NDSU Challey School of Music Hires New Choral and Band Faculty Members

The NDSU Challey School of Music is pleased to announce two new music faculty members. Dr. Daniel Lee is joining our Instrumental Conducting & Music Education faculty, and Dr. Dwight Jilek is our new Director of Choral Activities. Both educators start in fall 2024.

Dr. Dwight Jilek comes to NDSU by way of Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he served in a similar role since 2016. Jilek’s main responsibilities at NDSU will include directing the NDSU Concert Choir, teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses in conducting and choral literature, and continuing the legacy of NDSU’s choral traditions. He’ll also work with Michael Weber and Charlette Moe in the nationally successful graduate program in choral conducting.

Dr. Daniel Lee joins NDSU via Kennesaw State University in Georgia as part of our Instrumental Conducting & Music Education faculty. Dr. Lee’s primary duties will include directing and conducting the NDSU Wind Symphony, teaching courses in conducting and music education, implementing effective recruitment and outreach activities, continuing and enhancing the century-long traditions of NDSU bands, and overseeing the graduate program in instrumental conducting.

Dr. Jilek and Dr. Lee are bringing decades of combined experience to their positions, as well as fresh perspectives that will benefit our students, faculty, and staff.

We are excited to welcome them to campus in August and look forward to this new chapter for the Challey School of Music!

Dwight Jilek

Director of Choral Activities

Prior to NDSU, Dwight Jilek served as the Director of Choral Activities and Chair of the Music Department at Bemidji State University where he conducted the Bemidji Choir and the Bemidji Chamber Singers and taught choral conducting, choral literature, and choral methods. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Minneapolis-based professional ensemble Magnum Chorum.

A native of Dickinson, North Dakota, Dwight completed his doctoral studies in choral conducting at the University of North Texas with a related field in Vocal Pedagogy, and received the Outstanding Graduate Conductor award. He earned his Master’s in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University and his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead.

Before pursuing his graduate degrees, Dr. Jilek was vocal music director from 2005 – 2011 at Northfield High School where he oversaw five curricular and four extracurricular choirs, along with the curricular vocal lesson program.

Dwight Jilek has over ten years of church music experience in Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota. He has served as the Northwest District Chair and Collegiate Repertoire and Resources Coordinator for the Minnesota chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He’s also active as a festival conductor, most recently for the 2022 - 2023 MN All-State Tenor-Bass Choir and the Big 9 Festival in Southern Minnesota.

Daniel Lee

Director of the NDSU Wind Symphony and Music Education

Before NDSU, Daniel Lee served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Kennesaw State University, conducting the KSU Wind Symphony and teaching music education courses. He also served as a conductor with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestras for the 2023 – 2024 season.

Daniel earned his D.M.A. in Wind Conducting at Texas Tech University, his Master of Music degree in music education and conducting at Colorado State University, and his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

During his doctoral program, Dr. Lee was a Graduate instructor at Texas Tech University, teaching and assisting with all aspects of the concert and athletic band programs as well as the undergraduate conducting courses.

While at Texas Tech, he was awarded the Student Academic Leadership Award for the College of Visual and Performing Arts and was a recipient of the James D. and Mary Hazlewood Memorial Graduate Fellowship.

Daniel has over a decade of experience teaching band and orchestra at the middle and high school levels and has conducted both opera and musical theatre throughout his career. Originally from the Denver area, he has taught in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Georgia. Dr. Lee holds memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi, and is an Honorary Member of Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma.