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. Meunier is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, and a contributing author to eight volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Teaching Music Through Performing Marches and Teaching Music Through Jazz Performance. He has appeared throughout the United States, and in Sweden, Canada and 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. Meunier is the founder of the Drake University Wind Symphony that, since its inception in 1998, has gained national recognition for excellence in live performance and recordings.
A member of the percussion section of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 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 and the Temptations among his numerous performance credits.
Meunier 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. In 2005, Meunier was honored as Drake’s College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year and in 2009, he was honored by Drake as a nominee for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He is a past- president of the Iowa Bandmasters Association, and a past-president of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association and the Iowa Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. Meunier is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society, the Percussive Arts Society and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Member of the Orchestra since
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!"
Joseph Schwantner, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky
Favorite solo piece
Mayaku's "Land" for solo marimba
Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod