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Zack Durlam

Associate Professor, Choral Conducting

Director, Choral Activities


DMA, Choral Conducting, Michigan State University
MM, University of Iowa
BM, Luther College


Dr. Zach Durlam serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, artistic director of the Master Singers of Milwaukee, and choir director at Grace Lutheran Church in Grafton, Wisconsin. At UWM, Durlam leads multiple choirs and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and choral literature. He previously taught at Fresno Pacific University where his Concert Choir performed at the California Music Educators Association Conference and he was awarded the university’s 2013 Faculty Distinguished Service Award. Prior to that, Durlam taught high school vocal music for twelve years – including nine at Iowa City West High where his Chamber Choir was chosen to perform at the North Central American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference and the music department was one of seven programs in the nation named a Gold Signature School by the Grammy Foundation. He received his bachelor’s degree from Luther College, master’s from the University of Iowa, and doctorate from Michigan State University. Durlam was awarded 3rd place in the college/university division of the 2018-2019 American Prize for Choral Conducting, and the UWM Concert Chorale and UWM combined choirs and orchestra were named national finalists in the same competition. The UWM Concert Chorale under Durlam’s direction has been featured at the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association (WCDA) and Wisconsin Music Educators Association state conferences and the 2020 ten-state Midwestern ACDA conference. Chorale performed with Andrea Bocelli during the Milwaukee stop of his 2021 “Believe” tour, and in 2015 they performed with the Rolling Stones at Milwaukee’s Summerfest. Durlam has presented at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Educators, and he frequently works as a guest conductor and clinician, recently conducting or presenting in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin where he directed the 2019 Wisconsin Honors High School All-State Mixed Choir. Durlam currently serves as president of WCDA, and his research on Handel and Mendelssohn is published in ACDA’s Choral Journal.