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College of Arts and Humanities

Norm Wallen

Lecturer of Jazz Studies

A product of the Seattle schools, Norm Wallen began his professional playing career in the late ‘60s, and performed as a sideman with a veritable “Who’s-Who” of high-profile professional entertainers.

Norm is a graduate of Central Washington University with degrees in Music Education, Music Performance, and a Master’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition. He was principal trombonist for the Yakima Symphony Orchestra for ten years, performed for four years with the Seattle Seahawks Orchestra, and also with numerous classical ensembles, jazz, rock, and show groups.

During his tenure as a music teacher, Norm has taught for the Seattle, Yakima, and Tumwater schools, and directed the award winning Pierce College Jazz Ensemble. In 2005 he founded his own professional 17-piece big band, the Olympia Jazz Senators.

Norm Wallen has composed and arranged nearly 2.000 works, and was among the first composers anywhere to embrace computer technology. Well over half of his compositions and arrangements were written on professional commission, and many are published by his own company, Peerless Nerd Publishing.

Perhaps the most prolific and diverse composer/arranger in the Northwest, performances by school groups annually number in the thousands at festivals and contests on all seven continents (including Antarctica,) in audience with the Pope, presidents, and in many of the most famous concert venues worldwide. His music has been a program staple at annual JEN, MENC, ACDA, ASTA, IAJE conference since the ‘70s.

Since moving to Ellensburg in 2010, he teaches adjunct music classes for Central WA University.

Last updated 2011-01-24

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