Department of Music

John LaCognata

Assistant Professor, Director of Bands, Trumpet, Conducting




CA 1054

John P. LaCognata

John P. LaCognata was appointed Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2010.  At UNCW, his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, and Pep Band; teaching applied trumpet, conducting and instrumental techniques; directing the UNCW Honor Band Festival and Summer Band, and administering the entire band program.  In addition to his work at UNCW, he conducts the Wilmington Symphonic Winds, a regional professional-level wind ensemble; and the Wilmington New Horizons Concert Band in association with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the UNCW Division of Public Service and Continuing Studies.  Dr. LaCognata received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois (1986), Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Auburn University (1989) and PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida (2010) where he was awarded a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship.

Prior to his appointment at UNCW, Dr. LaCognata has held a variety of teaching positions throughout his twenty-eight year career as a music educator.  At the collegiate level, he served on the faculties of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Louisiana State University, and Iowa State University.  At the secondary level, he held positions at Hillcrest High School (Country Club Hills, Illinois), Tavares High School (Tavares, Florida), Cypress Creek High School (Orlando, Florida), and Winter Park High School (Winter Park, Florida).

Concert bands under Dr. LaCognata’s direction have performed at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa, Florida, the North Carolina Music Educators Association in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, the and most notably, the 60th Anniversary of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois in 2006.  Marching bands under his leadership have been awarded Grand Champion at the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Sylvania Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, and performed at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship and Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Dr. LaCognata is an active adjudicator, clinician and performer.  He has served as a guest conductor for bands and honor bands throughout the United States.  He is a member of the UNCW Faculty Brass Quintet as well as the Cape Fear Brassworks. His professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the International Trumpet Guild, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, and the North Carolina Bandmasters Association.