Aaron Villarreal currently teaches percussion at Millikin University, and is a Doctoral Candidate and Fellow at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He holds degrees in percussion performance from both Millikin University (B.M.) and Northwestern University (M.M.).
Aaron is well-versed in orchestral, chamber, and solo percussion repertoire, as well as Afro-Cuban folkloric music. As a student, he has had the opportunity to study with percussionists She-e Wu (Northwestern University), Christopher Lamb (New York Philharmonic), Steve Houghton (Indiana University), and James Ross (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), among many others. From 2015-2016, Aaron served as Associate Timpanist for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has performed with various ensembles throughout the Midwest region, such as The Acre Brothers, Cardinal Stage Company, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
Aaron has been the recipient of various honors including the Presser Scholarship, Percussion Achievement Award (MU), and the Young Artists Award (MU), in addition to receiving two Certificates of Honor from the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. In 2012, Aaron won the Millikin University Hollis Prize Competition, consequently resulting in a solo percussion concert at the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago. Aaron has played on a variety of recordings, and received three Downbeat Student Music Awards for his participation on the records The Next Step (Decatur MacArthur High School), Simon Says (Millikin Latin Jazz Project), and Premiers (Millikin Percussion Ensemble). Upon his acceptance into Indiana University, Aaron was awarded the prestigious Barbara and David Jacob’s Fellowship award.