Artistic Director and Conductor Emeritis
Larry Gookin was Director of Bands at Central Washington University from 1981 until 2015. He has served as the Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies. His fields of expertise include music education, wind literature, conducting, and low brass performance.
The CWU Wind Ensemble has performed at state, regional and national conventions, including the College Band Directors National Association Conference in Boulder; the Music Educators National Conference in Minneapolis; the Western International Band Clinics in Seattle; the Western/Northwestern CBDNA Division Conferences in Reno, and most recently the College Band Directors National Association Conference in Seattle.
Professor Gookin received the M.M. in Music Education from the University of Oregon School of Music in 1977 and the B.M in Music Education and Trombone Performance from the University of Montana in 1971. He taught band for 10 years in public schools in Montana and Oregon. Prior to accepting the position as Director of Bands at Central Washington University, he was Director of Bands at South Eugene H.S in Eugene, Oregon
Gookin has served as president of the Northwestern Division of the CBDNA, as well as Divisional Chairman for the National Band Association. He is past Vice President of the Washington Music Educators Association. In 1992 he was elected to the membership of the American Bandmasters Association, and in 2000 he became a member of the Washington Music Educators “Hall of Fame.” In 2001, Gookin received the Central Washington University Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award, and in 2003 was named WMEA teacher of the year. In 2004, he was selected as Central Washington University’s representative for the Carnegie Foundation (CASE) teaching award. He is a past recipient of the “Citation of Excellence Award” from the National Band Association, the “Mac” award from First Chair of America, and the American Schools Band Directors Association “Standbury Award.” Most recently, Gookin received the University of Oregon’s School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Professor Gookin has appeared as clinician, adjudicator, and conductor in the United States, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Europe. He is former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras. Gookin resides in Ellensburg, Washington with his wife Karen, who teaches English at CWU and performs on piccolo and flute with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.