Robert Sanderl (b.1978) is a native of upstate New York and is a percussion performer, educator, composer, and pedagogue in the United States. Currently Sanderl is Professor of Music at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, where he is director of the award winning Radford University Percussion Ensemble and Director of Percussion.
Sanderl received his bachelors of Music Education with a Performers Certificate from the Crane School of Music, and his MM and DMA from The Eastman School of Music along with the coveted Performers Certificate.
Jenny Klukken is a marimbist from Minneapolis who combines her classical percussion background with her passion for folk, jazz, and world music. In her unique approach, she bridges the gap between virtuosic marimba repertoire and improvised music making. She values music that speaks to a wide variety of audiences and pushes the marimba out of its typical settings. She strives to take the instrument to new ears, celebrating its versatility with approachable and refreshing music.
Jenny is native to central, rural Minnesota and grew up in a home full of bluegrass, gospel, and Irish folk music. Today, as a composer, she draws much of her inspiration from these genres. She first moved to Minneapolis to study Percussion Performance at the University of Minnesota with Fernando Meza, Steve Yeager, and Phil Hey. While studying percussion, Klukken discovered her strength as a marimbist. She became an educational endorsement with Marimba One in 2017 and later became a Premiere Artist in 2021.
In 2012, Klukken co-founded the percussion group MATRA, an innovative percussion-based ensemble that plays jazz, world, and folk musical styles. Matra provided Klukken with a platform for composing and playing in settings outside of the usual classical marimba world. In May of 2016, Matra released its first full length album of all-original compositions and was rewarded twice with MPR’s Class Notes Artist grant in 2015 and 2017.
Jenny travelled to Paris in 2018 to study with Eric Sammut through the Metropolitan Region Arts Council’s Next Step grant program. This opportunity to study with one of the greatest composers and performers of the marimba world was a life-altering experience for Jenny in her first years as an emerging artist. Later, Jenny travelled to Costa Rica through another grant from the MacPhail Center for Music to learn more about the traditional Costa Rican marimba.
Following these projects, Jenny wrote and produced a full length album of original compositions featuring herself on marimba and small ensemble. This album was funded through a Kickstarter campaign in 2019 and is set to release in July 2021. The album, titled “Color in Motion” takes the marimba out of the modern-classical musical setting it usually dwells in and brings it to the wider world of jazz, Latin, and world music. Jenny embraces genres from all over the world; exploring the marimba as an instrument with as much diversity and capability as the guitar or piano.
Michael Weinfield-Zell is a Boston-based classical and contemporary percussionist, in demand both nationally and internationally. As a featured soloist Michael has been invited to perform in Beijing at the Central Conservatory of Music as well as the Korean Broadcasting Station in Seoul, in addition to the Kennedy Center, the Naumberg Bandshell in New York’s Central Park, and the Pérez Art Museum in Miami. Notable collaborations include So Percussion, Ensemble ACJW (Juilliard/Carnegie Hall), the electronic music duo Matmos, conductors Simon Rattle and David Robertson, and major symphonic ensembles such as the Kansas City Symphony and Grant Teton Music Festival. He has held appointed positions with the Florida Grand Opera as well as the Honolulu and Annapolis Symphonies.Dr. Weinfield-Zell regularly performs with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Callithumpian Consort, Portland Symphony, Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, Back Bay Chorale, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony, and many others in prominent venues all over the city such as Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Sanders Theatre. He recently completed a doctorate in performance from Boston University, and has degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and Yale School of Music where his primary teacher was Robert van Sice.As a teaching artist Dr. Weinfield-Zell has received numerous invitations to give masterclasses at prestigious music schools and universities across the country including the Peabody Conservatory, Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Lamont School of Music at University of Denver, Kansas University, and University of Massachusetts Amherst where he has been a frequent guest. Currently he coordinates percussion activities for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, one of the largest and most comprehensive youth orchestra programs in the country with over 500 young musicians. Dr. Weinfield-Zell is also on faculty at Powers Music School and Community Music Center of Boston where he teaches applied classical percussion and drum set.In addition to his work as a performing and teaching artist, Michael also co-directs the Music at the Substation chamber series with his wife, oboist Catherine Weinfield-Zell. In collaboration with local establishment Turtle Swamp Brewing, this monthly concert series presents acclaimed ensembles from the classical, jazz, world, and pop genres. The series has persevered despite the pandemic by converting to live-streamed events in which the Weinfield-Zells produced and performed seven complete programs between April and September of 2020, all of their own arrangements for their unique instrument combination. Before starting his own series, Dr. Weinfield-Zell was the Audience Development Officer with Guerilla Opera. Concurrent to pursuing a doctorate, he completed a certificate in Arts Administration from Boston University.Dr. Weinfield-Zell’s musical interests and activities extend far beyond the traditional concert hall. He completed two successful stagings as co-musical director of David Lang’s the little match girl passion at major art institutions in Miami and New York. Michael was awarded the inaugural WaveMaker grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to present Mauricio Kagel’s Dressur, a 30-minute staged work for three actor-percussionists. As a soloist, he champions the music of Iannis Xenakis, having performed his percussion works at festivals in Austin, Indianapolis, New York, and Beijing. Future endeavors focus on recording projects, with releases of music by Steve Mackey, Mathew Rosenblum, Eric Nathan, and Norman Dello Joio with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and an album of music for flute and marimba with Linda Bento-Rei.Outside of music, Michael is an experienced long-distance runner, paper book reader, and social media avoider. He lives in Roslindale with his wife, oboist Catherine Weinfield-Zell, their daughter Rose, and their cat, Igor “Iggy” Stravinsky.
