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Sparky is a trumpet player who performs in many types of playing ensembles: including being the leader of “Sparky’s Jazz Express” and The Galvanized Brass. Currently he has been spending time performing at Marais Restaurant in Dickinson, performing for their Sunday Jazz Brunch. He has played principal trumpet with the Galveston Symphony Orchestra since 1980 and is a member of Jazz Sunday performing church services around the state of Texas. His trumpet teachers have included George Foss, Leonard Candelaria, John Haynie and Don “Jake” Jacoby.
Sparky received his degrees from Louisiana State University (B.M.) and the University of North Texas (M.M.Ed.). While at UNT he received the 1:00 O’Clock award for his contributions to the Lab Band program. He was also named in Who’s Who Among Students at the University of North Texas, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Sparky is also in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He was named in 2006 into the Biltmore Who’s Who. In 2003 he received the IAJE Outstanding Service Award for his work with the Community College All Star Jazz Ensemble.
Sparky recently retired after 40th year as Director of Instrumental Music / Jazz Studies at College of the Mainland located in Texas City, TX. He also served as Chairman of the Fine Arts Department at COM. Mr. Koerner was named Outstanding Teacher for 2001 at COM and recognized as College of the Mainland’s Piper Professor Nominee. In 2016, 2017 , 2018 and 2019 he was a finalist for Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Sparky was a Professor of Music and directed the College of the Mainland Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo and Concert Band and taught Music Theory as well as private brass lessons. Sparky continues to direct the COM Community Jazz Ensemble as a Life Long Learning Class.
The COM Jazz Ensemble and Combo have won 1st place honors at various jazz festivals throughout the state of Texas and many individuals in the ensemble have received awards for “Outstanding Musicianship” and “Outstanding Soloist”. The Jazz Ensemble performed by invitation in May 2010 at the 1st Jazz Education Network Conference held at the University of Missouri-St. Louis Campus, they performed in January 2013 in Atlanta for JEN. The Jazz Combo performed by invitation at the North Texas Jazz Festival held in Addison, TX April 2007. Many guest artist have performed with his groups including: Marvin Stamm, Tom "Bones" Malone, Bobby Watson, Chase Sanborn, Chris Vadala, Bill Mays, Rich Matteson, Ron Wilkins, Dr. Bill Lee, Jack Peterson, Kim Richmond, Clay Jenkins, Bruce Foreman, Mike Steinel and Tony Campise, to name a few. The COM Jazz Ensemble has shared the stage with Doc Severinsen (1988) and Diane Schurr (1990) at the Galveston Island Jazz Festival performances at the Grand 1894 Opera House.
Sparky is Past- President of the Texas Jazz Educators Association and the International Association of Jazz Educators – Texas Unit. He served for 15 years as the Texas Music Educators Association High School All State Jazz Ensemble Audition Coordinator and was Audition Coordinator for the IAJE South Central Regional Conference held in April 2005. He served on the IAJE Resource Team for Community Colleges for 15 years. During the 1996 IAJE Conference in Atlanta, GA. he directed the IAJE All Star Community College Jazz Ensemble. Sparky has served as organizer for the Texas Community College All State Jazz Ensemble, as well as organizer of the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Conference Jazz Festival. Sparky served as the Executive Director of the Galveston Island Jazz Festival from 1991-1994. Mr. Koerner served as the Music Coordinator for the Texas Teachers Community College Association for the year 99-00. He is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 65-699.