Guest Lecturer in Percussion
MM, DePaul University
About Michael Folker
Michael Folker has been performing in the Chicagoland area for the past 24 years. He is Principal Percussionist with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra. He is also a member of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and Lake Forest Symphony.
Additionally, Michael has performed and recorded with the Chicago Symphony, Grant Park Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Symphony. Michael has also performed with pop groups such as the Moody Blues, Kansas, and Styx as well as classical performers such as Luciano Pavaratti and Victor Borge. Mr. Folker has performed with Celine Dion, Linda Ronstadt, Andrea Bocelli, Art Garfunkel, The Three Tenors, Doc Severson, The Irish Tenors, Johnny Mathis, Charlotte Church, and Mannheim Steamroller.
In addition to live concerts, Michael has recorded for both television and radio commercials including Kellogg’s Cereals, United Airlines, McDonalds, and Nintendo.
Michael is a graduate of DePaul University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Performance and studied with Mr. Al Payson of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Performance from Millikin University during which time he also studied with Mr. Tom Akins, Timpanist of the Indianapolis Symphony.
In addition to performing and teaching at Wheaton Conservatory, Mr. Folker is also Director of Percussion at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn (IL). He is the creator of “The Magic of Music” and “Abraca-Music”, both of which are educational programs designed to teach young audiences about the wonders of live music.