Russell Howland was one of the most highly regarded woodwind teachers in the United States.
He studied at the University of Illinois.
He was a professor of woodwinds at the University of Michigan until 1948. After 1948, Howland settled at the state college in Fresno, California, where he was active as an arranger and composer for wind band and clarinet choir.
In 1975 he was made a member of the hall of fame of the California Music Educators Association.