Hudson Crowe is a multi-instrumentalist from Salem, Virginia. He started playing piano
as a child, and added percussion as a teenager. He is currently studying music
performance in Radford University’s award winning percussion and piano studios, under
the direction of Rob Sanderl and Matthew Cataldi, respectively. Professionally, Hudson’s
musical experience is broad in that it isn’t limited to piano and percussion, but includes
conducting and composition. His piano experience includes being accepted into the
2020 Emerald Coast Chamber Music Festival, and playing for pianists such as Gloria
Campaner, Virginia Weckstrom, Daniel Lin, and Dino Mulic. He is also the full time music
director for the Northview United Methodist Church in Hollins, VA. As a percussionist,
Hudson has had the privilege of performing in masterclasses and with esteemed
percussionists such as Jim Petercsak and Michael Burrit, among others. He has also
marched snare drum for the world class Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps as a part of
DCI. As a conductor, Hudson has guest conducted for Opera Roanoke, and has been
able to work with conductors and music directors from across the Roanoke Valley.
Hudson’s true passion for classical percussion composition stemmed from his love of the
piano and his desire to share that music with young percussionists around the world.
JENNI BRANDON is a composer and conductor, creating music in collaboration with other musicians and artists. She has written over 50 works, telling stories through memorable musical lines influenced by nature and poetry. Commissioned to write music from solo to orchestral works, her music appears on over 20 albums. Her music has been awarded the Sorel Medallion, American Prize, Paderewski Cycle, Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Competition, and Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition among others. Her works are published and distributed by Boosey & Hawkes, Santa Barbara Music, Graphite, TrevCo, Imagine, J.W. Pepper, June Emerson, and her own publishing company Jenni Brandon Music. As a conductor she conducted her one-act opera 3 PADEREWSKIS in the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in 2019. She also presents workshops on collaboration and the business of music, striving to create a supportive environment where collaboration leads to an exploration of ideas. Visit www.jennibrandon.com for more information.
Jonathan Wilson’s works have been performed at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, European Media Art Festival, the Experimental Superstars Film Festival, the Big Muddy Film Festival, ICMC, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, NSEME, the Iowa Music Teachers Association State Conference, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. He is the winner of the 2014 Iowa Music Teachers Association Composition Competition. Jonathan has studied composition with Lawrence Fritts, Josh Levine, David Gompper, James Romig, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and John Cooper. In addition, studies in conducting have been taken under Richard Hughey and Mike Fansler. Jonathan is a member of Society of Composers, Inc., SEAMUS, ICMA, Iowa Composers Forum, and American Composers Forum.
Jonathan Posthuma (b. 1989) is a freelance composer and musician living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His musical style seeks to combine lyricism, evocative imagery, and intense emotional contrasts while maintaining clarity in form and function at their deepest levels.
