Leo Sakomoto is the Director of Instrumental Studies at California State University, Bakersfield, where he conducts the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Chamber Orchestra, directs the Pep Band, and teaches courses in music education and conducting. Under his leadership, the CSUB Instrumental Music program has grown from one large instrumental ensemble to three and has received several honors, including recognition from the College Band Directors National Association. He is also the founding advisor of the CSUB Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education.
Dr. Sakomoto received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from California State University, Los Angeles, where he studied conducting with David Buck, Thomas Miyake, and Abel Ramirez, and studied trumpet with Kevin Brown and James Ford. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in conducting from UCLA under the mentorship of Thomas Lee. He has also studied with conductors such as Richard Floyd, Jerry Junkin, Craig Kirchhoff, Allan McMurray, and H. Robert Reynolds. He completed all three levels of study in the Kodály Method through the Organization of American Kodály Educators.
Dr. Sakomoto is a committed champion of new music for wind bands, having commissioned directly or involved with consortiums from composers such as Xi Wang, Adam Schoenberg, Andrew Boysen Jr, Dante De Silva, Kyle Shaw, and James Sproul.
Dr. Sakomoto maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator at the middle school through university levels. Recent guest conducting engagements include honor bands in Texas, South Carolina, and California, and rehearsal clinics in Ecuador. He is active as a conference presenter, previously lecturing on wind band repertoire and performance practice of the Spanish Pasodoble, and most recently presenting a clinic on music festival performance practice and preparation at the California All-State Music Educators Conference. Awards received include Outstanding College/University Music Educator and Music Educator of the Year, both from the Kern County Music Educators Association. He was an invited participant in the Nordic Wind Band Conducting Competition in Helsinki, Finland.
Dr. Sakomoto currently serves on the boards of the Kern County Music Educators Association, the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the California Music Educators Association Central Section board. He is a member of the College Band Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, the California Music Educators Association, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, the American String Teachers Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.