Colin Holman received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the University of Birmingham, England in 1983 and came to the United States with the aid of a Direct Exchange Scholarship and a Graduate Honors Fellowship, completing his master's degree in instrumental conducting and his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Kansas. In 1992 Holman moved to Chicago and established his career as a conductor and a musicologist specializing in English music. He has lectured in musicology at both the undergraduate and graduate level at several area universities including Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, North Park University and Wheaton College. His extensive conducting credits include work in opera and musical theater, with orchestras and concert bands, and in early music.
Holman's first performing experiences (both as player and conductor) were in local and school brass bands in England which led to performances at the National Festival of Music for Youth and two European tours. Since moving to Chicago, he has rekindled his association with the brass band community, becoming one of the most successful brass band conductors in North America on the contest and concert platform. He is in much demand as a brass band clinician throughout the United States and in April 2002 was an adjudicator at the NABBA Championships in Cincinnati, OH.
In 2004 he led the Chicago Brass Band to their first win in the Championship Division of the NABBA competition which led to performances in 2005 & 2009 at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky and at the first World Brass Band Championships in Kerkrade, Holland in 2005 and a return visit in 2013 as representatives of the North American Brass Band Association. Another milestone which Dr. Holman has led the band to was close to home at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference at McCormick Place in 2011.
In addition to the Chicago Brass Band, Dr. Holman is Director of Orchestral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, Music Director of the Fox Valley Concert Band (St. Charles, IL), and a member of the graduate teaching faculty at North Park University.