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About Heather

Described as a “brutally honest and gifted musical storyteller” (The American Prize), Heather Ellis Koehn (she/her) is an Oklahoma-based composer, arranger, and educator who draws inspiration from nature, historical events, personal experience, and social causes. Since she began her composition career in 2013, Ms. Koehn’s original works for band and chamber ensembles have been performed throughout the United States, and she has received commissions from high school bands, regional and state band directors’ associations, and the Tulsa Starlight Band. 


In 2018, Ms. Koehn’s piece, Canyon’s Edge, was selected as a winner of the Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition. In 2021, Ms. Koehn received a Special Judges’ Citation for “Vital Perspective on Historical Events through Words and Music” from The American Prize for her wind band work, 36 Blocks, written to memorialize all that was lost in the 1922 Tulsa Race Massacre. In the summer of 2022, as one of eight composers selected from around the world, Ms. Koehn participated in the internationally recognized residency, Composing in the Wilderness in Denali National Park and Preserve.


In addition to composing original works, Ms. Koehn is a nationally recognized marching band wind arranger and design consultant.  Her clients have won state titles in Oklahoma and Texas, as well as a Bands of America Regional Championship in 2019.  Whether writing educational etudes, designing marching band programming, or creating an original work, Ms. Koehn strives to create a meaningful experience for performer and listener alike.

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