Holden Akers-Toler graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Music Education degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and again with a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from North Carolina Central University. While at Wesleyan, Holden was awarded the Outstanding Senior Music Award and the Senior Academic Achievement in Education Award. During his time at NCCU, he served as a graduate assistant. Throughout his academic and music career Holden has participated in a variety of ensembles including jazz big bands, jazz combos, percussion ensembles, Afro-Cuban ensembles, concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, dance accompaniment, and musicals as both an actor and musician. Although percussion has been the focus of his academic pursuits Holden has also studied piano at the private and collegiate level, as well as guitar at the private level.