Kevin             Poelking

Composer, conductor, and educator

"...not only is Kevin an already seasoned composer, but he is a marvelous conductor."

— Carter Pann, Pulitzer-Prize Finalist

"To share and celebrate the intangible power of music and the community that it creates."

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By the Hands That Reach Us - (LIVE)
00:00 / 00:00

Full Band/ Large Ensemble

Works for Winds

Image by Peter Pryharski

New Commission

(Spring 2023)

Wind Ensemble

Duration: ca. 9-11'

Dr. Wesley Broadnax and The University of Northern Colorado

Abstract Structure

Coming Soon!

New Commission

(Fall 2022)

Grade 4 Band

Duration: ca. 4-5'

Mr. Aaron Herman and the Fossil Ridge High School Wind Ensemble

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Wind Symphony

(2022)

Wind Symphony (7 percussion, piano)

Duration: ca. 11'

A story of searching and discovery

This unique work makes use of extensive colors and the use of two offstage percussionists to highlight and enhance the underlying drama at play. A challenging work in the grade 5 category; for universities and strong high school ensembles. Dense percussion writing and heavily involved winds. 

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Concert Band (4 percussion or more) 

Duration: ca. 7' 30"

Written to celebrate getting to the other side of the 2020 pandemic and back to making music.


An attainable, Grade 4 piece with plenty of doublings. Ideal for conductors looking to give the woodwinds a "technical" break while leaning on the brass section. Opportunities for expressive playing, color, and rhythmic precision.

Commissioned by the Elon University "Phoenix Winds" and Dr. Jonathan Poquette

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Wind Symphony

(2019)

Wind Symphony (7 percussion, piano)

Duration: ca. 8'40"

A journey highlighting the positive impact of others and how they can change us for the better.

A challenging work in the grade 5 category; for universities and strong high school ensembles. Dense percussion writing and heavily involved winds. Dense percussion writing and heavily involved winds. 

Premiered by Colorado State University in 2019 under the baton of Sheridan Monroe Loyd.

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Winner: 2019 Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition

Brass and Percussion

(2018)

6 Trumpets - 4 Horns - 3 Trombones - 2 Euphoniums - 2 Tubas* - 3 Percussion + Timpani

Duration: ca. 3'

*Tuba 1 part can be played by bass trombone

A celebratory fanfare for strong players, including parts specifically for euphonium ensemble members. 

Premiered by the Dallas Winds in 2019 under the baton of Matteo Dal Maso who describes the piece as "...an epic composition of joy."

Solo/ Small Chamber Groups

Music for soloists and percussion ensemble

Works for Percussion

Red Leaves

for percussion ensemble

(2015)

7+ players: Mallets I and II (Glock, Xylo, Chimes) - Vibes I and II - Marimba I, II, and III

Duration: ca. 6'

A vibrant, rhythmic work with multiple meter changes. 

Adapted from a work for dance by student choreographer MaryLiz Taylor.

Image by Ruslan Bardash

for 4+ percussionists

(2014)

4 or more players on standard wooden stools.

Duration: ca. 3'

A crowd-pleasing, easy to learn piece allowing for creativity from the musicians. Written for and premiered by the Emory University Percussion Ensemble.

Wood Panel

for solo marimba

Selected for workshop by the Boston New Music Initiative and Matt Sharrock

(2012)

4.3 octave (low A) marimba

Duration: ca. 5' 

Expressive work focusing heavily on double lateral strokes.

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5 percussionists

(2011)

Featured solo marimba (4.3 or 5 octave) - Vibraphone - Congas - Tambourine - Drums

Duration: ca. 7'

A unique work that highlights the marimba while also featuring each percussionist in their own feature.

 
 
 
 
 

Works for Voice

Sunset

Winner: The Academy of Voices Call of Scores

for choir and piano

(2014)

Duration: ca. 5'

Music with fresh harmonies based on William Wordsworth's work Lucy and a quote attributed to Gustav Mahler.