He is often inspired by natural landscapes, gardening and visual art in his compositions and his largest project is Paul Klee : Painted Songs, an ongoing collection of chamber music inspired by the paintings of Paul Klee. He received his Masters in Music Composition from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he studied with Stephen Dembski and Laura Schwendinger and also studied composition with Luke Dahn at Dordt University. Jonathan is an active member of the Twin Cities choral community and has sung with VocalEssence Chorus, Kantorei, and impulse (MPLS) which have premiered several of his choral works in recent seasons. He also works as the Artistic Planning Manager for The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Yuta Tanaka, born and raised in Japan, is a composer with a background in jazz and Western Classical music. He seeks to indulge in crafting music he loves. He is also an active double bass player both in classical and jazz performance groups in the New York City area and in Japan. His music reflects his ability as a cross-genre musician. In 2019 he held a fellowship at Talis Music Festival at Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he had a premiere of a chamber piece. In 2021, he was commissioned to write a symphonic poem “King Midas” by Teiko Wakamiya. He graduated from the Aaron Copland School of Music with an MA in composition, where he has earned multiple awards including the George Perle Award. While pursuing the degree, he studied with Dr. Bruce Saylor. Please visit https://yutatanakasound.com for more information.
Timothy J. Brown holds a doctoral degree in Music Theory and Composition from The University of Northern Colorado, where he was awarded the Graduate Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Dissertation. He also holds degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia and Goddard College, and studied privately with composer John Corigliano. His compositions span a variety of media and styles, ranging from art songs and full orchestral works to unaccompanied choral pieces and chamber works. He has a fondness for the socially conscious. His CD “Infinity” was released in 2005 and “Songs of Light, Songs of Shadows” in 2006, by Captone Records. In 2008, excerpts from his song cycle, “In Flanders Fields,” were released on Beauport Classical. Dr. Brown has held fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Millay Colony for the Arts, and The Melodious Accord. His music has been heard in the United States, The Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Canada, France, Brazil, and Australia. A fluent speaker of French, he also pursued graduate study in translation at SUNY Binghamton.
Seolhee (Snow) Kim finished her undergraduate program both in composition and art history at Ewha Womans University in Korea. After finishing her master’s degree in library science, she worked as an art librarian for a couple of years. Missing the times when she devoted herself more fully to music composition, she decided to rebuild her career in composition. She has exposed herself to various artistic experiences, and she loves to collaborate with other artists not only in the musical fields but also in different artistic fields. Her music is focused on representing the inspiration she finds in arts, nature, life, and the world we are living in. Her music has been performed professionally by artists including Contemporaneous, Finger Lake Chamber Ensemble, ModernMedieval, the Momenta Quartet, Opera Elect, Andrew Fuchs, and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, and at LunArt Festival. She holds an M.M. in Composition from SUNY Binghamton, where she studied with Dr. Daniel Thomas Davis.
Nyokabi Kariũki is a Kenyan composer and performer based between Kenya and the United States. Her sonic imagination is ever evolving, with compositions ranging from classical contemporary & experimental music, to film, choral, pop, and explorations into sound art, electronics, and (East) African musical traditions. She possesses performance experience as not only a classically trained pianist of 16+ years, but also as a vocalist, and is learning instruments from the African continent, particularly the mbira and djembe. Her art seeks to bridge her diverse influences — from her penchant for experimentation & improvisation, to her African upbringing and Western classical training — together into a mélange of accessible, evocative, and meaningful art.
While still in the early stages of her career, Nyokabi’s works (both collaborative and solo) have been seen at events around the globe, including the Hearsay International Audio Festival (Kilfinane, Ireland) where she received the 2021 Hearsay ‘Art’ Award, the Melbourne Fringe Festival and the Out of Africa Film Festival (Nairobi, Kenya). Her concert music has been sought after by various ensembles and performers, with commissions from Tetractys New Music and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Men’s Ensemble to performances by piano duo Chromic, Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion, and more. In July 2021, she released her first single ‘Galu’ via UK-based label SA Recordings, as a soft launch to her debut EP release in 2022. In addition to freelance composition, Nyokabi works for Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation. While Nyokabi continues to explore music and its impact in different ways, she is ultimately driven by a constant yearning to explore sound as a tool to not only re-discover the stories of her culture, but also to highlight its significance, and contribute to the preservation of African stories.
Leah Ofman is a composer and vocalist hailing from San Francisco, usually based in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory and Composition, as well as a minor in Philosophy, from New York University. As a vocalist, Leah sings anything from Bach to beached whale sounds and has performed in such venues as Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and Frederick Loewe Theater in NYC. She studies under Gudrun Buhler and Holly Pyle. In her capacity as a composer, Leah is always informed by her studies with the voice as a soloist and choral singer, leading her to clothe her music in timbral explorations, experimentalism, and an acute awareness of the human performer. Crunchiness and abrasive noise often contrast with moments of unexpected beauty in her work. She has studied under Caroline Shaw, Justin Dello Joio, and Michele Merlet. In her free time, she can be found nerding out over french music, reading, doing yoga, and laughing like a seagull.
