A picture of Onsby Rose

Dr. Onsby Rose

Associate Professor of Music

Dr. Onsby C. Rose is currently the Director of Instrumental Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Dordt University. In this position, he conducts the premiere instrumental ensemble, the Dordt University Wind Symphony, in addition to conducting the Chamber Orchestra and guiding all aspects of the Dordt Instrumental Ensembles and Instrumental Music Education programs. Dr. Rose also serves as the Principal Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to Dr. Rose's arrival in northwest Iowa, he attended the University of South Carolina as a music education major and in 1997 he was accepted as a trombonist for the U.S. Marine Corps fleet bands. During his 11-year Marine Corps career he served as a trombonist and conductor with bands in Albany, GA and New Orleans, LA as well as on staff at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA. He also served for two years as a baritone bugler with "The Commandant's Own" U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C. Dr. Rose completed his Bachelor of Music at East Tennessee State University in 2005. In 2007 Onsby was honorably discharged from the USMC. He then freelanced as a trombonist and worked as a railroad freight conductor in the eastern U.S., before returning to music education in 2012 as Director of Bands at Hampton HS and MS in Carter County, TN.

In 2016, Dr. Rose completed his Master of Music in conducting at Appalachian State University. He then completed his in D.M.A. in conducting at The Ohio State University where he studied with Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson. Dr. Rose has studied conducting with Russel C. Mikkelson, John Ross, and Kevin Richardson with additional conducting studies with Jerry Junkin, Kevin Sedatole, Frank Battisti, Charles Peltz, Eugene Corporon, Donald McKinney, and Steven Peterson. Dr. Rose's outside academic pursuits encompass writing and music composition. Having studied with the late Dr. David Maslanka, Dr. Rose's musical compositions have been performed by many premiere civilian and military ensembles throughout the world. In 2022, Dr. Rose’s composition “Were You There,” commissioned by the Parris Island Marine Band, was nominated for an Emmy award. In addition, Onsby is in demand as a guest clinician having guest conducted honor bands and served in residence as a composer at numerous high schools and universities nationwide.

Although Onsby views himself primarily as a teacher and conductor, he thanks God for the gift of composition. Onsby and his wife Jessica live in Sioux Center, Iowa with four of their five boys, Timothy, Caleb, Elijah and Colin. Dr. Rose is a member of numerous professional organizations to include the CBDNA, WASBE, NAfME, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. However, he holds closest to his heart the title of United States Marine.