Berkeley’s new director of bands, Cal Performances announced today. He replaces the legendary Bob Calonico, who retired after 28 years. Sadowski will direct both the University of California Marching Band and the music department’s University Wind Ensemble.

“We are delighted to welcome Matthew Sadowski to Berkeley as director of bands,” said Chancellor Carol T. Christ. “He is an inspiring educator who possesses a rare combination of expertise and artistry, qualities that promise great contributions to the Cal Band and the University Wind Ensemble, as well as to the quality of life of our community.

“With Matthew everything begins and ends with the music. We are confident that the student musicians of Berkeley will benefit from his leadership.”

Sadowski, 33, recently completed his doctorate in conducting at UGA, where he was involved with the marching band, helping to program concerts, engage audiences, educate players, and recruit new students. He  wrote drills and arranged music for the Redcoat Band, traveling with the group for their performance at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in January 2018. He also taught undergraduate conducting courses and collaborated with faculty and colleagues in composition and performance.

Sadowski earned his undergraduate degree in music education at Michigan State University and his master’s  in wind conducting from Ithaca College. From 2009–12 he served as director of bands at Westview High School in Portland, Oregon.

“Teaching others how to give life-changing musical performances while learning from them about their own backgrounds and interests is my passion,” said Sadowski. “I am excited to contribute to the continued growth and success of UC Berkeley’s Marching Band and Wind Ensemble.”

Read Cal Performances’ press release.