A “captivating mix of busy and sparse” according to Boston Musical Intelligencer, Ian Wiese is a multi-faceted composer based out of Quincy, MA. Performers including loadbang, Imani Winds, Box Not Found, Kalliope Reed Quintet, and Sputter Box have played his music. Recently, Wiese was awarded prizes in the 2020 Mu Phi Epsilon International Convention Call for Scores, the Mu Phi Epsilon 2020 Musicological Research Competition, the 2019 Mu Phi Epsilon Original Composition Competition, the Ball State University Xenharmonic Music Alliance Call for Scores, and the Ithaca College Jack Downey Vocal Composition Prize, among others. He is currently working on commissions and collaborations with Sputter Box, trombonist Justin Croushore, and trumpeter Daniel Venglar. Some of his music has been heard in unusual venues, including EPCOT Center at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. He studies at New England Conservatory for his DMA in Composition with composer John Heiss. https://ianwiese.com/
Composer and clarinetist AMY IAN HARDEMON [they/them](b.1998) utilizes an effervescent rhythmic language paired with nuanced textural development to draw feelings of change, exploration, and novelty. Often inspired by the fluidity of expression and interpretation, they showcase a wide array of sonic diversity when approaching a work and aim to create a world within a world: one that is ever-shifting and iridescent. In addition, they are greatly focused on exploring narrative outside the masculinized self-actualization tropes often found in classical art spaces and draws from their identity and experiences as a neurodivergent, queer artist.
Their works have been selected to be premiered at 49th Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, biennial North American Saxophone Alliance Regional, 2020 SoundNOW Festival, 2020 Charlotte New Music Festival, 2021 Fresh Inc Festival, and the 4th Annual Anatolia College Music Festival inThessaloniki, Greece and have written for artists such as Robin Meiksens, SpacePants, HeartlandMarimba Quartet, and Hypercube.
Gabriella Magnani (she/her) is a composer, vocalist, and investigative musician whose work explores the physical, intimate nature of pitch, texture, and timbre. She graduated magna cum laude from Colorado College with a degree in music and in classics-English, and while there, she was the first female musician to complete a composition capstone (in nearly 30 years of required capstone projects). In 2016, Magnani worked with composer Michael Friedman to create the original show “Purple State Purple Haze” in partnership with WNYC and The New Yorker. The following year, she was invited to participate as a composer in the International Summer Academy of Music in Ochsenhausen, Germany. Most recently, she was awarded a grant through MASS MoCA’s 2020 Assets For Artists (A4A) program.
Magnani has composed for student films, live theater, and improvisational dance pieces, and has created works that include unconventional sounds and instruments, including orca vocalizations and iPhone ringtones. She is currently based in Brooklyn where she sings with the New York City Master Chorale and works in specialty coffee.
Erika Malpass is a Twin Cities musician–composer, violinist, vocalist, and arranger. She writes for percussion and chamber ensembles, symphonic band, and vocal music.
Malpass works to write music that explores new sounds and techniques, but that engages people with an emotional experience. As a composer, her goal is to convey stories that are often difficult to put into words, instead using music to connect people in a way they may not have connected before. She sees music as a language that reaches deeper than our differences and speaks to us on a more human or life-centered level. She aims to create pieces that are relevant to our time, centering honesty, vulnerability, and accessibility.
Malpass explores new combinations of instruments, using the tone and color of the instruments as an expressive technique. Her creative process derives from translating visual and literary motifs into musical ones, drawing from stories and emotions, and creating unique sound-color textures. She often composes from poetry, either setting text in a vocal piece or using it as a rhythmic and color inspiration to translate into an instrumental work. She is inspired by collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, working with poets and choreographers and writing music for film.
Malpass received a commission in 2020 to compose for Sprig of That ensemble, as well as a grant from the Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry program at St. Olaf College in 2018 to create a work for symphonic band. She has also written for Unheard-of//Ensemble, the Rhythm Method String Quartet, Heartland Marimba Quartet, and Hypercube Ensemble.
She earned a Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College, studying with Timothy Mahr and Justin Merritt. She currently sings with Minnesota Chorale and performs on violin.
