Assistant Professor, Director of Orchestras
Jacob Sustaita is Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Orchestral Studies at Sam Houston State University. Since Dr. Sustaita began his tenure at Sam Houston State University in 2015, he has taken the orchestra to new artistic heights. In 2016, Dr. Sustaita and the orchestra performed the American premiere of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 (original Linz version), and the American and European Bruckner Societies recognized their performance. In 2019, the Texas Music Educators Association selected the Sam Houston State Symphony Orchestra to perform as a featured ensemble at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio, TX.
In 2018, Dr. Sustaita became the Associate Conductor for the Conroe Symphony, and in 2019, he became the orchestra’s fourth Music Director. He is a frequent guest conductor and clinician across the country, and he recently made his debut conducting the Juilliard Orchestra. During the 2016-2017 season, Jacob made his debut with the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio, and he made his debut as cover conductor with the Houston Symphony, assisting David Zinman. In 2015, Dr. Sustaita was selected by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute to serve as assistant conductor for Charles Dutoit and the National Youth Orchestra of America. Jacob regularly conducted and coached the orchestra during its New York residency and on their seven-city tour of China and Hong Kong.
Jacob’s past positions include a three-year tenure as Music Director of the Minnesota Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, a three-year tenure as Music Director with the Southeast Texas Youth Symphony, and Assistant Orchestra Director at Mayde Creek High School in Katy, TX.
Dr. Sustaita is an ardent supporter of music education, and in addition to his responsibilities with the Conroe Symphony Orchestra and Sam Houston State Orchestra, he has conducted numerous youth and collegiate orchestras including the Houston Youth Orchestra Symphony and Philharmonia, Akron Youth Orchestra, and multiple All-Region orchestras. He is also a regular presenter and clinician at conventions and for teacher in-service and development workshops.
Jacob completed his doctorate degree at the University of Houston, where he served as assistant conductor and guest music director for the Moores Opera Center for three seasons. He holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Houston and a master of music degree from both Penn State and Rice University. His honors include: Schissler Conducting Fellowship, Rice University Prize and Provost Fellowship, and American Prize semi-finalist and two-time finalist. His teachers and mentors include Charles Dutoit, Franz Krager, Brett Mitchell, Gerardo Edelstein, and Paavo Järvi.