Capital University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Thomas Zugger as dean of the Conservatory of Music. He has served as interim dean since August 2019.

“As an experienced campus leader, Tom has a track record of building consensus and enhancing collaboration within and beyond the Conservatory,” said Provost Jody Fournier. “Over the past two years, Tom led the Conservatory in developing innovative approaches to preparing music students and connecting the Conservatory with the community. Our institution has reaped the benefits of Dr. Zugger’s leadership and will benefit from his guidance as he moves into this role.”

Zugger earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan. He holds a Master of Music degree in trombone performance from Michigan State University and a Doctorate of Music Arts degree in trombone performance from The Ohio State University. Before joining Capital University in 1998, he spent more than a decade performing with touring musicals, regional orchestras, and salsa bands, and two years teaching public school in the suburbs of Detroit, Mich.

“I welcome this opportunity to serve Capital University, the Conservatory of Music, and the amazing faculty, students, and alumni who represent our past, present, and future,” Zugger said. “As dean, I look forward to the many opportunities and challenges that lay ahead as we fulfill our mission: to promote excellence through creativity, performance, and scholarship to enhance the value of music in everyday life.”

At Capital, Zugger served as Instrumental Area head from 2013 to 2019, and as chair of the college faculty from 2007 to 2009 and 2013 to 2015, as well as co-chairing the IPC Strategic planning committee from 2009 to 2011. He has also served on the College Curriculum Committee, Faculty Evaluation Committee, the University Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee, and numerous ad hoc committees.

His CD, Dances and Dreams: Recital Music for Trombone” featuring Tianshu Wang and Gail Zugger, was released in 2009 on the Mark Custom label and awarded a Grammy entry list designation in 2010. As a composer, his works have been performed around the globe and at international conferences for trombone, trumpet, and clarinet. He has more than 50 works published by Cimarron Music, Ensemble Publications, Brixton Publications, and Warwick Music of London.

Zugger is currently principal trombone in the Newark/Granville Symphony and appears with the Ashland Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and at the Macau China International Music Festival. 

He has performed for national tours of numerous Broadway musicals and has backed many popular performers, including the Moody Blues, Aretha Franklin, and Barry Manilow. As a clinician, recent appearances include the NAfME National Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic on three separate occasions, and more than 30 state NAfME conferences.

Zugger is an avid runner, having completed 74 marathons and three 50-mile ultra marathons, and is a certified finisher of the 50 States Marathon Club. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and cooking with his wife, Capital University clarinet professor Dr. Gail L. Zugger, and their son Nathan, who is 11.