Robert D. McCashin, DMA, is Professor Emeritus and former Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at James Madison University. He recently retired from academe after a 43-year career of conducting and applied string teaching at the college/university level. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Arizona. He was awarded JMU’s Distinguished Teacher Award for the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2015.
From 1992 through 2016, Dr. McCashin was Music Director for the JMU Symphony, Chamber Orchestra and Opera Orchestras, and taught all relevant orchestral conducting and academic courses within the MM and DMA orchestral conducting curricular core, as well as applied studio strings. Dr. McCashin, a violinist, has been a successful writer and arranger of educational publications, having now published nearly 80 works for the Grade I through V educational performance levels.
Prior to his position at James Madison University, Dr. McCashin served on the faculties of the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Wesleyan University. During his tenure in Texas he performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth Opera Orchestra, Wichita Falls Symphony, Gallery String Quartet, and the University Piano Trio, and performed extensively as a freelance violinist throughout the North Texas region. He was the founding conductor of the Arlington Youth Symphony, served as conductor for the Trinity Symphony and the Arlington Opera Association, and associate conductor of the Youth Orchestras of Greater Fort Worth. In addition, he maintained a substantial private violin studio of students at all levels. In addition to the publications he writes for The FJH Music Company Inc., he writes for other major publishers and the many compositions and arrangements he has written have become bestsellers and Editors’ Choice selections in the educational music arena. He is co-author of the popular string class methods, New Directions® for Strings and A Scale in Time, published by The FJH Music Company Inc. He also co-authored a popular collection of pieces for young string players, String Premiere.