Dr. Christopher Lizak
Dr. Chris Lizak brings a diverse performing and educating background to the LBJ Jaguar Band. He served as the Front Ensemble Instructor for the Vista Ridge Ranger Band in Cedar Park, TX, helping them earn a 3rd-place finish in the 2013 4-A Texas State Marching Competition. Prior to this, Chris served for one year as Instructor of Percussion and Jazz at Trine University in Angola, IN. He has also taught the drum lines for The University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, Angola High School, and Cuyahoga Falls High School. As a performer, he has been a guest artist/featured soloist at Texas Lutheran University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, and Cuyahoga Falls High School. He was also a semi-finalist at the 2011 Southern California Marimba Competition. Chris has also performed alongside and in masterclasses for So Percussion, Thomas Burritt, Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Blake Tyson, Leigh Howard Stevens, Susan Powell, and many others.
Originally from Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Chris earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The Ohio State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He then traveled to Evanston, IL and received his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Chris finally made his way to Austin, TX, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin, serving as a graduate teaching assistant. During his studies, Chris had the pleasure of studying with noted percussion pedagogues, including Susan Powell, Joseph Krygier, Michael Burritt, James Ross, She-e Wu, Thomas Burritt and Tony Edwards.
A fervent supporter of new music, Chris has been on commission projects for composers Alejandro Vinao, Steve Snowden, and Chris Ozley. Recently, he began a commission project of his own, commission three new works for marimba, which will be premiered in the coming year.
Always looking for a new opportunities for young percussionists, Chris is currently organizing and planning the creation of a youth percussion ensemble for the greater Austin area. Additionally, he hopes to create a yearly high school percussion ensemble festival, showcasing the wealth of talent found in the surrounding school districts at one venue.