Technical Sergeant Michael L. Pekarek performs on horn with the Band of the West Concert Band, Ceremonial Band, Brass in Blue, and Gateway Brass. He also serves as assistant Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Band's supply inventory.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Sergeant Pekarek studied Engineering and Music at the University of Colorado, Boulder, then transferred to the University of Northern Colorado where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree in 1997. He earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. He has performed with various groups including the San Antonio Symphony, Joel Kaye's Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, the American Wind Symphony, and the Macon Symphony. His instructors include John Keene, Jack Herrick, Roger Kaza, and Dennis Behm. From 2006-2009 he served on the faculty at Mercer University in Macon, GA.
Upon completion of Basic Training in October 2001, Sergeant Pekarek was assigned to the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. While there he performed and recorded with numerous guest artists, including Take 6, Amy Grant, Lee Greenwood, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as well as tours all around the world with both the Concert Band and the Brass Quintet of the Air Force Reserve. Parts of a Brass Quintet recital in 2007 have been broadcast numerous times on "Performance Today", and that same year recorded a Brass Quintet disc, "Firepower!" December 2008 brought him to SW Asia on a deployment tour where he performed troop morale and strategic influence performances all over the area. In 2009, the Air Force Reserve Concert Band, with Segeant Pekarek as NCOIC, earned an Emmy nomination for the "Holiday Notes from Home" TV broadcast on Armed Forces Network, BET, and GAC.
In 2003 Sergeant Pekarek won the Airman of the Year award for the Band of the Air Force Reserve and Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command. Sergeant Pekarek was assigned to the Band of the West in 2011.