School of Music

Michael Minarcek

Michael Minarcek

Mike Minarcek has been sought out for his musical versatility since 1999.  Having performed in a wide variety of genres, Mike has worked as a drum-set artist with Hilary Kole and the Eric Zadan trio; grammy-nominated rock group “Once-ler” of Dayton, OH, and “The Schisms” of Austin, TX.  Equally comfortable behind a five-octave marimba as he is a five-piece kit, Mike also enjoys working in orchestral and chamber music settings including the Sonata da Camera of Urbana, Illinois, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and the Illinois Modern Ensemble. He is especially fond of chamber music and has many solo/collaborative recitals and masterclasses to his credit. In addition to this, Mike regularly seeks new works for percussion via commission. To date, he has commissioned two works: a drum-set and live electronics piece by Chicago-based composer Joe Meland, as well as a composition for multiple-percussion duo by Danish composer Andy Pape. Mike will give the U.S. premiere of each work in the fall of 2017.

 He has gigged extensively as a jazz, blues, and rock drummer in Chicago, IL and Austin, TX, the latter of which he was able to perform in the SXSW and ACL music festivals.  He was selected as a substitute drummer for the Blue Man Group loft trio in Chicago in 2005 and he worked for the Holland America Cruise line whereby he traveled to Alaska for six months and played drums and percussion with the orchestra. He continues to perform frequently in Dayton, Cincinnati and Chicago.

In addition to performing, Mike is a dedicated music educator. He has worked with students of all experience levels and enjoys guiding them toward their musical goals. He is currently privileged to be the adjunct percussion instructor at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL.

Currently working on a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Percussion Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Mike is a proud student of Professors William Moersch and Ricardo Flores. In 2016, he was the honored recipient of the percussion division’s Edgard Varese award for outstanding achievement in percussion performance.