Dr. M. Evan Ricker, Jr., a native of Wichita, Kansas, is an active music educator, conductor, and arts administrator. Currently, he is serving as the Recruiting and Communications Specialist for the School of Music at Wichita State University. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Wind Conducting and a  Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Wichita State University, where he studied with Dr. Victor Markovich and Dr. Mark Laycock, respectively. Recently, he completed his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Cognate in Music at Kansas State University, studying with Dr. Frederick Burrack, Dr. Rachel Dirks, Dr. Rachel Levitt, and Dr. Alex Wimmer. As a queer/feminist and diversity, equity, and inclusion scholar, his dissertation centered on the workplace dignity experiences of LGBTQ+ college wind band conductors.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Ricker has worked as a music educator and administrator in a variety of settings. Most recently, he served as the Director of Instrumental Music at Cowley College. There, he led the concert band and the Tiger Beat pep band, taught classes in music appreciation, and organized several regional and state-level music festivals. He also designed a new comprehensive scholarship structure that helped students reduce the cost of their education by playing in the college’s ensembles. 

Before his work at Cowley College, Dr. Ricker taught music appreciation and public speaking classes at Butler Community College. Active in the marching band activity, he also served on the marching band staff of the Kansas International Lions Band, Valley Center High School, and Wichita Heights High School. 

As a conductor, Dr. Ricker has led numerous ensembles, including wind bands, marching bands, athletic bands, orchestras, and various chamber groups. He has worked as an Undergraduate Conducting Assistant for the Wichita State University bands, a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Kansas State University Bands, and Graduate Assistant Conductor for both the Kansas State University Symphony Orchestra and the Wichita State University Symphony Orchestra. He is also an active clinician and adjudicator, working with ensembles throughout the region.

In addition to his work as an educator and conductor, Dr. Ricker is an arts administrator, having served in the City of Wichita’s Cultural Arts and Services Division for nine years. There he worked as the Special Projects Coordinator and Interim Sales Manager for the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center and the Education Director for CityArts.

Dr. Ricker’s research interests include dignity and its impact on leadership and everyday life, college recruitment and retention, conducting pedagogy, and music appreciation pedagogy.