Dr. Derek J. Molacek is a trombonist, composer, and arranger currently based out of Omaha, Nebraska. As an educator he specializes in trombone (jazz and classical), euphonium, and tuba.
Dr. Molacek earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver, and his Master’s from the University of North Texas.
During his time at Denver, he studied jazz trombone with Darren Kramer, classical trombone with Dr. Joseph Martin, and jazz theory and composition with Malcolm Lynn Baker, Dave Hanson, and Eric Gunnison. He also had the opportunity to perform with Terrell Stafford in 2004.
While at North Texas, Dr. Molacek performed with the U-Tubes, UNT’s jazz trombone ensemble, and outside of school has performed with Lou Marini of the Blues Brothers Band. His teachers there would include, Tony Baker, Steve Wiest, and Paris Rutherford for arranging and composition. He also taught lessons at Haltom High School from 2007-2008 in trombone and tuba. Several of his students won seats at Texas All-Regionals, All-Area, and All-State.
From 2010 to 2013 Dr. Molacek was a trombonist with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West at Travis AFB, CA. As a member of the band, Dr. Molacek performed with the concert band, jazz band, marching band, and brass quintet. Some performance highlights during his time in the band included playing at the 2011 and 2012 Monterrey Jazz Festivals with guest artists Carl Saunders, and Jeff Jarvis respectively, as well as a performance in May of 2012 with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
He completed his doctorate at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska in the spring of 2017 in Music Composition, Jazz emphasis. During his first year, he studied jazz composition and arranging extensively with Dr. Eric Richards.
In the Fall of 2017, Dr. Molacek was appointed to the faculty of Iowa Western Community College, where he teaches applied Low-Brass Lessons and Music Appreciation. Outside of the academic world, Derek regularly performs and writes for a number of local ensembles including Esencia Latina Band and the Nebraska Brass Band. Dr. Molacek has also performed with the Omaha Symphony, Omaha Symphonic Winds, the Johnny Manhattan Orchestra, and the Marcus Lewis Big Band, and was a former musician for Princess Cruise Lines.
Dr. Molacek’s teaching style focuses on development of tone, technique, and preparation for the real-world application of the student discipline. “It is my overarching goal that every trombone student needs to be prepared for any musical situation that may come his or her way, regardless of whether it is a classical symphony performance, jazz band, or even a ska-punk band.” Included among his former students are Bryan Gozdowski, a professional tuba player teaching and performing in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, trombonist Andrew Brown who is now the band director at Omaha Benson High School, and Karl Lyden, who is the trombonist for Streetlight Manifesto and with David Bowie’s Lazarus musical.