Music for soloists and small chamber groups

Solo and Small Chamber Works

Shadow on the Wall

for flute, bassoon, and piano

(Spring 2023)

Duration: ca. 5-8'

New work involving accessible extended techniques for flute and bassoon. The work will comment on the subject of mental health, self-acceptance, and growth.

Flute

for flute and piano

(2022)

Duration: ca. 5'

A high energy piece that continues without pause. Ram tongue, pitch bending, and elements of prepared piano ensure music that will keep the audience engaged and be a blast for the musicians to play!

Commissioned by Dr. Megan Lanz, Faculty- Colorado State University

Clarinet

for bass clarinet and piano

(2022, 2020)

Duration: ca. 8'

Vibrant, virtuosic music showcasing the musician's technical command and expressive, lyrical playing


Newly arranged for talented bass clarinetists at the suggestion of Dr. Wesley Ferreira

Bassoon

for solo bassoon and piano

(2020)

Duration: ca. 8'

Vibrant, virtuosic music showcasing the bassoonist's technical command and expressive, lyrical playing

"Something that the bassoon repertoire has been missing!"- Dr. Cayla Bellamy


Commissioned by Laura Bennett Cameron, Principal Bassoon- Dallas Winds, Faculty- UT-Arlington

Accepted to the 2020 International Double Reed Society Conference

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for trumpet, percussion, and piano

(2019)

Duration: ca. 10' - 3 movements

Colorful work using percussion and simple extended piano techniques to highlight the trumpet soloist. Playable in its entirety or in individual movements.

Commissioned by Stanley Curtis, Former U.S. Navy Band, Faculty- Colorado State University

Violinist

Winner: Vox-Novus 15 Minutes of Fame Call of Scores

String quartet

(2014)

Duration: ca. 1'

Short work full of energy and building tension through frantic rhythms and dissonant harmonies.

String and Symphony Orchestra

Works for Strings

Burst of Light

Coming Soon!

Chamber Orchestra (2.2.2.2 - 2.2.3.0 - Strings)

Commissioned by Adam Torres and the Stratus Chamber Orchestra

(April 2023)

Duration: ca. 5'


An exciting concert opener

Space

Final Pass (coming soon)

Symphony Orchestra (2.2.2.2 4.3.3.1 Strings)

Written for the Budapest Scoring Orchestra

(2022)

Duration: ca. 5'

Music inspired by outer space


Heavily driven by color, soaring melodies, and fresh new harmonies.

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National Finalist, 2022 The American Prize in Composition

String Orchestra (Full ensemble or chamber strings)

(2019)

Full string orchestra (Violin 1,2 - Viola - Cello - Bass) and an arrangement for chamber strings (as few as 9 players)

Duration: ca. 5'

Music inspired by nature, this work follows the journey of water starting from a single drip...


With rapidly shifting styles, this work uses motifs, "scratch tones," vocal techniques to create a unique and exciting work appropriate for professional and academic ensembles alike.

This piece was commissioned by the Cherry Creek School District Honor Orchestra and was recently performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra in a professional studio recording session.

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Young string orchestra (with optional piano and percussion)

(2019)

Full string orchestra (Violin 1,2 - Viola - Cello - Bass) with optional piano and percussion

Duration: ca. 3'

A grade 1.5 work for strings

This piece is accessible to very young orchestras, while having enough musical substance to be played by older ensembles looking to concentrate on more advanced elements like phrasing and consistency in a variety of bow strokes. This makes it a convincing choice for cluster concerts. The addition of percussion parts that allow for creativity from the players offers a unique opportunity for these musicians.

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Winner: 2020 Minot Symphony Orchestra Young Composer Competition

Symphony Orchestra

(2017)

3.2*.3.2 - 4.2.3.1 - 2 Perc + Timpani, Harp*, Piano - Strings

Duration: ca. 8'

*doubled or cued in other parts

Short orchestral work written with multiple cues to facilitate a successful performance by ensembles with varied instrumentation. This work begins with a serene introduction inspired by the sounds of nature, hence the title which translates from Latin to "earth at night".

