Dr. Galen S. Karriker elected to prestigious American Bandmasters Association


Galen K Headshot.jpgDr. Galen S. Karriker, director of bands and professor of music at The University of Akron (UA), has been elected membership in the American Bandmasters Association (ABA).

ABA was founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa serving as honorary life president, to recognize outstanding achievement by concert band conductors and composers. Its current by-membership comprises approximately 300 conductors and composers from the United States and Canada and 80 business and corporate members.

Karriker joined UA’s School of Music in 1999 as assistant director of bands. In 2013, he was named director of bands. In that role, he conducts the UA Wind Symphony and coordinates the entire UA band program which involves more than 350 students and consists of five performing ensembles, including the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Blue and Gold Brass Basketball Band and the UA Marching Band. He also teaches courses in instrumental conducting and percussion methods and coordinates the annual Ohio Band Directors Conference and the High School Band Clinic Festival.

Under his direction, the UA Wind Symphony was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) North Central Division Conference in April 2024 at The Ohio State University. The Wind Symphony has also been selected through blind adjudication to perform at the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Professional Development Conferences in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022. Prior to assuming the role of director of bands, Karriker led the UA Concert Band in performances as a “clinic ensemble” at the OMEA State Convention in 2002 and 2004.

In addition to his teaching schedule, Karriker is active as a guest conductor and clinician, including clinic sessions at the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2015, 2017 and 2019 OMEA Professional Development Conferences. He also serves as conductor of the Akron Symphonic Winds and was named conductor of the W.D. Packard Concert Band in Nov. 2023.

ABA candidates are considered through a nomination process and an evaluation of previous accomplishments. Karriker was nominated in 2022 by Dr. Bruce Moss, director of bands at Bowling Green State University with co-sponsorship by Dr. Michael Golemo, director of bands at Iowa State University and Dr. Stephen L. Gage, director of bands at Youngstown State University. After nomination, Karriker’s vitae, and recordings from past performances of the UA Wind Symphony were evaluated by all current members of the ABA. He received word after the convention in March 2023 that he had been selected for membership.

Karriker will be formally introduced on Friday, March 8 during a business meeting at the ABA’s yearly conference, hosted this year in Washington, D.C.. As part of the induction process, new members are invited to guest conduct during one of the evening concerts. This year’s conference will feature performances by the United States Military Bands and Karriker has been invited to guest conduct the United States “President's Own” Marine Band during their performance on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center.

“I am so very thankful for my family and their support as well as those who have influenced and inspired me along the professional journey as a music educator,” said Karriker. “Achievements like this would not be possible without the wonderful students and colleagues I have had the honor of working for at UA and throughout my career.”

Media Contact: Cristine Boyd, cboyd@uakron.edu, 330-687-9269