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David Zerkel joins SMTD in Fall 2020

David Zerkel smiles at cameraThe 2020-21 academic year will bring the arrival of celebrated musician and educator David Zerkel as Professor of Music (Tuba and Euphonium) in the Department of Winds & Percussion. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the faculty of the School of Music, Theater & Dance at the University of Michigan,” said Zerkel. “The School is widely known as one of the finest places in the world for young musicians to spend their formative years, and immersing myself into the culture of creative curiosity and intellectual rigor in Ann Arbor promises to be invigorating. It is an honor to be selected to continue the good works of Professors Fritz Kaenzig and Abe Torchinsky in the tuba and euphonium studio, and I look forward with great excitement to working with my new students and colleagues.”

Zerkel joins SMTD from the University of Georgia where he is a Professor of Tuba and Euphonium. A dedicated educator, Zerkel’s students have enjoyed numerous musical and professional successes under his direction. He has had multiple winners in the Leonard Falcone Competition, the solo competitions of the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, and the national Music Teachers National Association solo competition. Alumni from his studio have performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic and there is an alumni from his studio in each of the premiere service bands in Washington, DC. Many others are leading successful teaching careers at the secondary and post-secondary level.

“I am pleased to welcome David Zerkel to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, said Dean Dave Gier. “As a deeply respected and widely recognized performer and teacher, David is ideally prepared to take over the heralded tuba and euphonium program. Our students will benefit from his artistry and rich experience.”

In addition to his work in higher education, Zerkel leads an active career as a performer. During his career he has performed frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. In addition, he has performed as a guest with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and the Saint Louis Symphony. He was a long time member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, was a founding member of the Washington Symphonic Brass, and has performed with the Burning River Brass. He began his performing career as a member of The United States Army Field Band and The United States Army Band. 

Zerkel has performed as a featured soloist at many workshops and symposia, including the Leonard Falcone Festival, several International Tuba Euphonium Conferences, and The United States Army Band Tuba Conference. In addition, he has performed as a solo recitalist at many of the leading colleges and conservatories in the United States. His first solo CD, “American Music for Tuba: Something Old, Something New,” was selected as the recipient of the inaugural ITEA Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording at the 2006 ITEC in Denver, Colorado. His subsequent CD, “Tuba Helper,” was a Bobo finalist in 2008. 

David is also a former President of the International Tuba Euphonium Association.