Mr. Ken Karlin

2023/24 Director of Bands
Director of Regiment, Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensembles

Mr. Karlin

Kenneth J. Karlin holds a degree in music from Ball State University, and also spent a year of study at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. He has studied saxophone with Eugene Rousseau, Frank Bongiorno and George Wolfe. His jazz studies were with David Baker and Larry McWilliams.

Mr. Karlin was an associate director of bands at James Logan High School in Union City, California from 1999-2012. James Logan is a comprehensive Bay Area high school with over 4,000 students enrolled.

Mr. Karlin’s responsibilities there included three jazz big bands, jazz combos, coordinating the 250+ member marching band and staging the indoor winter percussion ensemble. He was the primary conductor of the symphonic band, the second of four wind bands on campus. He was an associate conductor for the wind symphony and two concert bands.

During Mr. Karlin’s tenure at James Logan, the marching band won the Western Band Association championship eleven times. The marching band performed in the 1999 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as the 2003 Tournament of Roses parade. The James Logan Jazz Ensemble A and combo appeared regularly at the Reno Jazz Festival and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival. The James Logan winter percussion ensemble was a Scholastic World Class finalist at the Winter Color Guard International World Championships in 2004 and 2007. The James Logan Wind Symphony performed at the 2001 Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the 2003 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and appeared in 2006 at Carnegie Hall on a program with H. Robert Reynolds and the National Wind Ensemble. In 2009 the wind symphony appeared at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference at the Cincinnati Conservatory.

Mr. Karlin taught from 2012-2023 as associate director at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, a comprehensive high school with an enrollment of nearly 5, 000. His duties there included primary conductor of the wind symphony, the top symphonic wind band on campus, co-visual designer (along with the venerable Greg Hagen) for the Marching Giants and winter percussion ensemble, and director of jazz ensembles. During his tenure, the Marching Giants were ISSMA state marching band finalists four times, and Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalists five times. The winter percussion ensemble was a Scholastic World Class Finalist at the Winter Guard International World Championships twice. The jazz ensembles produced Indiana All-State players and developed a small group improvisation curriculum as the centerpiece of the program. The wind symphony consistently earned superior ratings in Group I at ISSMA organizational contest and appeared at the 2015 Music for All National Festival.

Mr. Karlin is active as a movement coach and visual designer in the pageantry arts. From 1995-2019, he was a member of the visual staff of the Drum Corps International World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, and from 1999-2018 was the visual designer for the five-time DCI Open Class Champion Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps. He was the visual designer for the 2008 DCI finalist Madison Scouts and 2004 BOA Grand Nationals finalist Ayala High School marching band. He began his drum corps career as a marching member of Star of Indiana where he went on to teach the corps from 1989-1992. He has also been an advisor for the staffs of the Blue Knights, Madison Scouts and The Academy.