Christine Araoka is a composer, performer, and educator from Southern California. She began her piano studies early on with her mother, then picked up choir and percussion in high school. After discovering jazz during her senior year, she pursued jazz piano as well as classical piano and percussion at Riverside City College under the mentorship of Charles Richard, Joel Paat, Judy Johansen and Steven Schmidt. Following, she studied under the mentorship of GRAMMY-Award Winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, pianist Alison Edwards, and established studio musician Francisco Torres at California State Fullerton, graduating Cum Laude in 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies and Performance. She will also be receiving her Master’s Degree in Composition this fall from Azusa Pacific University under the mentorship of Phil Shackleton and Mark Gasbarro.
Christine arranges for a wide selection of ensembles including big band, jazz combos, brass bands, and several others, working with groups such as Lala Brass. Overall, she strives to create cross-genre music that connects with listeners of all kinds.
Carla K. Bartlett fell in love with composing and teaching at an early age and continues to enjoy both in her retirement. Majoring in music at California State University, Northridge, Carla studied piano with Eleanor Russell and Carol Rosenberger, composition with Daniel Kessner, and conducting with David Whitwell. She wrote incidental music for theatrical productions at CSUN and composed soundtracks for short films and animation projects. Earning a Ph.D. in Education at Claremont Graduate University, Carla served as professor at Mount St. Mary’s College, working with novice teachers and faculty development. She channeled her passion for music into a long career of instrumental music teaching in middle and high school, earning in 2007 the Los Angeles Music Center’s prestigious Bravo Award. She is delighted to be studying composition with Jenni Brandon and jazz piano with John Proulx. See TruluckMusic.com for her published music for students and professionals.
Brooks Clarke (1991) is a prolific and dynamic guitarist, composer, and music educator from Jacksonville, Florida. Brooks has had music premiered various festivals including the Longy Divergent Studio Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival, The Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and The São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival. For his work in music education, he received the nomination for the GRAMMY Award in Music Education for 2019 and 2020. Brooks studied composition with Jianjun He, Tony Steve, and Bob Moore, and is currently a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music in the studio of Stratis Minakakis.
As a composer and arranger originally from South Korea, Hanee Park (1989) has been exploring how music engages with culture, history, literature, philosophy, and other arts in order to pursue her belief that music must go beyond music. Park is currently pursuing a DMA in composition under Clifton Callender at Florida State University where she was the recipient of the Ellen Taffe Zwilich Fellowship in 2019 - 2020. She has earned the Bachelor of Music at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, and the Master of Music at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL, where she studied with Stacy Garrop and Kyong Mee Choi. Her compositions have received many performances, including the Bent Frequency at CNMF, Composers Who Brunch series, and The Rocking Chair series. From a young age, theatre has been significant influences. She has extensive experience working as a music director and sound director at diverse places including, Who’s There, a music theatre club she co-founded for students from multiple colleges in South Korea, and Beings, the English Theater Society of Ewha Womans University. This background has impacted her compositional style and she keeps broadening her compositional perspectives by searching for the ways that can convey something beyond music.
Alexander Timofeev debuted as a pianist-composer at age 19 performing his Piano Concerto (2003) with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova. Among his recent accolades is the Audience Award and Commission at the American Composers Orchestra's 2017 Underwood New Music Readings. Alexander is the winner of the 2016 Richard Weerts Composition Competition and finalist of the 2016 Thailand International Composition Competition. His compositions have been broadcast on WQXR - New York 's Classical Music Station and presented in live performances on Pro TV ( Romania ) and Tele-Radio Moldova . As a pianist, Timofeev won the First Prizes at Niš International Piano Competition, Serbia (2006) and at the Margaret Guthman Piano Competition, Atlanta (2006) and received the Third Prize at the 2007 MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition ( Toronto ). He appeared as a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Iasi Philharmonic Orchestra ( Romania ), Radio-Television Orchestra of St. Petersburg ( Russia ), Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras of Moldova, Eastman School of Music Orchestra ( Rochester , NY ) and others. Alexander Timofeev completed his DMA at the University of Maryland (2012), his MM from the Eastman School of Music (2008) and BM from Rowan University (2006). In 2008, Timofeev founded the International Society of Pianists and Composers - ispci.org - a nonprofit organization that promotes contemporary piano music. Dr. Timofeev currently resides in Philadelphia and he is the Artist-in-Residence at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.
