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Michael Yonchak , DMA

Michael Yonchak

Associate Professor , Music Education
Department of

p/ 614.823.1808
e/ myonchak@otterbein.edu
Office: Battelle Fine Arts Center 117


  • University of Kentucky, Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting, 2008
  • Youngstown State University, Master of Music in Conducting, 2003
  • Youngstown State University, Bachelor of Music in Education (Percussion emphasis), 2000

Research & Teaching Interests

  • Frank Zappa
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Drum set performance


  • "Frank Zappa’s Envelopes: Style and Analysis." WASBE Journal, Volume 16, March 2010. (Accepted through peer review)
  • "The Crux of the Biscuit: A Look at Frank Zappa’s Dog Breath Variations for Wind Ensemble and Rock Band." NBA Journal, Volume 49 (2), December 2008.
  • "The Rock and Roll Wind Ensemble: Rehearsal Strategies and Stylistic Interpretations to Three Works for Wind Ensemble by Frank Zappa." DMA dissertation, University of Kentucky, May 2009

Affiliations & Awards

  • Endorsee for Vic Firth, Inc.
  • Member of the Collegiate Educator Program
  • Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary)
  • Tau Beta Sigma (honorary)
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (honorary)
  • Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA)
  • College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA)
  • National Band Association (NBA)
  • Percussive Arts Society (PAS)

Personal Biography

Dr. Michael Yonchak currently serves as Director of Bands is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Otterbein University. A native of Ohio, Dr. Yonchak earned the Bachelor of Music in Education (percussion emphasis) and Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting degrees from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Wind Conducting from the University of Kentucky. His dissertation monograph focused on the wind ensemble compositions of American composer Frank Zappa, leading to the publication of journal articles and numerous presentations, as well as research into American popular music and culture. Prior to his time in Kentucky, Dr. Yonchak taught for five and a half years in the public schools of northeast Ohio. 

On campus, Dr. Yonchak teaches a variety of academic courses that includes History of Rock and Roll, Protest Music, Advanced Conducting, Secondary Education Methods, and directs the Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he maintains an active schedule as a freelance percussionist and drum set artist in the Columbus area, performing for Ohio Governors Ted Strickland and John Kasich, opening for percussionist Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), and with composer/saxophonist Bob Mintzer (Yellowjackets). He is a clinician on innovative educational pedagogy that integrates popular music styles into various teaching practices, and has presented sessions for the Ohio Music Education Association’s State Conference and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Dr. Yonchak is also an active percussionist on the Columbus music scene, with performances ranging from indie-rock to jazz to traditional flamenco and Irish percussion.  

Dr. Yonchak holds honorary memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma. He is also an endorsee for Vic Firth, Inc., and Finnegan Hill Irish Percussion (www.finneganhill.com).

/ Office of Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs is located in Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St.

Office Hours

M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

p / 614.823.1556

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