Director of Bands

Galen KarrikerDr. Galen S. Karriker is currently director of Bands and Professor of Music at The University of Akron. He conducts the Symphonic Band and coordinates the entire university band program, including three concert bands as well as “Ohio’s Pride,” The University of Akron Marching Band, and the Blue and Gold Brass basketball bands.  Dr. Karriker also teaches courses in advanced instrumental conducting and coordinates the graduate wind-conducting program.

The University of Akron Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the 2016 Ohio Music Education Association State Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio and from 1999 - 2013, during Dr. Karriker's tenure as the assistant director of bands and director of athletic bands, The University of Akron Concert Band performed as a “clinic ensemble” for the Ohio Music Education Association State Convention in 2002 and 2004 and has been a featured performing ensemble at the Ohio Band Directors Conference.  The marching band performs each year for thousands of Akron Zips fans, and has been a featured ensemble at Music For All Regional Competitions and the annual Akron Zips High School Band Invitational.

In addition to his teaching schedule Dr. Karriker is active as a guest clinician and conductor, and has presented clinic sessions at the 2002, 2003, and the 2004 Ohio Music Education Association Professional Conferences.  A frequent guest conductor, he has been invited to conduct numerous honor bands, public school bands, and several summer music camps, including the Great Lakes Music Camp at Butler University and Valparaiso University, and the Summer Music Clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For the past twelve years Dr. Karriker has served as the founding conducting and leadership clinician for the Phantom Regiment Educational Programs at Rockford College in Rockford Illinois, Frostburg State University in Frostburg Maryland, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and The University of Akron.

Dr. Karriker holds professional memberships in the National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, Mid-American Conference Band Directors Association (President 2003 – 05 / Treasurer 2013 – present), Music Educators National Conference, Ohio Music Education Association, and the Percussive Arts Society.  He is a member of the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Mu – International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has also received honorary membership from Kappa Kappa Psi (92’), and Tau Beta Sigma (00’).  Recently Dr. Karriker was invited to serve on the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor Committee.

Dr. Karriker earned a bachelor of music education degree from Louisiana State University in 1992, and a master of music degree and doctor of musical arts in wind conducting from Michigan State University in 1994 and 2012 respectively.  At Michigan State University, Dr. Karriker was a student of Kenneth G. Bloomquist, John Whitwell, John T. Madden, and Kevin L. Sedatole.

Prior to joining the faculty at The University of Akron in 1999, Dr. Karriker was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1995 – 1999, where he served as the assistant to the director of bands. As a performer, Dr. Karriker maintains an active schedule of percussion performances and clinic sessions.  He is also active as a folk musician, performing on the five-string and tenor banjos.  He continues to arrange for The University of Akron Marching Band and the Blue and Gold Brass basketball bands.