Dr. Ackley began teaching at UW-Washington County in 1994. Besides teaching, he enjoys conducting, composing, and arranging. He is the director and conductor of the university’s Moraine Symphonic Band, the Washington County Youth Orchestra, the conductor for West Bend’s Community Marching Band (the River City Irregulars), and has guest conducted several ensembles. He also performs with the Moraine Saxtet. His compositions have been played in Milwaukee, Madison, West Bend, Slinger, and, perhaps, other places too seedy for respectable company. His arrangements have been played exclusively by the Moraine Symphonic Band and the Moraine Saxtet.
Dr. Ackley is a member of the honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and has been included in several editions of Who’s Who in America’s Teachers and Who’s Who in America.
Both Dr. Ackley and his wife, Beth, enjoy computers, reading, and exploring.
Areas of Expertise
Music History (Western Classical, World Music, jazz)
Solo and Ensemble coaching
I received my Doctorate in Music Composition from UW-Madison and my Master of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition and Music Theory from UW-Milwaukee. I’ve been teaching at UW Washington County since 1994. At UW-Washington County, I have taught Music History, Music Theory, Aural Skills, Music Literature & Appreciation, Fundamentals of Music, World Music, and Jazz History & Appreciation. I also give composition lessons and saxophone lessons.
Besides teaching, I conduct the Moraine Symphonic Band (the university's band), the Washington County Youth Orchestra (WCYO), the River City Irregulars (RCI - an adult community band in West Bend), and have guest conducted several ensembles. I am also the director of Still Waters’ United Methodist church adult choir. In addition, I play in a saxophone ensemble.
I have been married to a wonderful woman named Beth since 1980. Currently, she is the Director of Information Technology at Strattec Securities Corporation (they make locks and keys for cars – GM, Chrysler, Ford, and a few others). She received her Master’s degree in Information Technology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Il. We have two children: Alaina, 24, and Tristan, 19, and one cute grandchild: Gabriel, 1 1/2. We live in Jackson, Wisconsin.
Hobbies and Interests
I am a concert music composer (classical style) and my first symphony - my doctoral dissertation – was premiered a few years ago. My current project is my second symphony that celebrates my wife’s and my 25th wedding anniversary.
Both my wife and I are computer geeks. She has her Master's degree in Information Technology, has served as president of the Wisconsin E-Business Forum. She also heads the technology team of a global automotive alliance. I am the chairperson of the technology committee for the University of Wisconsin Colleges' Music Department and had served as chairperson of the technology committee for the University of Wisconsin-Washington County.