Video game enthusiast Matt Silverberg is an accomplished percussionist, composer, and
educator. His compositions have been featured at numerous events such as his percussion quintet
Hypnotic Crystals being selected as a winner for the 2017 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers
(WAC) New Music Festival and the large chamber version of Silver Filled Dreams being
featured on a panel at the MidWest Band Clinic in December of 2019. He’s had commissions
ranging from percussion ensemble, chamber works, full wind ensemble, and orchestra. Matt has
an EP of original Electro Pop Rock Marimba music titled Marimbtronics.
A gigantic fan of video games, Matt has arranged a plethora of video game music. Most notable
is his marimba arrangement of Dragon Roost Island from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind
Waker which received over 48,000 views on facebook.
As a performer, Matt has performed internationally, in numerous pit orchestras, at video game
conventions, at amusement parks and with professional groups such as the Heartland Marimba
Ensemble and VocalEssence. He has performed on Iowa Public Radio and competed in the Great
Plains International Marimba Competition where he was complimented on his tone and
musicality. He was the featured music graduate at the Peck School of the Arts graduation
convocation where he performed Joseph Schwantner's Velocities in May of 2017.
Matt has given music presentations to middle, high school and collegiate students about the life
of a musician and how video game music is an important part of the musical experience. These
presentations have been met with high praise and enthusiasm. He has extensive teaching
experience ranging from beginners up to collegiate players and currently freelances, teaches and
directs percussion ensembles in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
His music is published through Leading Tones Publications and Heartland Marimba
Publications. He has studied percussion with Fernando Meza, Phil Hey, Tom Wetzel, Carl
Storniolo, and Cheryl Grosso and composition with Jonathan Monhardt and Michelle McQuade
Matt received his MM from the University of Minnesota in Percussion Performance and
graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Percussion Performance from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Check out his Instagram @marimbamatt913 and his website
Alex Shawver is a composer based in Dallas, Texas. Influences on his compositional style range from the French Impressionists to living American composers associated with Minimalism and post-Minimalism such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams. His instrumental background in both piano and percussion allows him to draw inspiration from both the rich mass of historic keyboard repertoire and the constant invention of new ideas in the percussion paradigm. In his music, he puts rhythm and meter at the forefront, giving these musical aspects just as much precedence, if not even more than, the more obvious components of melody and harmony.
Alex has been commissioned and had his music performed by the SMU Meadows Wind Ensemble, Syzygy New Music Ensemble, Meadows Percussion Ensemble, and Bridge the Gap Chamber Players. He holds two M.M. degrees in Composition and Theory Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University where he studied with Dr. Kevin Hanlon, Dr. Rob Frank, and Dr. Lane Harder. He previously studied composition with Dr. Ted Hansen and Dwayne Rice. Alex also holds a B.M. in Piano Pedagogy from Texas A&M – Commerce where he studied piano performance with Dr. Luis Sanchez, piano pedagogy with Libby Vanatta, and percussion with Dr. Brian Zator.
Robert Sanderl (b.1978) is a native of upstate New York and is a percussion performer, educator, composer, and pedagogue in the United States. Currently Sanderl is Professor of Music at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, where he is director of the award winning Radford University Percussion Ensemble and Director of Percussion.
Sanderl received his bachelors of Music Education with a Performers Certificate from the Crane School of Music, and his MM and DMA from The Eastman School of Music along with the coveted Performers Certificate.
Called "feisty" and "impressive" by the LA Times, Ben Phelps lives in Los Angeles, where he is a percussionist, composer and amateur urban planning enthusiast.
He is director of What’s Next?, a leading post-classical new music event and performance collective in Southern California, and has performed and collaborated extensively with many other local chamber music groups, including the Definiens Project, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, WildUp, and the pioneering multimedia based theater company Rogue Artists Ensemble. In 2009, in conjunction with What’s Next?, he founded the Los Angeles Composers Project, the most comprehensive survey of local music from composers of all stages of their careers in Southern California. His new project, The B Band, is an eclectic "classical band" created for performance in both clubs and the concert hall. Commercially, he has toured the world as an assistant conductor for Lord of the Rings Live, presenting the entire score, performed live by an orchestra to the films.
His music has been performed by the likes of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Argus String Quartet, the Bass Clarinet Duo Sqwonk, and by percussion ensembles across the country, including The Los AngelesPercussion Quartet and Talujon Percussion Group, and many more.
Phelps is also an accomplished percussionist. He has had the pleasure of working with such luminary living composers as Steve Reich, Thomas Adès, Michael Gordon, and John Adams. Steve Reich called his performance of Nagoya Marimbas at a concert honoring Reich's 70th birthday "the best I've ever seen- and I don't say that," and the Huffington Post has called him "a magician of the marimba."
