Nikk Pilato was appointed to the faculty at Emory University in 2013, where he serves as Visiting Director of Wind Studies. In this capacity, he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches courses in wind band literature, conducting, orchestration, and popular music, and contributes to the University's mission through teaching, research, service, and scholarly/creative endeavours.

Prior to his appointment at Emory, he served in similar roles on the faculties of Mt. San Antonio College, the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (California State University - Long Beach), and the University of Georgia. Additionally, he served as Director of Orchestras and Bands at J.P. Taravella High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in South Florida, where ensembles under his direction received consistently superior ratings.

Nikk earned the Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting degrees from the Florida State University College of Music in Tallahassee, Florida. His primary conducting teachers were Richard Clary, Patrick Dunnigan, and Jim Croft. His dissertation, a transcription for winds of Joseph Schwantner's New Morning for the World, is published by Schott-Helicon Music.


In 2008 Nikk founded the Wind Repertory Project, a comprehensive database of wind literature expanded by user contributions much like Wikipedia. The database includes detailed information such as instrumentation, program notes, errata, study resources, articles, commercially available recordings, and more. In the five years since its inception, the WRP has already amassed nearly 4,000 user-submitted entries, and has been visited over eight million times.

He holds memberships in GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association), CBDNA (College Band Directors National Association), MENC (Music Educators National Conference), NBA (National Band Association), WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles), the Conductor’s Guild, the College Music Society, and is an honorary brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. Additionally, Nikk is a member of the Atlanta Wind Symphony.

Nikk maintains a busy profile as a clinician, arranger, adjudicator, and guest conductor.