Faculty Achievements

Yii Kah Hoe

Throughout the 2022-2023 academic year, the School of Music hosted Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Yii Kah Hoe. Professor Yii is a prominent Malaysian composer who promotes Indigenous music and environmental conservation. Professor Yii shared his experiences with soundscape composition, and environmental impacts on soundscapes in his native Borneo with School of Music students and faculty in fall and spring semesters. He created long-term course content on equipment and techniques for recording live environments for MUS 163 World Music, taught composition lessons and seminars, and worked with first-year and transfer students in WSU’s History 105, Roots of Contemporary Issues, which engages 4000+ students on topics ranging from global history, communication, diversifying viewpoints, and politics. Professor Yii also travelled to institutions throughout the inland northwest, California, and the Midwest to lecture, perform, and give masterclasses on improvisation, movement, and meaning in music.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, Professor Yii hiked into the Palouse to capture sounds of water, wind, and wildlife. These sounds became the basis for his new work, Of this Land, for soundtrack, baritone, and English horn. Of this Land premiered in early March at the School of Music’s Festival of Contemporary Art Music. The final concert included a multi-media sensory event of works by Yii Kah Hoe, performed in simulated rain forest and Palouse environments, and concluded with full-audience  creation of a 360-degree Palouse-based soundscape. Of this Land was featured on KUOW (Seattle NPR) this spring. To listen to the interview and read the article, visit KUOW.

Jon Sweet

We are excited to welcome Dr. Jon Sweet as Director of Athletic Bands this June. In demand as a program coordinator and visual designer for marching bands, Dr. Jon Sweet has a reputation for his energetic performances throughout the United States. Dr. Sweet holds the position of Director of Athletic Bands, Associate Director of Bands, and Associate Professor of Music, Career track at Washington State University where he directs the Cougar Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and is instrumental in the instruction of musicians throughout the School of Music.

Prior to his appointment at WSU, Dr. Sweet enjoyed six years at Purdue University, where he conducted the Concert Band, Gold and Black Sound (the Women’s Basketball Pep-Band), was the advisor for the Gamma Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, taught the Band and Engineering Learning Community, and was an Associate Director for the “All-American” Marching Band, where he was the drill designer. He was named the Purdue University Learning Community “Advocate of the Year” in 2019.

He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 2019, where his dissertation focused on the genesis and analysis of John Mackey’s Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band and also holds degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and Abilene Christian University. He makes frequent academic conference presentations at regional and national conferences, including the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Symposium.

An active member in marching band pageantry arts, Dr. Sweet has designed over 300 shows and adjudicates marching bands throughout the United States. His designs have been featured at major high school competitions including Bands of America Regionals, Super Regionals, Grand Nationals, State Marching Contests, and many major college football conferences including the SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, WAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA. Dr. Sweet spent 11 years as a public-school band director in Texas, where his groups achieved superior ratings, best in class awards, best in festival awards, outstanding visual awards, and outstanding general effect awards. He has also served as a guest honor concert band conductor for groups in Colorado, Indiana, Idaho, and Wisconsin.

Jon Sweet.

For monthly updates on our faculty achievements throughout the year: