Meet Our Faculty

Dr. Frederick Harris

Director, Groton Hill Wind Ensemble (Youth Ensembles)

Teaching Philosophy

Every time we gather to make music we have the opportunity to connect and grow. We expand our humanity by expressing our feelings through sound, silence, and space.


B.M. in Music Education/Percussion, Boston Conservatory; M.M. in Conducting, New England Conservatory; Ph.D. in Music Education/Conducting, University of Minnesota. Principal teachers: Frank Battisti, Gunther Schuller, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Alan Dawson, and Arthur Press.


Dr. Frederick Harris Jr. has been highly active with public school students and music educators throughout his career, leading seminars, guest conducting, and coordinating enrichment events. He is the author of Conducting with Feeling, and Seeking the Infinite: The Musical Life of Stanisław Skrowaczewski. He currently serves as Music Director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, and as MIT’s Jazz Performance Studies Coordinator. He and the MIT Wind Ensemble have been featured on NPR, PBS, and in two New England Emmy-winning documentaries. Dr. Harris has commissioned and premiered over 120 works by composers such as Don Byron, Chick Corea, John Harbison, Jamshied Sharifi, and Miguel Zenón. His ensembles have collaborated with leading artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Anat Cohen, Jacob Collier, Sean Jones, Guillermo Klein, and Luciana Souza. He has also performed as a jazz drummer with Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, and the Boston Pops. 

Dr. Harris is the creator and director of It Must Be Now!, an initiative at MIT focused on advancing social justice actions through music and media, and Hearing Amazônia–The Responsibility of Existence, an MIT project combining Brazilian music influenced by the natural world and sustainability solutions, drawing attention to the urgency of the climate crisis.

Learn more about him at: https://mta.mit.edu/person/fred-harris