Dr. Virginia Allen has conducted ensembles on stages around the U.S. and in Europe, South America, and Asia. As a pioneer for women in military bands, she was the first woman conductor of The U.S. Army Field Band and The Soldiers' Chorus in Washington, D.C., The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, The U.S. Army Forces Command Band in Atlanta, and the West Point Glee Club. She is founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, and founded and conducted the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra in Idaho.
Dr. Allen previously served as the Associate Dean for Administration and the Assistant Dean for Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where she was the Artistic Director of the Conducting Workshop for Music Educators. A former conducting faculty member at Juilliard, The Curtis Institute of Music, and University of the Arts, Dr. Allen continues to teach conducting lessons online for Teachers College, Columbia University.
As a composer and arranger, Dr. Allen’s music has been premiered, performed and recorded by members of the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Washington Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard Trombone Choir, The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, and The U.S. Military Academy Band. Her music has been published by Carl Fischer, Theodore Presser, Keyboard Percussion Publications, Alessi Publications, Southern Music, Ludwig Music, and TRN Music. A member of ASCAP, she is a former board member for the Conductors Guild and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
Dr. Allen studied French horn and conducting and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Diploma in Wind Conducting from the University of Calgary. She received a Doctor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her dissertation topic was Developing Expertise in Professional American Orchestra Conductors.