Percussion Ensembles

  • UWM Percussion Ensembles

The UWM Percussion Area ensembles offer varied experiences for percussion students as well as other music majors, music minors, and non-music majors. These courses have diverse curriculums that combine to address a range of instruments, techniques, and music genres. The ensembles provide unique opportunities for students to develop into versatile performers. See the individual ensemble descriptions below for more information.

Each ensemble is available for hire, with the Steel PANthers and Marimba Band ensembles offering very approachable and event-friendly entertainment. Past engagements have included the Milwaukee Art Museum, retirement communities, libraries, and schools. For more information about the ensembles, booking, and the Percussion Area, please contact percussion@uwm.edu.

Ensembles Interest Form

Faculty & Staff
profile photoWier, Alex(414) 251-7036wier@uwm.eduZelazo 394

Lecturer, Percussion

Area Head, Percussion

Director, Percussion Ensemble

Music Ensembles Faculty & Staff

Audition Information
Steel PANthers is open to any interested student following a short meeting and informal audition. No prior steel band or percussion experience is required but experience with reading music is recommended.

Percussion Ensemble is open to any students with percussion experience regardless of major. Interested students must complete a short, informal audition.

Marimba Band is open only to percussionists seeking a major or minor in music.


To request audition times and information, please email percussion@uwm.edu or submit the Ensembles Interest Form.

Steel PANthers

The UWM Steel PANthers is a steel pan ensemble that explores the rich traditions of Trinidadian steel band music as well as classical and pop music transcriptions. The band rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and is open to any qualified UWM students. Membership and enrollment permission is granted after an orientation/audition assessment of a student’s ability. No previous steel band experience is necessary; however, the ability to read music and a good sense of time are recommended.

Percussion Ensemble

The UWM Percussion Ensemble is a chamber ensemble that focuses on diverse repertoire written in the 20th and 21st centuries for percussion. Emphasizing new compositions alongside historically significant contributions to the chamber repertoire, the Percussion Ensemble features the study and performance of a variety of instruments, techniques, and music styles. This ensemble is primarily comprised of percussion music majors but is also open to music minors and non-majors who complete a brief interview and audition.

Additional Recordings


Marimba Band

The UWM Marimba Band combines xylophone, marimbas, and a collection of small percussion instruments to provide fun and easy-listening music to audiences of all ages. The repertoire includes a wide array of music, including early xylophone ragtime pieces, foxtrots, novelty to classical transcriptions, and traditional folk tunes from different cultures. Many of the pieces are taken from the “Golden Age” of the xylophone, 1915 to 1935, when virtuoso performers and composers were part of the popular music scene with radio shows, recordings, and sheet music sales. This ensemble is an extra-curricular performing and touring ensemble made up of percussion music majors.

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