Robert Meunier
  • Instrument Percussion

Robert Meunier is Director of Bands and Professor of Percussion at Drake University where he is the conductor of the wind symphony and director of percussion studies. He is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. Meunier has appeared in thirty-one states, China, Sweden, Canada, and in Mexico, where he has been an artist/conductor in residence at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica, and at the Academia de Musica Escuela de Musica Ollin Yoliztli in Mexico City.

He is a contributing author to eleven volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Teaching Music Through Performing Marches, and Teaching Music Through Jazz Performance. In addition to his duties at Drake, Meunier is affiliated with the Des Moines Symphony Academy as the conductor of the Des Moines Youth Wind Ensemble Meunier and the Drake University Wind Symphony have released nine professional recordings through Mark Custom Recording, many of which have received Grammy Nomination eligibility status in the Best Classical Music category and have received excellent reviews in Bandworld. They have performed for the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Conference (2000, 2008, 2012), the Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference (1999, 2006, 2012, 2014, 2019), the North American Saxophone Alliance, and have toured extensively throughout the Midwest.

Recordings by the Drake Wind Symphony are featured regularly on public radio stations throughout the United States and are available on all major digital media outlets. A member of the percussion section of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra for over thirty years, Meunier has experiences in orchestral, jazz, show, solo performance, and recording. He includes Don Rickles, Robert Goulet, the Smothers Brothers, Red Skelton, Roger Williams, the Temptations, and many others among his numerous professional performance credits. Meunier is a past-president of the Iowa Bandmasters Association, past-president of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association, and past-president of the Iowa Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association (elected 2014), the College Band Directors National Association, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society, and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in music education from the University of Mary, a Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has pursued doctoral studies in wind conducting at the University of North Texas where he was a student of Eugene Migliaro Corporon and Dennis Fisher. Meunier has been honored by Drake as a recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year, and as a nominee for the university’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He is the recipient of the 2019 Iowa Bandmasters Association Karl King-Active Distinguished Service Award.

Member of the Orchestra since

1985

Most memorable experience with the Orchestra

Performing as a soloist with the orchestra on Michael Dougherty's "Flamingo."

How I got started playing my instrument

My Dad wanted me to play trombone and I wanted to play drums. I lied and told him that I couldn't buzz my lips into a mouthpiece and that I had to play the drums because of it. He took me to see the band director who held a mouthpiece to my lips, where upon I deliberately placed my tongue between my lips and spit on both the band director and my Dad. The band director then said to my Dad, without hesitation, "Nope, he has to be a drummer!"

Favorite composer

Joseph Schwantner, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky

Favorite solo piece

Mayaku's "Land" for solo marimba

Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod

Jazz