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Howard E. Akers

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Biography

Howard Estabrook Akers (17 July 1913, Ladonia, Mo. – 1 October 1984, Seattle, Wash.) was an American trombonist, composer and conductor.

The son of a farm implement dealer, Akers began his music studies on a 14-dollar, small bore, high pitch trombone during his sophomore year at Taylorville (Illinois) Township High School. During his high school days, he composed several songs and marches. While a senior, Akers won a national trombone solo competition, which led to two years of study at the Curtis Institute of Music. He earned his Master of Music degree at Illinois Wesleyan University. This was followed by study at Murray State College. He undertook further studies at Tanglewood (conducting) and at Millikin University and received a doctorate in music from Chicago Musical College.

Dr. Akers spent five years as a band and chorus director at the Petersburg (Illinois) High School. While there, he produced championship bands. He then was on the faculty of Springfield College of Music and later became head of the music department at Union College.

During World War II, he served in the 1st Marine Division. After his discharge, he served on the faculties of Millikin University, Chicago Musical College, Seattle Pacific College, Northport (New York) public schools, Los Angeles (California) public schools, Central Washington College of Education, Seattle (Washington) public schools, Eastern Washington State College, and Washington State University.

In addition to his teaching career, Akers played in theater orchestras, symphony orchestras, and bands. He was conductor of the Southwest Symphony Society of Los Angeles and conducted at the Hollywood Bowl on four occasions. He played with the Long Beach (California) Municipal Band for over two years. In addition, he directed a church choir for 14 years. At the time of his death, he was director of the Boeing Employees Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the North Seattle Concert Band.

From 1955-1963, Akers was an editor and educational consultant at Carl Fischer. Over 110 of his works for band, orchestra, chorus, and ensembles were published, some under the pseudonym Archie Masters.

He appeared in 33 states and Canada as clinician, conductor, lecturer, and visiting professor and served as an adjudicator at the Tri-State Music Festival (Enid, Okla.). From 1964-1978, he was band music reviewer for the School Musician, Director and Teacher magazine. He was a member of ASCAP, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha.


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