Sparky Koerner has been the trumpet professor at College of the Mainland since the fall of 1984, where he also directs the jazz ensemble, jazz combo and concert band and teaches music theory. He is also chairman of the Fine Arts Department. He performs as principal trumpet with the Galveston Symphony Orchestra and serves as their orchestra manager. He leads Sparky’s Jazz Express and the Galvanized Brass. His many students have gone on to positions as band directors, military bandsmen, professional and amateur performers, college professors, church musicians and even NASA engineers. He has served the college as chair of the Faculty Senate as well as a member of numerous other committees, including the Student Success Council, SAC Affirmation, COM Foundation Scholarships Committee and many others. In 2001 Sparky was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award at COM and in 2016 was a finalist for Outstanding Faculty Award.
He moved to Galveston Island as a jazz artist in residence for the Galveston Cultural Arts in 1980 after spending two years in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, at the Universidad of Veracruz performing with the faculty jazz combo Orbis Teritus. He has held the principal trumpet chair in the Galveston Symphony orchestra since 1980 and he has been featured on the J. Hayden Eb Trumpet Concerto (twice), Aaron Copland's Quiet City and his Jazz Express was featured in 2016 on a pops concert with the GSO.
He is a former president of the Texas Chapter of International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) and the Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA). He continues to serve on the Advisory Board of TJEA. Sparky chaired the TMEA All State Jazz Audition process from 1999 to 2008. Sparky received the IAJE Service Award in 2003 and directed the IAJE Community College Jazz Ensemble at the 1996 Conference. The COM Jazz Ensemble has performed (twice) at the Jazz Education Network Conference in 2010 and 2013.
Sparky has worked extensively as jazz musician, orchestral musician and soloist. He appears frequently as a soloist and clinician, both in the classical and jazz fields, at colleges, high schools and with professional organizations.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sparky holds a Bachelor of Music from Louisiana State University (1974), Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas (1976) His primary teachers have included George Foss, Dr. Leonard Candelaria, John Haynie and Don “Jake” Jacoby.
Sparky Koerner is affiliated with the Jazz Educator Network, International Trumpet Guild, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Jazz Educators Association, American Federation of Musicians and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Sparky is available as a clinician, adjudicator and performer.