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College of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Conductor

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Dr. Nikolas Caoile Conducting rehearsal.Associate Chair
Professor of Music
Director of Orchestras


Nikolas Caoile is a conductor, pianist, and music educator. Currently, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestras at Central Washington University, and the Music Director Designate of Lake Union Civic Orchestra. Since 2017, Caoile has served as Acting Chair of the Department of Music at CWU. He served as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Salem Chamber Orchestra from 2012-2016. He has guest conducted many other orchestras including: Auburn Symphony, Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers (OSSCS) Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra, Rainier Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Gig Harbor Symphony, Lake Avenue Orchestra, and Olympia Symphony. In 2009, he conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in collaboration with the Christopher Wheeldon's Morphoses Dance Company at New York City Center. Caoile participated at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music where he worked with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.

A passionate believer in music education for all ages, Caoile has led numerous educational and community engagement concerts including the Alaska, Indiana, and Idaho All-State Orchestras, the Washington All-State Jr. Orchestra as well as many regional honor orchestras in Washington, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Oregon and Indiana. In 2019, Caoile will direct the All-City Middle School Orchestra in Salem, Oregon. In 2016, Caoile received the Outstanding Orchestral Achievement Award from the Washington Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Caoile regularly presents clinics at National Association for Music Educators Regional and State Conferences and has served as a presenter for Seattle Symphony Pre-Concert Talk series.

Born in Portland, Nikolas Caoile now resides in Ellensburg WA with his wife, mezzo-soprano, Melissa Schiel and their son, Kieran. Caoile holds degrees in conducting and composition and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan. In 2013, he accepted a nomination to join Phi Beta Kappa as a member of the Willamette chapter, Delta of Oregon. His principal teachers are Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, and Peter Erös. Caoile also enjoys playing golf, NYT Crosswords, and cooking.

Dr. Nikolas Caoile | Director of Orchestral Activities
Central Washington University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 963-1236 | (509) 963-1239 fax |

Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra | Music Director and Conductor
Salem Chamber Orchestra | Principal Conductor

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