His work with the pioneering theater company Rogue Artists Ensemble has been called "enchanting" by the LAWeekly and "sonically brilliant" by the OCWeekly.
Phelps holds a BA and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a DMA in music composition at University of Southern California. He can currently be found teaching music theory and composition at Chapman University and at UCLA.
Alex Orfaly (b. 1974) is a freelance percussionist and composer in the Boston area. He has performed with orchestras worldwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the L.A. Philharmonic, Palau de Les Arts in Spain, and currently serves as timpanist for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. He has a growing body of percussion pieces to his credit, including his Concerto for Brass and Percussion, premiered in 2004 by the New World Symphony. His first Divertissement, written in 2001 for solo timpani and percussion ensemble won Second Prize in the Percussive Arts Society composition competition, his Rhapsody No. 2 for solo timpani won First Prize in 2006 and his Improvvisatto Contrasto for timpani solo won first prize in 2010. His highly entertaining Mean Man’s March, based on the human and canine social complexities of the dog park, was premiered in 2011 by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, which will also premiere his latest work, Cowboy Bill for orchestra with narrator in August 2012.
Mike Neumeyer is a versatile musician, educator, and composer based in Milwaukee, WI. As a composer, Mike has written with one unique focus being marimba and voice. One of Mike’s marimba and voice works, The Power of Music, was used in the documentary In Pursuit of Passion. Mike Neumeyer’s compositions have been published by C. Alan Publications and through self-publishing. His works have been commissioned by The UWSP Percussion Ensemble, The Oak Creek Percussion Ensemble, and various groups in Wisconsin and Washington.
Mike’s work Mikayla for euphonium and marimba was recorded and released by euphonium artist David Abellan Garcia at Banda Municipal de Musica de Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain and newest work Emergent has been premiered by Don and DJ Palmire of The US Army Pershing’s Own. Mike’s latest recordings include “Comprovisations,” a 3-volume collection of relaxing marimba solos and “E-Miketronic Music,” an album of innovative and vintage soundscapes. His new vibraphone solo album “Cloud Nine” recently came out in 2019, with a new marimba album “Marimba Maverick” coming out in 2020.
Mike is on faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), teaching music business, film scoring and percussion. He is the co- caption head with The Oak Creek Marching Knights (6 consecutive year State Champions) and works with the Oak Creek-Franklin School District as a percussion specialist. From 2014-2018 Mike acted as percussion coordinator of the UW-Milwaukee Youth Percussion Ensemble in accordance with UWM Youth Wind Ensembles. Mr. Neumeyer has performed and presented at Percussive Arts Society events as well as the Wisconsin Music Educators Association. Mike continues to perform marimba, vibraphone and piano at libraries, schools and private events and also plays vibraphone with jazz fusion duo Kunsmeyer and Hindustani trio “Maya No Maya.”
In 2007, Mike graduated with a Bachelor of Music from The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he studied voice, percussion, and music education with Dr. Robert Peavler, Robert Rosen, and Dr. Judy Bond, respectively. During this time, Mr. Neumeyer also studied conducting with Dr. Brendan Caldwell and composition with Dr. Charles Rochester Young. In 2011, Mike earned a Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied with Dr. John Climer. While at UW-Milwaukee, Mike also studied percussion with Carl Storniolo and composition with Dr. Keith Carpenter and Steve Nelson-Raney. Mike is a Marimba One Educational Artist and endorses Encore Mallets. www.mikeneumeyer.com
Neil Thornock began his college-level music studies as an organist and carillonneur at Brigham Young University. He received a Doctorate of Music in composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2006. During academic year 2006-2007, he was a visiting assistant professor of music and assistant to the Provost for accreditation at Southern Virginia University. He joined the BYU faculty in the 2007-2008 academic year. He teaches courses in composition and theory.
In his artistic pursuits, Thornock primarily considers himself a performer/composer. Many of his compositions grow out of performance opportunities on organ, carillon, piano, toy piano, and harpsichord. His interests also include electronic sound media (most recently, Huygens’ Workshop for toy piano and electonics) and growing interest in video. Thornock’s works have been described both as “richly scored, moving, resonant” (Peter Jacobi, Herald Times) and as possessing “cool understatement” (editor, www.download.com). They have received performances in various venues, including NASA, SEAMUS, SCI, Imagine 2, Eccles Organ Concert Series, and San Diego State University. Indiana University ensembles recently premiered O years! and age! farewell for choir and orchestra as part of the opening concert of the Midwest Composers’ Symposium. In 2004, he was awarded a Barlow Commission which resulted in a 35-minute double bass solo, premiered at Indiana University by Nathan Wood. Additionally, his music for carillon has garnered several international awards and has been regularly performed at congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America since 2001.
