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College of Arts and Humanities

Larry Gookin

Wind Ensemble | Symphonic Winds | Symphonic Band | Marching Band | Pep Band

Picture of Larry GookinProfessor Emeritus
Director of Bands (1981-2015)


Larry Gookin is Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Music at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.  He served for 34 years as Director of Bands before retiring from CWU in 2015. Prior to teaching at Central, Professor Gookin taught band for ten years in Montana and Oregon public schools.

During his tenure at Central, the CWU Wind Ensemble performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including the College Band Directors National Association Conferences in Boulder and Seattle, the Music Educators National Conference in Minneapolis, the Western International Band Clinics in Seattle, the Western/Northwestern CBDNA Division Conferences in Reno, the Northwest Division NAFME conferences, and numerous WMEA State Conferences.

Larry Gookin has received numerous honors and awards. He has served as president of the Northwestern Division of the CBDNA, as well as Divisional Chairman for the National Band Association, and Vice President of the Washington Music Educators Association. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the WMEA Hall of Fame, and he is a past recipient of the NBA “Citation of Excellent Award,” the First Chair of America “Mac” Award, the ASBDA “Standbury Award,” the WIAA/WMEA teacher of the year award, and the University of Oregon’s School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gookin was also named CWU Distinguished Professor of Teaching, and while at Central, he served as Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies. He is former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras, and is Emeritus Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony.   

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.

Professor Gookin has appeared as clinician, adjudicator, and conductor in the United States, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and remains active as a conductor and music educator. Gookin resides in Ellensburg, Washington with his wife Karen, who is Emeritus Professor of English at CWU and recently retired on piccolo and flute from the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.

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