Dr. Alex Wier is a percussion artist and music educator based in Milwaukee and Chicago. He has presented solo recitals and clinics at numerous universities around the United States. He has also performed with a number of professional orchestras, such as the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and Crested Butte Music Festival Orchestra.
A strong advocate of new music, Alex has commissioned several percussion works and has performed regularly with contemporary ensembles including Fifth House Ensemble, Atlas Percussion, Beyond This Point, Crossing 32nd Street, and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has also performed and presented his research at the Balance-Unbalance, Listen(n) Symposium, Percussive Arts Society, and The Midwest Clinic international conferences and the College Music Society National Conference.
Alex is currently the Percussion Area Head at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he teaches applied percussion lessons and is the director of the percussion ensemble. He is also Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College where he is the instructor of an online Rock Music and Culture course. From 2013-2015, Alex was the instructor of the Percussion Methods course and undergraduate percussion lessons at Arizona State University and he also served as the President of the Arizona Percussive Arts Society Chapter from 2012 to 2013. Outside of school instruction, Alex has interacted with diverse student populations as a clinician, adjudicator, and active member of ensembles that have focused on community outreach.
As a composer and arranger, Alex has written percussion solo and ensemble works for a variety of percussion instruments. His original composition for steel pan ensemble, Intown, won third prize in the James P. and Shirley J. O’Brien Endowment Composition Competition in 2014. His most recent work is centered on the utilization of live electronics with percussion instruments. Alex has been the recipient of several grants and scholarships, including the ASU JumpStart Research Grant, Henderson Endowment Fund, Shandel Education Plus Grant, and the PAS Armand Zildjian Scholarship, that assisted his creative projects and funded his attendance at various seminars and festivals around the United States and his fieldwork abroad.
Alex earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University and his culminating project was titled “Performer and Electronic-Activated Acoustics: Three New Works for Solo Percussion and Live Electronics.” Alex also holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelors degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona. His teachers have included J.B. Smith, Simone Mancuso, She-e Wu, James Ross, Gary Cook, Norman Weinberg, Michael Vercelli, and Dom Moio. Alex is an endorser of Marimba One marimbas and Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, in addition to being a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network.