Willard Zirk currently teaches music theory and literature for EMU's undergraduate music majors. Dr Zirk served as professor of horn at Eastern Michigan University from 1980 to 2006. He has served as principal horn with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and hornist with the EMU Eastern Winds woodwind quintet. As a former hornist with the United States Army Band, Pershing's Own, in Washington, D.C., he appeared as a soloist with the Band on the Capitol steps. He has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, based in Toronto; Apollo's Fire, based in Cleveland; the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, based in San Francisco; and with the Classical Band and the Grande Bande, both period instrument orchestras based in New York. His study with Lowell Greer and Louis Stout has led to an active role in natural horn performance and horn building.
His interest in horn building has led to grants from Eastern Michigan University to build a copy of an antique natural horn and a little horn for young people. He has recorded the Mozart Horn Concertos two and three for Music Minus One; Brandenburg one with Apollo's Fire; and his latest disc, A Horn Museum, is a recording of his favorite music for horn and piano. Most recently, he created a DVD of beginning horn instruction.