School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041
smtd@oakland.edu

Pamela L. Klena

Headshot of Pam Klena

Assistant Professor of Music
Varner 308 | (248) 370-2287
Click here to read Dr. Klena's CV.

Dr. Pam Klena is Assistant Professor of Music at Oakland University where she conducts the Oakland University Symphonic Band, teaches instrumental music education methods courses, teaches graduate conducting, and supervises student teachers. Dr. Klena holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she studied with Kevin M. Geraldi and John R. Locke. During her studies at UNCG, she conducted the Symphonic Band, University Band, Casella Sinfonietta, Wind Ensemble, and taught undergraduate conducting courses. Dr. Klena earned the Master of Music degree from Central Michigan University where she studied conducting with John E. Williamson. During her studies she conducted the University Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and assisted with the Central Michigan Marching Chippewas.

Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Klena was the Director of Bands at Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg, GA. She taught beginning, middle, and high school band, general music courses, and conducted school musicals. In addition to participating in the Georgia All-State Band, Dr. Klena served as coordinator and director for the Georgia Independent School Association All-Select Middle School Honor Band and Chorus. 

Dr. Klena earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. During her time at Lee University, she traveled internationally promoting music education and leading masterclasses in countries such as Jordan, Brazil, and Kenya. She also was a founding member of a local beginning band program that afforded fifth-grade band students with free private lessons taught by college students. 

Dr. Klena’s primary research interest is gender diversity among wind band conductors and is committed to furthering inclusivity in the field. Her dissertation entitled, Toward a More Inclusive Profession: A Qualitative Study of Female Wind Band Conductors, interviews nationally-recognized female wind band conductors in order to glean insights into their experiences and perspectives. These distinguished women share their motivations, career and life experiences in hopes of furthering inclusivity within our field. Other research interests include audience engagement and recruitment in the 21st century. She believes this continuing research will enhance the field of music and conducting while the existence of wind band music in the academic environment continues to evolve. Additionally, Dr. Klena is deeply committed to programming both standard and inclusive repertoire in all of her concerts. She believes that all students should be able to see themselves represented in the music we perform together.

Dr. Klena is currently serving as the President of Women Band Directors International (WBDI), an international organization for women band directors featured toward promoting women, providing support and community, and mentoring women in the band field. In addition to serving as the faculty advisor to the Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) at Oakland University, she is also Director of the Doctoral Grant through SAI Philanthropies, Inc. In 2022, she was awarded the SAI National Collegiate Outstanding Advisor Award at the National Convention in Greensboro, NC. Additionally, she serves as a faculty advisor to the National Association of Music Education (NAfME) Oakland University Collegiate. She has also been a nominee for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award in 2023. She is an active conductor, clinician and adjudicator of high school and middle school bands throughout the state of Michigan. Dr. Klena fundamentally believes in the support and collaboration between Oakland University and music education programs in the community. Dr. Klena is also an active presenter in regional, state and national music conferences such as the Michigan Music Conference (MMC), Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Professional Development Conference, Maryland Music Educator Association (MMEA) Summer Conference, and the 2023 NAfME Eastern Division Conference (NYSSMA). Dr. Klena is also a proud member of Women Band Directors International (WBDI), Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), Kappa Kappa Psi, and Pi Kappa Lambda.