Dr. Michael Varner has been Director of Percussion at the University of Texas at Arlington for 35 years. He holds a degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, a Master’s in Performance from The University of Michigan, and a Doctorate in Performance from The University of North Texas. With a long history as an educator he has given presentations internationally. He draws from 40 years’ experience performing percussion repertoire to the highest standards. In 2014, he released his latest CD “reVelations” featuring his own compositions. Excerpts from Dr. Varner's performances can be seen on Youtube and TEDxUTA.

His interest in world music led to a sabbatical in Nigeria and “Study-Abroad” classes to Ghana. His article “Skin That Speaks” was published in the 2013 Percussive Notes Journal. He recently presented “Skin that Speaks” for the Texas Music Educators Convention. He teaches all percussion and world music courses at UT-Arlington and is a member of the Honor’s College Faculty, chosen recently as Honor’s faculty member of the year. He has presented percussion clinics in every state, Europe, and Japan and has over 20 commissioned compositions published internationally. He is an artist performer for Remo World Percussion, Vic Firth mallets, Yamaha drums, and Sabian cymbals.