Blog Post

Doug Walter

Versatile percussionist Douglas Walter has developed an excellent international reputation as a marimba and vibraphone artist in both the classical and jazz fields. The only percussionist to win a first place prize in the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City, Walter has performed over 300 solo recitals and concerti in Canada, France, England, Ukraine, Lithuania, Norway, The United States, and Switzerland.

Walter’s repertoire includes contemporary works, ragtime, over 50 commissions, personal transcriptions of works by Bach, Bartok, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and others, and solo jazz improvisations on tunes he has written. His three solo recitals at PASICs received standing ovations. A champion of the rhythmically exciting work of Dan Levitan, Mr. Walter has commissioned music with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Canada Council, & state arts-funding organizations.

Walter’s achievements in the jazz world include the North Texas State University Lab Band recording, LAB 75, the first university recording nominated for a Grammy award, the Keystick Duo (vibes & pno), The Modest Jazz Trio (vibes, bass & guitar) and Jazz Asylum (The University of Colorado faculty jazz quintet). His unique solo improvisations on the marimba have received a warm reception from both musicians and the general public. He has studied jazz with David Samuels, David Baker, and Gary Burton.

An accomplished orchestral musician, Dr. Walter has performed with the Colorado Music Festival, Sunriver Festival, Dallas, Santa Fe Opera, Flint, Fort Worth, Oregon, Colorado Ballet, Philadelphia, Salem, Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Delaware Symphony Orchestras, among others. After serving 7 years as Principal Percussionist, he was appointed Principal Timpanist of the Boulder Philharmonic in 1999.

He graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Texas with a double degree in music education and music theory. He studied with Charles Owen during his two masters degrees in Orchestral Conducting and Percussion Performance at the University of Michigan, and earned his doctorate from Temple University, with Alan Abel. As director of percussion studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Walter teaches undergraduate through doctoral students from around the world, directs the marimba and percussion ensembles and teaches jazz classes.

A Yamaha artist clinician since 1986, Douglas Walter endorses Encore Mallets and Sabian Cymbals.