Department of Music

2014 Northwest High School Honor Band

January 10-11, 2014
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. 

 Thomas J. O'Neal,
University of Missouri


Thomas J. O'NealThomas J. O'Neal is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri Symphonic Wind Ensemble released their first compact disc, "Traditions and Classics," in 2003. The CD includes the wax cylinders of Percy Aldridge Grainger's 1905-1908 recordings of English folksingers performing the music upon which he based his band classic Lincolnshire Posy. In addition to Lincolnshire Posy, the CD features the music of Vittorio Giannini, Camille Saint-Saens, and J. S. Bach. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble's second CD, "In this hid clearing ... ," appeared in 2009 on the Naxos label, and includes music by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Grainger, Gordon Jacob, and Jack Stamp. Gershwin's "Catfish Row" appears in the arrangement by Donald Hunsberger and features the vocal talents of School of Music faculty member Jo Ella Todd and alumnus Derrick Fox. This disc has garnered a number of highly favorable reviews, such as the one in Bandworld (October-December 2009): "The performance will definitely elicit shouts of BRAVO! from the listener."

In March and April 2010, Dr. O'Neal led the Symphonic Wind Ensemble on a highly successful tour of China, under the auspices of the US-China Cultural and Educational Foundation. Concert sites included the Forbidden City Concert Hall, in Beijing, the Chengdu Arts Center, and the concert halls at Sichuan Conservatory and China Southwest University. Over 8000 people attended the Ensemble's concert at Chongqing University.

During Dr. O'Neal's tenure at Arkansas State University, the University Wind Ensemble released their first compact disc, "Visions," in 1995. The CD featured the music of Arkansas band composers and received critical acclaim for "fine playing ... high musical integrity and energy" Their second compact disc, "... nite ridin' on da riva," was released in 1997. In 1998, the Wind Ensemble released a live recording of their performance at the College Band Directors National Association conference. The performance featured the music of Pulitzer prize-winning composer Karel Husa, including "Apotheosis of This Earth" and Concertino for Piano and Winds. The performance was acknowledged by the composer as "one of the finest live performances of my music that I have ever experienced."

A native Iowan, Dr. O'Neal received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Iowa State University in Ames, the Master of Music degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Ensembles under Dr. O'Neal's direction have been featured at state, regional, and national music conferences. Additionally, Dr. O'Neal maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician, having appeared throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Scott-Lee Atchison,
University of Kentucky

Scott-Lee AtchisonScott-Lee Atchison is the newly appointed Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Kentucky. Prior to his appointment at the University of Kentucky Mr. Atchison served as the Associate Director of Bands at Texas A&M University - Commerce where he conducted the symphonic band and concert band and taught classes in music technology, music literature, marching band techniques in addition to being the director of athletic bands. During his time at Texas A&M University – Commerce, Mr. Atchison oversaw significant growth of the marching band, more than doubling it in size and earning an invitation to perform at Texas UIL State Championships. In 2012, Mr. Atchison was privileged to guest conduct the Texas A&M University - Commerce Wind Ensemble in performances at the CBDNA Regional Convention and Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Atchison received a Masters Degree from the University of Tennessee and his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas.  He recently completed his doctoral residency at the University of Washington and will soon complete the requirements for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting. At the University of Washington he studied instrumental conducting with Tim Salzman and trumpet with Allen Vizzutti and David Gordon. While at Washington, Mr. Atchison guest conducted the Wind Ensemble during their 2007 Japan Tour. At Tennessee, Mr. Atchison was a conducting student of Dr. Gary Sousa, Dr. David Stutzenberger, and James Fellenbaum, and has had additional conducting study with John Whitwell, Eugene Corporon, Jerry Junkin, Jack Stamp, H. Robert Reynolds, Allan McMurray, Craig Kirchhoff, Richard Floyd, Frank Battisti, Ray Cramer, and Robert Halseth.  At North Texas he studied trumpet with Keith Johnson and Leonard Candelaria.

In 2007, Mr. Atchison joined the instructional staff for The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps where he served as Brass Caption Head and in 2009 The Troopers were welcomed back into the DCI Finals after a 23-year absence. Mr. Atchison is currently the Brass Caption Head for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois and serves as an active designer and clinician with marching bands and drum corps throughout the country. Finally, Mr. Atchison is a Yamaha Performing Artist and is a contributing author for the book series A Composer's Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band (Volume IV) where he collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Del Tredici on a chapter featuring his contribution to the wind band and American music.

High school directors please use this link to our on-line nomination form to recommend students you would like to participate in the 2014 Northwest High School Honor Band. The nomination deadline is October 10, 2013. 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 2014 Northwest High School Honor Band will receive confirmation around November 6th 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, 2013.
  • Concert CD: $20

Audition Materials for Chair Placement

After participant's check in on January 10th, 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 11, 2014

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.

New this year.  A jazz band section has been added to the Northwest Honor Band event.  PLU Director of Jazz Studies, David Deacon-Joyner, will direct the jazz band.  Participant fees will be $55.  Selected students should complete the Jazz Band Registration Form below and submit it with non refundable payment to:

Northwest High School Jazz Band
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98447

Questions:  Please contact Dr. David Deacon-Joyner at 253-535-7610 or

Link to the PLU Jazz page:

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

  • Participant fees: $55 (non-refundable) / Deadline: December 2, 2013.  For the 2014 year only.
  • Concert CD: $20