Ryan Nowlin

From Wind Repertory Project
Ryan Nowlin


Ryan Nowlin (b. 1978, Parma, Ohio) is an American composer, arranger and conductor.

Major Nowlin holds both a B.M. in music education and an M.M. in music education and conducting from Bowling Green State University, where he studied horn with Herbert Spencer, Jr. and conducting with Bruce Moss and Emily Freeman Brown. He has also studied composition with prolific composer Anne McGinty, and has participated in workshops and master classes with several renowned conductors and educators including H Robert Reynolds, Mallory Thompson, Col. Arnald Gabriel, Harry Begian, and Frederick Fennell.

Major Nowlin taught instrumental music at the high school level in Ohio for ten years before becoming staff arranger for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. He was commissioned and appointed assistant director in 2014, and was promoted to major in 2020 where he serves as associate director, education officer and executive officer. With “The President’s Own,” Maj. Nowlin has arranged and composed a variety of music for the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, brass ensembles, and various small ensembles. He has written arrangements for an array of guest artists for national events, including a 2013 collaboration with Kelly Clarkson (America) and Beyoncé (The Star-Spangled Banner) for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. In 2013, Maj. Nowlin composed the concert march Montford Point Marines honoring the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps, and in 2018 he wrote the march Century of Service in honor of 100 years of women’s service in the Corps. Maj. Nowlin’s music has been heard in performance at numerous White House events, including receptions, state dinners, and President Trump’s televised Fourth of July South Lawn celebration. His wind band transcriptions have been recorded on four Marine Band albums.

As education officer, Nowlin currently manages Marine Band educational outreach initiatives such as Music in the Schools, Music in the High Schools, Tour Educational Outreach, and the Concerto Competition for High School Musicians, and has been involved in the Marine Band’s Young People’s Concerts since 2011.

Major Nowlin is co-author of the band director method book Tradition of Excellence, textbook Teaching Band with Excellence, and music theory series Excellence in Theory. He has received numerous awards including the James Paul Kennedy Music Achievement Award, the Mark and Helen Kelly Band Award, and the BGSU Faculty Excellence Award.

In addition to his duties with the United States Marine Band, Maj. Nowlin frequently appears as a guest conductor with high school honor bands, community and municipal bands, and with university ensembles across the country. His published music and methods are used in lessons and performances around the globe, and he can frequently be found providing clinics and master classes to student musicians in classrooms around the country.

He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, MENC, ASCAP, and the International Horn Society. He also holds honorary memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma.

Works for Winds


  • Cardany, Brian M. "Mid-American Sketches." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 417-422. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • Popejoy, James. "Let Freedom Ring." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 555-562. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • Ryan Nowlin, Kjos Music
  • Ryan Nowlin, personal correspondence, February 2020
  • "Major Ryan J. Nowlin." "The President's Own" United States Marine Band. Web. Accessed 19 February 2020