The Chamber Winds Project

Contributing to the repertoire of conducted chamber wind and percussion works. More info about the project here.

Cited in the 2020 College Band Director National Association (CBDNA) COVID-19 Response Report as an important resource for new repertoire. 

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Chamber winds and percussion

NEW! (December 2021)

10 players: 2 Flutes - 2 Bb Clarinets- 1 Bass Clarinet - 3 Saxophones (Alto, Tenor, Bari) - 2 Percussion

Duration: ca. 7'


A lush, lyrical work with fresh harmonies and color combinations between woodwinds and percussion. Music for ensembles and conductors looking to feature their delicate, nuanced, and expressive playing.

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Chamber brass and percussion

(2019)

10 players: 2 Trumpets - 2 Horns - 2 Trombones - 1 Euphonium - 1 Tuba - 2 Percussion

Duration: ca. 5'


A vibrant, rhythmic work with multiple meter changes.

Recent performances include the University of Michigan and University of Hawaii. Premiered by Carson-Newman University and Dr. Jayme Taylor

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Semi-finalist, 2022 The American Prize in Composition

Chamber winds and percussion

(2018)

13 players: Piccolo - Flute - 2 Bb Clarinets - Bass Clarinet - Contrabass Clarinet* -

Sop. Sax - Alto Sax - Tenor Sax - Bari Sax - 3 Percussion

*Part available for tuba or string bass

Duration: ca. 8'

Expressive soloist playing combined with passages full of aggressive rhythms, timbres, and unique colors through instrumentation and orchestration.

One of the most popular works, this piece has recently been performed by Virginia Tech (Derek Shapiro), CU-Boulder (Matt Dockendorff), The College of New Jersey (Eric LaPrade) and Denver University (Joe Martin), among many others.

Sunset

Winner: "Highest Achievement in the Visual and Performing Arts" CSU 2018 Graduate Showcase

Chamber brass and piano

(2014, arr. 2018)

2 Trumpets - 2 Horns - 3 Trombones - 1 Euphonium - 1 Tuba - Piano

Duration: ca. 5' 30"

Lyrical choral work adapted for brass ensemble and piano. Fresh harmonies and opportunities for expressive phrasing.

Trumpet Player

Orchestral brass and percussion

(2014, arr. 2018)

3 Trumpets - 4 Horns - 3 Trombones - 1 Tuba - 2 Percussion + Timpani

Duration: ca. 3'

A more "traditional" and attainable fanfare. Heroic in nature, this fanfare has been played throughout the United States and has received performances in Italy, Spain, and France.

 
 

CONNECT

"To share and celebrate the intangible power of music and the community that it creates."

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Connecting with musicians, directors, teachers, and students is my primary goal.

Use the form below or email me for:

- Questions about commissioning a piece or starting a project together -

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- Any other reason (no matter how small it may seem!) -​​

CONTACT

the composer

Or email me at kpoelking@gmail.com

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ABOUT

Kevin Poelking is an emerging composer in multiple compositional genres. He was recently named a 2022 National Finalist and Semi-Finalist for The American Prize in composition in both the orchestra and band/ wind ensemble categories.

 

His music has been performed by the Dallas Winds, multiple European groups, and ensembles at major American universities including The University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, CU- Boulder, Oregon State University, The University of Hawaii, and Colorado State University.

 

Poelking is a regularly commissioned composer in his home state of Colorado and beyond. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and winner of various competitions and call-for-scores.

Poelking is also an accomplished conductor. He has conducted and rehearsed opera, symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and wind bands, including the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own."

In his experience as a conductor (including a Master of Music in Wind Conducting with Dr. Rebecca Phillips) Poelking noticed the limited variety of instrumentation in the conducted chamber winds repertoire. This led to The Chamber Winds Project which was cited by CBDNA as an important resource for repertoire in 2020.

 

His composition teachers include award-winning composer Dr. James M. David and Pulitzer Prize-Nominated composer Dr. Carter Pann.

Kevin Poelking Conducting the U.S. Army

Poelking conducting the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, D.C.