Aaron Vandermeer

Dr. Aaron Vandermeer

Dr. Aaron Vandermeer

Professor, Jazz Studies and Music Industry

Moore Hall, 104



Dr. Aaron Vandermeer

Dr. Aaron Vandermeer (trumpet) is the Jazz Studies and Music Industry coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. His classroom responsibilities include Jazz Theory and Composition, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Appreciation, and Private Improvisation. He directs Jazz Combo I, University Jazz Ensemble, and is the founding director of the UNCP Honor Jazz Festival, in its 14th year as of 2023. He served as the chairperson of the Music Department from 2018 - 2022 and the elected chairperson of the General Faculty and Faculty Senate from 2017 - 2018. He has led two major university-level initiatives: the Student Computing Initiative, and the assessment and implementation of digital faculty evaluation workflow software (Interfolio). 

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 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 "The Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Brass Bands of New Orleans," available on IU Scholarworks. His areas of scholarly interest include the brass bands of New Orleans, the music of Billy Strayhorn, jazz 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 jazz, funk, musical theater, R&B, and classical music. Notable groups he has performed with include the  David Baker Big Band, Sidecar Social Club, The Dynamics, Carolina Jazz Trio, UNCP Faculty Brass Quintet, The Impalas, The Mustard Cats, The Dorsey Brothers Big Band, 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 except Pictionary. He lives in Southern Pines, NC, with his wife Katie (violist), daughter Petra, and dog Bear.