Meet Dr. Sekelsky

Faculty Profile
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Photography by Emily Jordan

Please use Professional bio for programs and publications

As an elementary student in Park Falls, Wisconsin, Michael Sekelsky used to sit and watch a small Drum Corps rehearsing. They practiced near enough to his house that he could walk over on his own, and he spent hours listening to them play. That was the beginning of his lifelong fascination with rhythm and combinations of rhythm. And when he got back home, as one of eight kids in his family, the house had plenty of its own unique rhythms too.

As an undergraduate music major, Michael was always impressed by the way his teachers invested in his progress, and decided then to do the same for others. With a strong background as a drum set artist, he used his undergraduate and graduate studies learning to perform on as many percussion instruments as possible at a professional level to be a better musical model for his students. Following two years of adjunct teaching and professional performing in northern Minnesota/Wisconsin, Dr. Sekelsky joined UCM as Percussion Instructor and Assistant Director of Bands.

Dr. Sekelsky makes himself available to his students whenever they are in need, even as he maintains a busy schedule that includes teaching privately and at Warrensburg High School. He also ensures that UCM's percussion studio employs educational technology such as audio/video systems for recording, playback, play along, and webcast lessons, in addition to the standard concert percussion instruments.

Students of Dr. Sekelsky have achieved a wide variety of noteworthy musical and professional goals. They've completed doctorates in music, become university instructors, successful public school music teachers, touring/recording artists, and MTNA National percussion finalists. They have performed with elite ensembles such as the St. Louis Symphony, The Tucson Symphony, and the Air Force Band of the Golden West.

Dr. Sekelsky is an active performer, clinician, adjudicator, and committee member at the national, regional, and local levels, and an educational endorser for Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drum Heads, and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets. As a jazz drummer, Dr. Sekelsky is a member of the After Hours Trio (with fellow faculty members Dr. Gai and Dr. Moege), and has performed with the Boulevard Big Band, the Little Boulevard Band, The Trilogy Big Band, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. He has performed with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and UCM guest artists including David Samuels, Arthur Lipner, Roger Williams, and the Ink Spots.

Dr. Sekelsky is many things: a husband, father, and grandfather, percussionist, colleague, and teacher, but in all things he is a provider. The overriding philosophy of his work is to focus on giving to those around him. Whether they are in the audience, the classroom, the office, or in his community, Dr. Michael Sekelsky provides for the people.

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