Mr. Kevin Poelking is an emerging composer, conductor, and educator serving as an instructor of music and assistant director of bands at Colorado State University. He directs the CSU Concert Band and teaches undergraduate conducting, theory, and other music courses.
Within the first three years of his professional career as a composer, Poelking was named a winner or top finalist in several competitions including The NBA/ William D. Revelli Memorial Composition Contest, The American Prize, The Reno Pops Composer's Showcase, and The Minot Symphony Orchestra Young Composer’s Competition.
Poelking receives regular commissions and performances in his home state of Colorado and beyond. He has received world premieres from The Dallas Winds, the Stratus Chamber Orchestra, and the Montgomery Philharmonic. His music has been performed at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, the University of Michigan, and other academic and professional venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Recently, his music has been internationally recorded by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, featured on Colorado Public Radio, and was recently released on the Tohensen Record Label. He has studied with award-winning composers James M. David and Carter Pann.
As a conductor, Mr. Poelking has worked with musicians of every level including elementary, secondary, university, community, and professional ensembles. In 2019, Poelking was selected from an international pool of applicants to rehearse and conduct The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in concert where he was awarded the band's medal "For Excellence" by leader and commander Col. Andrew Esch. In 2016, Poelking was appointed the Conducting Fellow with the Montgomery Philharmonic after a six-week audition and ensemble vote. He has studied conducting with Dr. Rebecca Phillips, Wes Kenney, and Sandra Ragusa. In addition, he has received instruction from H. Robert Reynolds, Michael Haithcock, Craig Kirchoff, Gary Hill, Kevin Sedatole, and Emily Threinen. As a professional percussionist, Poelking has performed with the Capital Wind Symphony, the Avanti Orchestra, and the Montgomery Philharmonic at venues including the Kennedy Center, Schlesinger Hall, and the Strathmore Music Center.
Poelking is an advocate for music education and new repertoire. Before pursuing his master’s degree, Poelking worked as an instrumental music teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland, where his programs grew significantly. During his tenure, he taught beginning band and orchestra in multiple Title I schools. He was invited to present at the 2019 Colorado Music Educator Association Annual Conference, delivering a presentation entitled: Work Life Balance: Helping Your Students by Helping Yourself. Poelking has written several works for the conducted chamber winds repertoire as part of his “Chamber Winds Project”, which was recently recommended by the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) as an important resource for selecting repertoire in this genre. In 2020, he collaborated with several beginning band teachers across the country to create the “Flexible Ensemble Learning Experience,” which offered a resource to directors that could be rehearsed in-person, online, or in a hybrid format, to address the issues encountered while teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He often spends time visiting as a guest composer with musicians and ensembles of all ages.
Kevin Poelking received his Master of Music in conducting from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The University of South Carolina. He is a member of the American Composers Forum (ACF), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), the National Band Association (NBA), the Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA), and the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA). He lives in Fort Collins with his dog Koopa and his wife, Caitlin, a respected physician assistant professionally recognized for her work in pediatrics and family medicine.
M.M., Instrumental Conducting (Band); B.M., Music Education