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Brian Zator, DMA
Director & Professor of Percussion

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Dr. Brian Zator is a professor of Percussion at Texas A&M University-Commerce, having joined the faculty in 2001. He holds degrees from Baylor University, the University of Michigan and the University of North Texas. He is also a former student of world-renowned marimba artist Keiko Abe, having performed and studied with her in Japan. Dr. Zator has performed at seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC) conventions, as well as festivals across the United States, in Carnegie Hall and abroad on five different continents. Released in 2015, Zamiki: Music for Solo Marimba and a chamber-works CD entitled Zoomorphs are distributed by Equilibrium Records. Dr. Zator is also the creator of the social media video series, “Marimba Minute.”

Dr. Zator and the A&M-Commerce percussion ensemble were one of the three winners of the prestigious 2010 PAS International Percussion Ensemble Competition and performed a showcase concert at PASIC 2010. The ensemble also presented a concert at PASIC 2006, featuring works of Minoru Miki, and has released two CDs since 2007.

Active within the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), he served as president of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Dr. Zator was a member of the Keyboard and Percussion Ensemble Committees, a keyboard editor and literature reviewer for Percussive Notes, and has adjudicated the PAS International Percussion Ensemble, Composition and PASIC Marimba Solo Competitions. He also has an instructional keyboard book, Keyboard Fundamentals with Play-Along Tracks, published by Innovative Percussion. Zator was a member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1994-1996, and also taught the University of Michigan Drumline. Dr. Zator is proud to be a performing artist and clinician for Innovative Percussion, Sabian, Evans and Black Swamp Percussion.

Educational Background

  • DMA, Percussion Performance, University of North Texas, 2008
  • M.M., Percussion Performance, University of Michigan, 2001
  • B.A., Music Education, Baylor University, 1998

Selected Solo Performances

  • Featured Guest Artist, PAS China International Percussion Festival, 2017-2019
  • Featured Guest Artist, Patagonia, Argentina International Percussion Festival, 2018
  • Featured Soloist, New York University Percussion Ensemble in New York NY, 2017
  • Featured Performer, Astraios Music Festival Concert Series, 2016

Selected Chamber Performances

  • Marimba and Soprano Duo with Dr. Jessica McCormack, 2018
  • Nakura-Zator Marimba Duo with Makoto Nakura, 2016

Featured Courses

  • MUS 152 – Principal Applied Percussion-Lower Division
  • MUS 352 – Principal Applied Percussion-Upper Division
  • MUS 531 – Percussion Pedagogy
  • MUS 552 – Principal Applied Percussion

Musical Publications

  • Ballades for Koto Solo: Spring Vol. 2, The Young Sprout by Minoru Miki, published by Zamiki Music
  • Ballades for Koto Solo: Spring Vol. 2, Skylark by Minoru Miki, published by Zamiki Music
  • Cassiopeia Marimbana by Minoru Miki, published by Zamiki Music
  • Four Seasons: Summer by Antonio Vivaldi, published by Go Fish Music

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