J. Samuel Zitek, Ph.D.

Professor of Music/Music Department Chair
(402) 465-2281
szitek [at] NebrWesleyan.edu
Rogers Fine Arts 108
Office hours: 

My door is always open.


I am a native Nebraskan, having grown up on a farm by Ulysses. I have taught at Neligh-Oakdale, Crete, and Kearney High Schools. I was also a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant...not Grand Theft Auto) at the University of Nebraska in the early 90's, where I assisted with the Wind Ensemble and the Cornhusker Marching Band. Julie (my wife) and I have three children. Miranda and Sammy are students at NWU and Max goes to Lincoln East High School.


I graduated from David City Aquinas High School. I have a music education degree from Wayne State College, and a Masters in Saxophone Performance and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (Music Education) from the University of Nebraska.

Teaching philosophy: 

I like to win, and I want to see my students win. I do everything in my power to help all my students succeed. That's what I'm here for, and that's what I believe. Currently, I am serving as Chair of the Department of Music. I view myself as having a vested interest in the success of each student that comes through the Department of Music.

Courses taught: 

Chair, Department of Music
University Band (Symphonic Band)
Applied Saxophone
Saxophone Quartet

Research and academic interests: 

Currently I am leading a team of music professors as we examine the music major curriculum, cross referencing it with the guidelines from NASM (National Association for Schools of Music), and begin a process of revamping the curriculum in order to make it most meaningful to the 21st century college student.

Service interests: 

My family and I are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church here in Lincoln. I am also on the Board of Directors for the Polly Music Library.

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards: 

I have been fortunate to receive awards and recognition throughout my professional career, such as the Jack Snyder Young Band Director Award and the Jazz Educator Award and Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association. I also served two years as President-Elect of the Nebraska Music Educators Association, and am currently serving as President. After my two-year term as President, I will serve an additional two years as Immediate Past President.