Dr. Christopher Butler (www.butlerpercussion.com) is a percussion educator, artist, conductor, author, and composer with experience in all facets of percussion. He is currently an Associate Professor of Practice and Director of Percussion Activities at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois). Dr. Butler teaches all percussion courses including applied lessons and percussion ensemble, as well as several important courses in music technology. In 2020, he received the SIU College of Liberal Arts Teaching Innovation Award that included grant funding to develop new courses for music video production and live streaming.
Dr. Butler is an active performer and clinician who frequently visits high schools and universities presenting a variety of topics including: music technology, electro-acoustic works for percussion, snare drum, marimba, timpani, drum set, multi-percussion, orchestral excerpts, percussion ensemble, and more. In addition, Dr. Butler has presented and performed at a multitude of international conferences and contemporary music festivals including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the Outside the Box New Music Festival. His compositions and methods for percussion are published through Tapspace Publications, Blueshift Music, and Meredith Music Publications. He also serves as the Illinois Percussive Arts Society Vice President and Director of Publications. He is a proud endorser of Marimba One and Innovative Percussion.
Dr. Butler has earned music performance degrees from the University of Kentucky (DMA 2016), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MM 2012), and Columbus State University (BM 2010, Summa Cum Laude). His past teachers include Prof. James Campbell, Prof. William Moersch, Prof. Ricardo Flores, Dr. Paul Vaillancourt, and Prof. John David. In addition, Dr. Butler has studied Balinese Gamelan with I Ketut Gede Asnawa and West African drumming with Bolokada Conde. Past academic awards include the Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award, Cooke Fellowship (UIUC), Swanson Family Percussion Fellowship (UIUC), Tower Scholar (CSU), and Hope Scholarship (CSU). Finally, Dr. Butler completed his dissertation titled Understanding the Percussion Works of Alejandro Viñao: An Analysis and Performer's Guide of WATER for Percussion Ensemble in 2016.
In 2016, Christopher co-founded the BlueSHIFT percussion quartet alongside Matthew Geiger, Jeremy Maytum, and Francisco Perez. Dedicated to the performance of new works for chamber percussion, BlueSHIFT has performed and premiered new works throughout the USA at prestigious universities including: Colorado State University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Illinois State University, Vanderbilt University, Morehead State University, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Dr. Butler is also a passionate dad with a beautiful wife, two wonderful children, and a large golden doodle.