Originally from Texas, Dr. Birkner received his music training in the United States, and has conducted ensembles across Europe, South America, and North America. He has conducted performances at the Festival de Inverno in Campos do Jordão, Brazil, the University of Campinas, Brazil, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands, numerous engagements across Italy, Carnegie Hall, as well as several Universities across the United States. He is the Assistant Conductor of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, where he also serves as Principal Timpanist.
As and educator, Dr. Birkner serves the University of Florida as Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Bands, where he directs the University Concert Bands, the Contemporary Music Ensemble, and is Associate Director of the Athletic Bands. Additionally, he serves the UF School of Music teaching courses in conducting and music education, having done extensive research in gestural training for young conductors.
He received his Bachelor of Music Education with Performer’s Certificate, Master of Music in Percussion Performance, and Ph.D. in Music Education/Instrumental Conducting from the University of Florida.
He remains active as a guest conductor, performer, and clinician throughout the southeastern United States. He holds professional memberships with the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the College Band Directors National Association, the Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity. In addition, Dr. Birkner holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.