Palen Percussion Preview / Chris Sakowski
Chris Sakowski completed his Master of Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in Ashland, Oregon. He received a Bachelor of Music Education from The University of Memphis. As a marimbist at Memphis, Chris won the U of M Concerto Competition. He also was the section leader of the "Best Bass Line" at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 2001. Before graduating, he went on to be the caption head/arranger for The University of Memphis Drumline. Chris’s DCI/WGI percussion experience (1997-2013) includes teaching The Cavaliers, The Bluecoats, The Crossmen and The Colts. The most significant highlights of this era includes winning the Fred Sanford Award for “Best Percussion” at DCI World Championships in 2011 with The Cavaliers and acting as percussion co-caption head for The Crossmen in 2010. Chris also worked with WGI World Class Finalist Gateway Indoor for nine years, filling several roles including battery caption head, music coordinator and front ensemble arranger. Chris is a sought after adjudicator, percussion and wind arranger across the United States and abroad. He has led workshops as a clinician at The University of Oklahoma, Iowa State University, Missouri State University and in England at the British Youth Band Association Convention. Chris has written music for numerous high schools, colleges, drum corps and professional ensembles, highlighted by the NFL’s St. Louis Rams Drumline and the 2005 European Indoor Percussion Champions: 37th Kingswood from Bristol, United Kingdom. He was also proud to write a percussion ensemble piece that was premiered as part of the 100th anniversary of The University of Memphis, and performed by the U of M Percussion Ensemble, in 2012. Chris currently lives in the St. Louis, MO area with his wife Lauren and daughters Elizabeth Daisy and Charlotte Grace. He has taught string orchestra and band in the Rockwood School District since 2007 and is proud to be an Innovative Percussion Educational Artist.