Dr. Chris Kaatz is the Assistant Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX where he serves as the Associate Director of the Lumberjack Marching and Director of the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Pep Band. In addition to his responsibilities with the fine athletic bands at SFA, he conducts the Symphonic Band, teaches courses in undergraduate conducting, instrumental methods, and marching band techniques, and mentors music education majors as a student teaching supervisor.
Prior to joining the faculty at SFA, he completed a DMA in Conducting at Northwestern University where he studied with Mallory Thompson. In 2016, he concluded two years of conducting studies with Steven D. Davis, receiving an MM in Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Preceding his graduate studies, he served three years as the Director of Bands at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, IL. During his tenure at Mater Dei he served as the sole administrator of the music program, conducted the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Marching Knights, Basketball Pep Band, Jazz Combo, and Noon Chorus, and taught courses in both beginning chorus and music appreciation. He holds a BM in Music Education from Michigan State University, has taught at the SFA Band Camps since 2019, and has served as an instructor at both the Music for All Summer Symposium and Smith Walbridge Drum Major Clinics. Outside of his professional ventures, he enjoys a wonderful community of friends in Nacogdoches and treasures his regular travels to visit family in Michigan.