ROE R. Cross Distinguished Professor
2008 - Gary Ziek
Dr. Gary Ziek has a symphony of passions in his life.
"The first is my family, he says. "My wife Tess and son Benjamin are my anchors. We will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year. It has been my great fortune to be married to another musician, whom I work with on a daily basis. We get to collaborate professionally every day. Our son keeps us grounded in the real world. He is 10 and is always full of energy!"
Ziek calls music his second passion and appreciates what a gift it is to work in the area you love.
"My profession is self-invigorating," he says, "with a new opportunity for creativity every day."
A close third on the passion list is love of travel. Ziek and his wife, Dr. Tess Ziek, have been able to visit much of the United States and 18 other countries.
When in the classrooms at Emporia State, Ziek believes collaboration with students and fellow faculty is vital. He finds it to be a daily occurrence and one of the major reasons he chose a career in higher education teaching.
"I have written numerous pieces that have been premiered at Emporia State, and have always been proud of the way that the students have risen to the challenge. All of our faculty members here have many opportunities to perform alongside our students, in both large and small group settings.
"I wanted the opportunity to help shape the next generations of performers and music educators," adds Ziek. "I love the interaction with this age of student, and hopefully any positive example that we can set will have a ripple effect with many other students.
"I hope that my students will take away my positive attitude toward life, learning, and creativity. I believe that it is a privilege to do what I do, and that we should never take that for granted. Hopefully they will believe that I truly cared about them, and did my best to be fair and supportive in the endeavors.”
Ziek grew up in Erie, Penn., what he describes as "a wonderful community."
He says he was fortunate in his high school years to be around many talented and funny musicians.
"Erie had a vibrant arts community, with a lot of opportunities for young musicians. Once the flame of music was lit, there was never any turning back. I couldn’t imagine any different profession to fall in love with."
Ziek received his Master of Arts in Trumpet Performance and his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
After earning his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University and graduating as a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Ziek accepted a job as Professor of Music at ESU in 1995 and has served as the Director of Bands and Professor of Trumpet at Emporia State University since 1995. Besides being recipient of the Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award for 2008-2009, he has received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences award for Research and Creativity twice.
Ziek served in the United States Army and was a member of the Continental Army Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia. He taught in the Greater Latrobe School District in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He was the Associate Director of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Marching Band. Dr. Ziek enjoys performing and conducting a wide variety of music, from classical to jazz. He has performed and conducted in 25 states, as well as in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, China and Canada. He is a Bach Trumpet Artist.
Ziek's compositions and arrangements have been played throughout the United States, including performances at the University of South Carolina, Utah State University, Boston University, Rutgers University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of New Orleans, Auburn University, Humboldt State University, UNC-Greensboro, University of Delaware, University of Redlands, McMurry University, Delta State University, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Ohio Northern University, Mercer University, Harding University, William Jewell College, Christopher Newport University, Bethel College, The Concord Band, The San Jose Wind Symphony and the Kansas City Wind Symphony, and by the Summit Brass at the Raphael Mendez Brass Institute in Colorado.
Performances venues of note include Carnegie Hall (NYC), The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago) and numerous state music conventions. International performances of his works include concerts in Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Japan, China, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan (The National Symphony of Taiwan), and at the Nanyang Polytechnical Institute. Dr. Ziek has music published by C. Alan, Kendor, Cimmaron and Wingert-Jones Publications.