Michael Timothy Pratt is an award-winning percussionist committed to the teaching and advancing of the percussion arts. Michael maintains an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral percussionist, drum kit player, and educator. He has given concerts all around the United States, and has performed with internationally recognized percussionists, including Bob Becker, Chris Norton, Morris Palter, Casey Cangelosi, Bill Kahn, and Anders Åstrand. Michael has studied with Morris Palter, Chris Norton, John Pennington, Zoro, and Chester Thompson.
As an active performer, some of Micheal’s recent concerts have included residencies at Northern Arizona University, Fort Lewis College, McMurry College, and PIMA Community College. Formerly, he has been guest soloist with the NAU Percussion Ensemble, Fort Lewis Percussion Ensemble, Woodwork Mallet Ensemble, Fort Lewis Wind Symphony, and Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to being a soloist, Michael is an active chamber musician. He is a regular performer with the Carmina ex Claustris collective, based out of southern Arizona that features music for percussion and double bass. Notable chamber music performances include a showcase performance of the Lou Harrison Suite for Violin and American Gamelan at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the PBS National TV special “Christmas at Belmont” hosted by country artist Trisha Yearwood, and a collaboration with the Stevie Eller Dance Company and University of Arizona Chamber Singers to perform Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces.
Michael is currently the Principal Percussionist and Timpanist for the Opera in the Ozarks seasonal festival sponsored by the Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Formerly, Michael has performed as a sectional percussionist with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, Southwest Civic Winds, San Juan Symphony, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival Orchestra.
As a drum kit player, Michael has extensive performing, touring, and recording experience. He continually performs in Southern Arizona with the Street Blues Gang and Keaton/Wilson Jazz Trio. Formerly he has toured the United States with Yenisly, Augusta Vain, Madison Hardy, and Lacey Black, and has opened for the bands Little Big Town and Collective Soul. Michael’s drumming can be heard on over ten albums, and he is currently working on a solo percussion release involving newly commissioned works for percussion.
Michael currently teaches as an Adjunct Instructor at Fort Lewis College and is the Assistant Program Director of iAM Music in Durango, Colorado. Previously, Michael has taught at the University of Arizona as a teaching assistant, successfully instructing the percussion methods class to music education majors in the Spring of 2018 and 2019, coaching several percussion ensembles including the Crosstalk Electronic Percussion Ensemble and the Speak Easy Ragtime band, and teaching undergraduate private lessons. Formerly, he has worked with the all-state qualifying marching drum lines as the Assistant Band Director and Director of Percussion for Durango High School and Mountain View High School.
Michael seeks to engage the greater musical community through percussion in meaningful ways. He has served as drum instructor for the UpBeat program. Modeled with the University of Arizona’s College of Fine Arts outreach initiative to provide fine-arts, standard based music curriculum for highly in-need public schools, UpBeat is a percussion-based music program that helps students understand what it takes to be an integrated, successful, and complete person.
Taking active leadership roles, Michael has been an advisor to the Interactive Drumming Committee of the Percussive Arts Society, the world’s largest percussion organization. He is also the program coordinator and regular participant for the Tocálo Tucson percussion chamber festival. This program offers percussionists from around the globe the opportunity to work closely with distinguished guest faculty members, preparing two concerts that feature new music for percussion. Recent guest faculty have included Morris Palter, Bob Becker, Anders Åstrand, Casey Cangelosi, Bill Cahn, and composer Matthew Burtner.
Michael holds performance degrees from the University of Arizona, Belmont University, and Fort Lewis College, where in 2005 and 2007 he was awarded the Sophomore Musicianship of the Year and Outstanding Graduate in Music awards, respectfully, as well as the Creative Achievement Award from the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. Michael further holds degrees in religious studies and music education. His professional development has been supported through numerous awards, scholarships, and fellowships, including travel and professional development grants from the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council, Daveen Fox Fellowship, a Carpenter Endowment Fellowship, and a UA Graduate Completion Fellowship.