Erin K Howard Composition

Academics, Arts, Faculty

NWS Band Director Finds Special Source of Inspiration for Original Concert Band Composition

Erin Keeton-Howard Publishes "Wanderlust"

Erin Keeton-Howard, The Northwest School’s band director, found a creative way to satisfy her wanderlust during the pandemic. During the initial stages, when live music performances and travel were restricted, the musician and conductor found the inspiration to create an original piece of concert band music titled "Wanderlust.”

“I had been feeling totally lost and my soul had been restless,” said Erin. “Those are the two things that make me feel alive. I ended up writing this piece to capture that love for adventure and possibility, and the wistful reflection that comes from time away.”

Her inspiration for the piece’s dramatic opening came from a very special source – her 14-year-old English Pointer mix, Tucker.

“Even though Tuck has hip dysplasia and arthritis in his knee, he gets up every morning and bounces around the house, chortling, with multiple toys in his mouth like this day is just going to be the best ever,” said Erin.

Last month, Erin’s piece was published. She was able to see “Wanderlust” on display at the Annual International Midwest Clinic in Chicago. During her trip, she also met veteran composer and publisher Randall Standridge (shown in photo).

Inspiring, imaginative, and ebullient, “Wanderlust” is a fitting tribute to Tucker and a powerful reminder of our resilience. Even during tough times, the music seems to say, our hearts can sing, and our souls can fly.

“I hope you experience the same amount of joy and adventure as you explore this piece,” said Erin.

To listen to “Wanderlust,” visit:

About Erin 

Erin is also director of the Seattle Symphonic Band at North Seattle College and co-director/founder of Formation Wind Band, a women’s wind ensemble committed to empowering women to create, collaborate, and build community together. As an active musician, clinician, and conductor, you can find out the latest at