Ward Spangler is an active musician throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, performing diverse styles of music. He is Principal Percussionist with the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Fremont Symphony, and is a member of the Marin Symphony. Ward is also a member of the Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music, performing as Principal Percussionist with conductors Dennis Russell Davies, John Adams, and Marin Alsop. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, California Symphony, and the Santa Rosa Symphony. In 1981, he performed Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and since then has performed with many other ensembles, including the Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music, Composers, Inc., Earplay, New Music Works, and his own group, the Manufacturing of Humidifiers. In 2001, he performed the world premiere of David Sheinfeld’s Different Worlds of Sound, a piece for solo percussion and orchestra that was written for him, with the Berkeley Symphony. In 2002, he gave the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Allegro ma non troppo for solo percussion and electronic tape in Berkeley, repeating the performance in 2004 at the Ojai Festival and again in 2005 in Berlin at the Philharmonie. He also performed Water Concerto by Tan Dun with the Oakland East Bay Symphony in 2008 under the direction of Michael Morgan. Also in 2008, Mr. Spangler performed at the University of California at Santa Cruz the world premiere of Secret Wine, a percussion solo composed for him by Hi Kyung Kim.
Ward received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music at California State University, Hayward, where he studied with Jack Van Geem (Principal Percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony), Jerome Neff, and Danny Montoro.