The University of Michigan Percussion Program is one of the longest active and most successful percussion programs in the country. With over 50 years of history, its faculty have included some of the field’s most outstanding teachers and its alumni continue to achieve success in all areas of the percussion world. Broad in its musical scope, the percussion program promotes a comprehensive approach which encourages study/performance in all areas of percussion, including: orchestral percussion, keyboard percussion, snare drum, contemporary solo and chamber playing, timpani, drum set, and world music. Additionally, the percussion program and its artist faculty work to also foster growth in the areas of pedagogy, technology, composition/arranging, improvisation, as well as musical entrepreneurship. All in an effort to provide a comprehensive percussion education in response to the ever-changing demands of the 21st-century musical landscape.
Housed in the Earl V. Moore building, the percussion program has an extensive collection of world-class instruments and our facilities offer percussionists 12 dedicated practice rooms as well as additional storage. Additionally, the University of Michigan Percussion Program features outstanding artist-faculty members that are all active as performers and committed to teaching. All percussion students have opportunities to study with various combinations of teachers during their undergraduate or graduate residency thus combining a variety of musical perspectives, approaches, and concepts into one integrated percussive foundation.
From university professors, to public school educators, to members of symphonic orchestras, to leading pop and jazz artists, and virtually everything in between, University of Michigan percussion alumni can be found in every area of the percussion world. Please visit our alumni page for a thorough listing of alumni and their successes. University of Michigan percussion students are also active participants in summer festivals, including: Aspen, So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSi), Chosen Vale, National Repertory Orchestra, Tanglewood, Spoleto-Italy, Spoleto-Charleston, Idyllwild, Graz-Austria, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Bowdoin, and Nief-Norf. University of Michigan Percussion graduates have also achieved consistent success in securing fellowships and assistantships at many leading graduate schools and conservatories including: The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Temple University, New England Conservatory, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin, Stonybrook, among others.
Ann Arbor is consistently ranked as one of the best cities in America offering big city culture and urban amenities in a student-friendly, campus-oriented college town. Ann Arbor is also the home to the University Musical Society, which brings numerous world-class artists and performers to campus every year. Recent concerts have included: Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony (4 day residency), So Percussion, KODO Drummers, Jack Dejohnette, Wynton Marsalis/ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Amhad Jamal, and Danilo Perez, to name a few. Many of these UMS visiting ensembles/artists are often invited to work with our students in the percussion program. These frequent guest artist visits provide students with a unique opportunity to directly connect with successful percussion professionals in clinics/masterclasses, private/group lessons, and guest soloist appearances.
Ann Arbor's proximity to Detroit (45min) also allows students frequent opportunities to see the world-class Detroit Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, as well as opportunities to take advantage of the rich cultural scene in Detroit, including the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the country which takes place over 4 days during the labor day weekend every year. Performers for the 2012 jazz festival included: Sonny Rollins, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Terrance Blanchard, Poncho Sanchez, Bill Stewart, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, and more.
Andrew Bahle - Suttons Bay, MI
Julian Bridges - Atlanta, GA
Jonathan Brown - Clarkston, MI
Peter DiLeo - Greenville, SC
Anthony Demartinis - Woodstock, IL
Gary Donald - Orlando, FL
Tom Erickson - Fargo, ND
Peter Felsman - South Orange, NJ
Matthew Geiger - Indianapolis, IN
Josh Graham - Livonia, MI
Dylan Greene - Vashon Island, WA
Benjy Krauss - Fairfield, CT
Jon Larson - Pickerington, OH
Evan Laybourn - Novi, MI
Darren Lin - Hershey, PA
Christina Manceor - Troy, MI
Patterson McKinney - East Grand Rapids, MI
Paul Owen - Eugene, OR
August Pappas - Chelsea, MI
Nicole Patrick - Miami, FL
Dan Piccolo - Rochester, NY
Mackenzie Sato - Granite Bay, CA
Chris Sies - Manchester, MD
Arlo Shultis - Alton, IL
E. Ross Ura - Royal Oak, MI
Ye Young Yoon - Seoul, Korea
Brian Young - Ann Arbor, MI
Garrett Mendelow (BM 2012) was awarded *SECOND PLACE* in the 2012 TROMP percussion competition. The only American percussionist in the finals.
Julian Bridges (BM) - *WINNER* of the 2012 Atlanta Symphony Modern Snare Drum Competition (Division II)
Kyle Acuncius (Specialist, 2012) was named to the faculty of Mahidol University in Thailand as well as named timpanist with the Thailand Philharmonic.
Jeff Grant (MM 2012) was accepted for post-graduate study at the University of Southern California
Scott Verdiun (BM 2011) was named Section Percussionist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic - March 2012
Xavier Verna (BM 2011) - awarded *SECOND PLACE* (Division I) in the 2012 Atlanta Symphony Modern Snare Drum Competition
Sam Livingston (BM 2011) Named Coordinator of Education for the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute.
Chris Sies (BM), Josh Graham (MM), and Dylan Green (BM) recently participated in the Chicago performance of John Luther Adams' Inuksuit. (August 2012)
Arlo Shultis (BM) attended the Alan Abel Orchestral Seminar (June 2012)
Dan Piccolo (DMA) served on the percussion faculty at the 2012 New England Music Camp (June 25-August 19)
Chris Sies (BM), Dylan Greene (BM), and Josh Graham (MM) attended the 2012 So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSi) at Princeton University (July 15-29)
Peter Felsman (BM) - Summer travel to India with Prof. Stephen Rush to study tabla
Christina Manceor (BM), Evan Laybourn (BM), and Darren Lin (BM) attended the 2012 Chosen Vale Percussion Institute (July 2012)
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