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Directors Circle

May 20, 2020

This episode features my interview with Mr. Ryan Nowlin who is a well-regarded composer, educator, and conductor. Ryan is the Assistant Director for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and is a co-author of the famous “Tradition Of Excellence” method series. In our conversation, Ryan talks about his work as a composer and how he approaches working with ensembles. 


Ryan Nowlin’s appearance on this podcast is in an unofficial capacity and does not constitute or imply endorsement by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, the U.S. Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government


Topics include:

- How Ryan started his work as a composer

- Ryan’s thoughts on composing music

- The process involved in writing a method book

- Repertoire quality and selection 


Ryan’s catalogue at KJOS Music:


A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan Nowlin holds both his B.M. and M.M. degrees from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). He has taught instrumental music for ten years, most recently in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District (Ohio), where he served as Director of Bands. Mr. Nowlin was also an instructor in conducting and band scoring at Bowling Green State University and has served as a staff arranger for the BGSU Falcon Marching Band.


Mr. Nowlin is an active composer and arranger, and has been commissioned to write for Grade 1 through Grade 6 concert bands, brass quintet, tuba quartet, horn ensemble, solo horn and piano, and choir. "A Christmas Fanfare" is featured as the opening piece on The Tower Brass's CD Snowed In... Again. "Elegy (for Herbert A. Spencer)" was premiered in 2005 at the 37th International Horn Society Summer Symposium by Grammy Award Winner Andrew Pelletier. Several of his works have been heard on national radio and television broadcasts, including his arrangement of “America the Beautiful” for the 2014 Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City. He has co-authored a band method called Tradition of Excellence; a band director's textbook called Teaching Band with Excellence; and a series of music theory, ear training, and history workbooks called Excellence in Theory, and Excellence in Chamber Music with noted author, composer, and educator Bruce Pearson. In 2010, Mr. Nowlin joined "The President's Own" United States Marine Band as staff arranger before being appointed to his current position of Assistant Director in 2014. In this role, Mr. Nowlin regularly conducts the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra in the Washington D.C. area, at the White House, and across the United States.