Department of Music

2015 Northwest High School Honor Band

January 9-10, 2015
Pacific Lutheran University


The Northwest High School Honor Bands will feature music performed by approximately 250 of the finest high school musicians from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These outstanding high school students are recommended for participation in the event by their high school band directors and the concert is a culmination of two days of intense rehearsals with guest clinicians. 

Click the tabs below for information. 

Dr. Sarah McKoin
Texas Tech University

Dr. Sarah McKoinDr. Sarah McKoin is the Director of Bands at Texas Tech University and Associate Professor of Music as well as Director of the Wind Ensemble at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina. Dr. McKoin conducts the Texas Tech University Wind Ensemble and teaches all levels of conducting and wind literature. She just completed her ninth summer in residence at the Brevard Music Center where she serves on the conducting faculty and conducts the Transylvania Wind Ensemble comprised of college-aged musicians from throughout the country.

Prior to her appointment at Texas Tech, Professor McKoin was the Director of Bands at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and held appointments at the State University of New York at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia. Her UMKC Wind Symphony was selected as a featured ensemble and performed for the 2005 Missouri Music Educator’s National Association Conference. In addition, the Wind Symphony under Dr. McKoin’s leadership performed for the College Music Society’s National Conference and for the opening concert of a nationally recognized month long festival honoring Igor Stravinsky which involved all of Kansas City’s major arts organizations. While Director of Bands at the University at Buffalo, the UB Wind Ensemble was invited to perform for the New York State Band Directors’ National Association, the first invitation of its kind for that ensemble.

Dr. McKoin maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician. She served as the 5-A Concert Band All-State Conductor for the Texas Music Educator’s Association conference and has been contracted for upcoming Iowa and Florida All-State band festivals. While in Kansas City, she was frequently called upon to guest conduct NewEar, a professional chamber ensemble specializing in contemporary music. In 2001 Professor McKoin traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to serve as producer for the world premiere recording of Roberto Sierra’s Fantasia Correliana with the Castellani-Andriaccio guitar duo on the Fleurdeson label, Arie Lipsky conducting.

Committed to performing literature of today’s prominent composers, ensembles under Dr. McKoin’s leadership have won the praise of local music critics and guest composers. She has performed several regional and world premieres including works by Chen Yi, Lukas Foss, James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Dan Welcher, Donald Freund, Walter Hartley, David Maslanka and others. Her position at Brevard has allowed her to collaborate with a number of soloists which include Charles Vernon of the Chicago Symphony, Fred Mills, Tim Morrison, Marty Hackleman, Sam Palafian, Scott Hartmann, Joseph Lulloff, Timothy Northcutt, Rhythm and Brass and the tuba/euphonium ensemble, Symphonia.

Her publications include Leslie Bassett’s Colors and Contours: An Analysis for Conductors and Joseph Turrin’s Two Sketches published in Volumes 3 and 5 of Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Her DMA research is on the music of Dan Welcher and the ensuing treatise is entitled, Three Places in the West: A Critical Analysis and Reference for Conductors.

McKoin holds her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin as well as degrees from Wichita State University and Michigan State University. She is active in the College Band Director’s National Association having served as the New York state chairperson and has taught secondary school in both Michigan and at L.D. Bell High School in Texas.

Dr. Damon Talley
Louisana State University

Dr. Damon Talley

Damon S. Talley serves as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Louisiana State University, where he guides all aspects of the wind band program, conducts the Wind Ensemble, and teaches conducting.

Prior to his appointment at Louisiana State University, Talley served on the faculty at Conservatory and served on the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, where he conducted the Symphony Band, taught undergraduate conducting, graduate and undergraduate courses in wind literature, served as Assistant Director of the Longhorn Marching Band as well as overseeing all athletic pep bands. He also served on the faculty at the University of Michigan as Assistant Director of Bands and was involved in all aspects of the university band program. In addition to his duties at the University of Michigan, Talley served as Music Director and Conductor of the Dodworth Brass Band, a professional brass ensemble based in Ann Arbor, MI. Their recording, released on Best Classical Records, received favorable reviews from publications including Gramophone magazine and the American Record Guide. He has also served as producer or associate producer on several commercial recordings by the Naxos, Klavier, Equilibrium, and Longhorn record labels, and is published in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, distributed by GIA Publications.

As an avid supporter of new music for the wind medium, Talley has conducted numerous world premier performances and commissioned composers to write for the wind band. While at The University of Texas, he served as Principal Guest Conductor of the New Music Ensemble, and collaborated with many living composers. He has won praise for his work by composers such as William Bolcom, Donald Grantham, John Mackey, Dan Welcher, and David Ludwig. At Shenandoah Conservatory he hosts a visiting composer series that brings composers of national and international status to campus. In addition, he is a strong advocate for young composers and regularly premiers works by student composers.

Prior to teaching at the university level, Talley taught in the public schools in Texas at both the middle school and high school levels. He earned the Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Michigan and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas. His principal conducting teachers are Jerry Junkin, Michael Haithcock, and H. Robert Reynolds. He is a strong supporter and advocate of music in the public schools, and has served as an adjudicator and clinician for marching and concert band festivals in numerous states. Talley is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma and holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the Virginia Music Educators Association.

Dr. Talley earned his M.M. at the University of Michigan and his B.M., D.M.A., University of Texas at Austin.

High school directors please use this link to our on-line nomination form to recommend students you would like to participate in the 2015 Northwest High School Honor Band. The nomination deadline is October 10, 2014. We ask that before nominating a student, please check with each student concerning his or her availability. There is participant fee of $110 for each student participating in the Honor Band.

Links to the Honor Band information letter, schedule and the on line entry form.

Northwest High School Honor Band
Pacific Lutheran University / Department of Music
Tacoma, WA 98447

Fax Number: 253/535-8669

High school students who are accepted to participate in the 2015 Northwest High School Honor Band will receive confirmation around November 7th through their high school director.

Confirmation: Please complete the order form above, print it, and mail it with your remittance to PLU by December 2nd. Thank you.

  • Participant fees: $110 (non-refundable) / Deadline: December 2, 2014.
  • Concert CD: $20

Audition Materials for Chair Placement

After participant's check in on January 9th, chair placement auditions will be held in various rooms in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center. Please open and print the pdf version of your part for your instrument and practice prior to the January 6th check in.

, Oboes, Clarinet (B-Flat), Clarinet (Bass), Clarinet (Contra Bass), Bassoon, Sax (Alto), Sax (Bari), Sax (Tenor), Trumpet/Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium TC, Euphonium BC, Tuba, Mallets, Snare Drum, Timpani, Double Bass

January 10, 2015

5:00pm Performance
Northwest High School
Concert Band


6:30pm Performance
Northwest High School
Symphonic Band

The concerts are held in Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center. Free Admission / No Tickets.