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Welcoming Michael Van Wirt to the Lamont Faculty

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Angela Mitchell

Manager of Marketing & Communications, Lamont School of Music

Announcement  •
Michael Van Wirt

The Lamont School of Music and Director Keith Ward are pleased to announce that Michael Van Wirt will take over as Adjunct Professor of Percussion in Fall 2024. He will serve as head of the percussion department and teach percussion and timpani, as well as direct the Lamont Percussion Ensemble. Van Wirt replaces John Kinzie, who is retiring after 28 years in the position. 

"I am so excited to be joining the faculty of the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver," said Van Wirt. "Returning to my Alma Mater is a dream come true for me."

“I’m delighted that Michael will be joining us this Fall," said Director Ward. "Lamont students will benefit from his breadth of professional experience and passion for teaching.”

Michael Van Wirt joined the percussion section of the Colorado Symphony in 2015. He has performed with the Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, and was a New World Symphony Fellow. Michael was also a member of Seraphic Fire’s Firebird Chamber Orchestra, serving as timpanist from 2012-2015. He is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and the Alan Abel Summer Percussion Seminar.

Van Wirt holds degrees from the University of Denver and the University of Miami. As an educator, he has taught at the Lamont School of Music Summer Academy, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Northern Colorado. Michael also participates in the Colorado Symphony’s education and outreach programs, including the Master Mentor, Mini Musica, and Canta y Baila Conmigo programs.

Van Wirt and his wife Elizabeth perform regularly as a percussion duo, including performances at the University of Denver, Regis University, and the Colorado Symphony’s Drums of the World concert.  He is a Zildjian performing artist and clinician. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and hiking, completing the Colorado Trail in the summer of 2012.