Northwest High School Honor Band

January 5-6, 2018
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.

Honor Band is hosted by Pacific Lutheran University under the direction of Dr. Ed Powell and Dr. Ron Gerhardstein.

Honor Band Schedule

Dr. Emily A. Moss

Dr. Emily A. Moss is the Director of Bands and Director of Instrumental Music Education for the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles.   Her duties include direction of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, teaching undergraduate and graduate conducting, and instruction in instrumental music education methods.  Her previous appointment (2008-2011) was at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York where she served as Director of the Conservatory Wind Ensemble and Coordinator of Music Education.

Originally from Seattle, WA, Dr. Moss earned her Bachelors’ degrees in music and music education at the University of Washington, studying conducting with Timothy Salzman and bassoon performance with Arthur Grossman. She taught middle school band and private bassoon lessons in Chandler, AZ and Seattle, WA for six years where her bands received honors and awards from regional and state festivals. While serving as a teaching assistant with the University bands at the University of Northern Colorado, she earned her Master’s degree in Wind Conducting and the Doctor of Arts in Music Education and Bassoon Performance, studying with Kenneth Singleton, Richard Mayne and Charles Hansen.

As a conductor and clinician, Dr. Moss has been invited to guest conduct at middle schools, high schools and universities in Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and California and regularly gives band clinics throughout Southern California. She is also an accomplished bassoonist, actively performing during her degree programs in Washington and Colorado, with the Conservatory Orchestra and other ensembles at Brooklyn College, and for faculty recitals at Cal State L.A.

Dr. Moss is passionate about music education and effective teaching.  As a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Cal State L.A., she is actively involved in exploring and finding ways to improve student learning.  She was recently awarded a planning grant from the Lipton/Modarres Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to develop a Pre-Service Teaching component within the B.M. in Music Education program at CSULA.  She can be seen presenting at conferences across the United States on topics ranging from effective rehearsing and good ensemble tone to practical tips for non-percussionist band directors.  Her professional memberships include College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), California Band Directors Association (CBDA), National Band Association (NBA), and the National Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi.

Allan McMurray, Conductor

Allan McMurray is Distinguished Professor and Professor of Conducting Emeritus at the University of Colorado. He served for 35 years as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting Faculty before retiring from CU at the end of the 2013 academic year. Prior to this position, he was on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Considered one of the world’s leading teachers of conducting, Professor McMurray has guest conducted and taught conductors in 48 states and 16 foreign countries.  He has been a featured visiting professor and conductor at over 200 universities and conservatories internationally.

During his tenure at Colorado, the University of Colorado Wind Symphony performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including The First International Conference for Symphonic Bands in Manchester, England; the All-Japan Band Conference in Nemo Nu Sato, Japan; the College Band Directors National Association Convention (twice); and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Hamamatsu, Japan. The ensemble also released CDs on the Klavier label featuring original works by composers Daniel Kellogg, Carter Pann and Frank Ticheli and collaboration with the Takacs String Quartet, Patrick Mason, Baritone and Jennifer Bird-Arvidson, Soprano.

With a passionate commitment to new music, Allan McMurray has been a strong proponent in commissioning and performing new compositions by American composers.  He has earned praise for his interpretive and expressive conducting by many composers including Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Colgrass, George Crumb, John Harbison, Karel Husa and Steven Stucky.

Professor McMurray has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Debut Orchestra and has guest conducted the Colorado Symphony, the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. He also conducted the Prague Chamber musicians in a festival featuring the music of George Crumb in Prague and subsequently in the US. McMurray also completed four seasons with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra as conductor of Philip Feeney’s “Dracula.”

Professor McMurray’s internationally acclaimed DVD series on the Art of Conducting includes three DVDs: “Conducting from the Inside Out: Gesture and Movement” published by GIA; “Conducting from the Inside Out: Conductor and Composer with Frank Ticheli” published by Manhattan Beach Music; and  “Kindred Spirits” with friends and well-known conductors Richard Floyd, Craig Kirchhoff and Robert Reynolds also published by GIA.

Allan McMurray has received numerous honors and awards. He is a Past-President of the College Band Directors National Association; he is a recipient of the Bohumil Makovsky Award for Outstanding College Band Directors from the National Band Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and has been recognized by California State University Long Beach as “Distinguished Artist in Classical Music.” In December 2004, the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado designated Allan McMurray as the university’s 25th “Distinguished Professor” in recognition of his lifetime professional achievement in the teaching of conducting.

Allan McMurray remains active as an artist conductor, teacher and author. His 2017 calendar includes professional engagements in Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington and Singapore.

High school directors please use this link to our on-line nomination form to recommend students you would like to participate in the Northwest High School Honor Band. The nomination deadline is October 20, 2017. 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 (Nominations are closed for the 2018 Northwest High School Honor Band.).

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 Northwest High School Honor Band will receive confirmation around November 6 through their high school director.

Honor Band Registration Form

Confirmation: Please complete the order form above, print it, and mail it with your remittance to PLU by December 15th. Thank you.

  • Participant fees: $110 (non-refundable) / Deadline: December 15, 2017.
  • Concert CD: $20

Audition Materials for Chair Placement

After participant’s check in on January 5th, 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 5th check in.

Flute, 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 6, 2018

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.

General information regarding your time at PLU for Honor Band

ATTIRE: For the performances, students should plan on wearing standard concert attire that they would normally wear for school performances.  Aside from the concerts, casual dress is appropriate.