Neil Hansen is retired from Northwest College where he served as the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Division, Professor of Music, and Director of Bands where he directed the Northwest College Wind Band and the Northwest Jazz Band I for over 30 years. Mr. Hansen has degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wyoming and has completed 36 hours toward a DMA in Music Education from Boston University. He has directed bands at all levels from elementary to college in both Iowa and Wyoming during his 40-year career.
Mr. Hansen served as the Chair of the Commission for Community/Jr. Colleges for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and continues to serve on the Wyoming Arts Council Board. He is the founder of the Wyoming Jazz Educators and organized the first Wyoming Allstate Jazz Band and Jazz Choir. Mr. Hansen was a member of NAfME, Wyoming Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, the International Trumpet Guild, and is a charter member of the Jazz Educators Network. He is the founder of the Yellowstone Jazz Camp, the Yellowstone Summer Music Camp, the Northwest Jazz Festival, and the Festival of Trumpets.
Mr. Hansen has served as a clinician and adjudicator in the Rocky Mountain region and has judged music festivals in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, California, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and Alaska and Iowa. He has conducted Allstate Jazz Bands in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. He has also served as a band clinician conducting honor concert bands throughout Wyoming and Montana.
Neil was selected as a recipient of the 2007 Wyoming Governor's Arts Award for his contribution to music in the State of Wyoming. He was honored in January of 2013 as the Wyoming Music Educator of the Year by the Wyoming Music Educators Association and as the Wyoming Jazz Educator of the year by the Wyoming Jazz Educators Association. Hansen was also honored as the 2013 Northwest College Distinguished Professor.
In 1995 the Northwest Jazz Band under his direction performed at the International Association of Jazz Educators 22nd Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. In 2006 he presented a workshop and was a keynote speaker for the 67th Annual Meeting of the Texas Association of Music Schools in Austin, TX. In 2004 he was honored in his hometown of Woodward, IA at the Jim Coffin Jazz Festival for his contributions to jazz education. Mr. Hansen presented a clinic at the 2nd Annual Jazz Educators Network Conference in New Orleans in January of 2011 on the topic of how to start and run a successful jazz camp.
Mr. Hansen was a founding member of the Yellowstone Jazz Festival, Inc., which served Park County, Wyoming by educating and entertaining through jazz for 25 years. This organization presented jazz events including the Yellowstone Jazz Festival in mid-July.