Aaron Vandermeer is the coordinator of Jazz Studies and Music Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. His classroom responsibilities include Jazz Composition, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Appreciation, and Freshman Seminar. He also teaches Private Improvisation and Private Trumpet. He directs Jazz Combo I and the University Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Vandermeer holds degrees in Brass Pedagogy (DM) and Jazz Studies (MM) from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington. His doctoral minors are in Music Theory and Jazz Studies. He has also received degrees from Kutztown University (BA-Music), and Minnesota State University Moorhead (BA-Biology; Chemistry minor).
While at Indiana University, Dr. Vandermeer studied with NEA Jazz Master David Baker for six years and taught for four years as an Associate Instructor in the Jazz Studies Department. He was also a student of Pat Harbison and Steve Houghton. His primary trumpet teachers have included Joey Tartell, John Rommel, William Adam, Dominic Spera, Kevin Kjos, Mark Fasman, and Ted DiSanti. Dr. Vandermeer’s doctoral thesis is entitled “The Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Brass Bands of New Orleans,” available on IU Scholarworks. His areas of scholarly interest include NOLA brass bands, the music of Billy Strayhorn, New Orleans trumpeter Leroy Jones, the state of jazz in the public school system, and online delivery of instruction in Jazz Appreciation.
Dr. Vandermeer brings a diverse performing experience to UNCP in the areas of jazz, funk, musical theater, R&B, and classical music. Notable groups he has performed with include the Carolina Jazz Trio, UNCP Faculty Brass Quintet, David Baker Big Band, The Impalas, The Mustard Cats, The Dorsey Brothers Big Band,Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, The Dynamics, Goza, and Mojai, to name a few. He was also the featured cell phone soloist for David Baker's Concertino for Cell Phones and Orchestra, which he performed at Orchestral Hall in Chicago, Dvorak Hall in Prague, and Columbia, MO. Originally from northwestern Minnesota, he is an avid Twins and Vikings fan. He also enjoys playing disc golf, softball, golf, racquetball, ultimate frisbee, card games, and nearly every board game ever invented with the exception of Pictionary.