Kevin Keith is a freelance musician and educator based in Denver, Colorado. A strong advocate for new music and progressive music education, he enjoys spending his time in various teaching and performing opportunities in and around the Denver metropolitan area. He also actively teaches and performs in Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan.
As a performer, Kevin is active in chamber, orchestral and solo percussion. He has performed with the Colorado Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Aurora Symphony, Boulder Symphony, Broomfield Symphony, Mason Symphony, Great Lakes Chamber and Lansing Symphony Orchestras as a percussionist and timpanist. He has been a featured member of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra and ChosenVale Seminar Percussion Ensemble.
Kevin has performed as a featured solo artist at events such as the McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, Florida and Electronic Music Midwest in Chicago, Illinois. He has also been a featured soloist with the Michigan State University Percussion Ensemble, Central Michigan University Symphony Orchestra and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He is an advocate of new works for percussion and electronics, having premiered or commissioned works by composers such as Ryan Elvert, Justin Rito, and Alejandro Viñao. As a chamber artist, Kevin currently works as a member of the Front Range Duo with Stephen Bott in commissioning new music in percussion in the mountain region of the United States. He is also a member of Transition Theater, an upstart multimedia theater troupe based in Denver.
Kevin’s instructing duties include the Director of Percussion position at Chatfield Senior High School in Littleton, CO and as an instructor of percussion at Denver East High School and Standley Lake High School. His students have received superior ranks in Solo & Ensemble competitions, as well as placing into music institutes or summer events such as the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Legends Drum and Bugle Corps.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University, a Master of Music Performance from Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.
Dan Krumm is a percussionist of wide-ranging experience. Equally at home in the symphony orchestra, musical theatre ensemble, samba bateria, salsa band, folklorico, djembefola, chamber ensemble, solo stage or teaching studio, he brings a diverse array of skills and sensibilities to any situation. Having received formal training in percussion during his Undergraduate studies at Iowa State University and a Masters of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dan is now living and working in central Iowa.
Dan currently teaches privately from his home studio, presents masterclasses and clinics throughout the state of Iowa, and is percussion instructor at Des Moines Roosevelt High School. Dan can be seen and heard in performance with ensembles throughout central Iowa, including the Central Iowa Symphony, the Des Moines Playhouse and the Iowa Percussion Group. He can also be heard on Matthew Coley’s CD, “Souvenirs” and Neil Thornock’s CD “Between the Lines”.
Igor Iachimciuc was born in the Edinet Republic of Moldova, where he began to study the cimbalom (string-percussion instrument) at age ten at a children's music school. Later, while studying the cimbalom at the Musicescu Academy of Music, he won 3rd and later 1st prizes at the National Competition "Barbu Lautaru". He has also studied guitar and piano. In 1983 he began to study composition at the College of Music in Chisinau, Moldova, where his characteristic folk music influence emerged. He continued his studies at the Academy of Music, composing works ranging from folk, jazz, classical, to new music for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, choir, and symphony orchestra. In 2001 he began his music composition Ph.D. work at the University of Utah. Mr. Iachimciuc's awards include 1st prize in composition at the Silver Chrysanthemum National Competition and being named the most promising young composer in Moldova, as well as the 2003 Wayne Peterson's Prize in Music Composition. In 2004 he has been awarded a prestigious Robertson's scholarship. Igor Iachimciuc's works have been purchased by the National RTV Company and performed by various Moldavian ensembles, as well as by San Francisco's Earplay New Music Ensemble, Flexible Music, Canyonlands, and New York New Music Ensemble. Mr. Iachimciucs commissions include Utah Arts Festival, Intermezzo Chamber Music Series, Concertino, Duehlmeier-Gritton Duo, and Ars Poetica.
Adam Hopper (b.1985) is an active percussion educator, composer, and performer in southern Kentucky. He is currently the director of percussion at Southwestern High School, and the co-director of bands at Southern Middle School in Somerset, Kentucky.
Mr. Hopper is involved in many aspects of the percussion landscape. He is an active composer and arranger, having written for and taught various groups at the middle, high school and university levels in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio.
In 2006 he performed with the W.G.I. open finalist group, East 80 Percussion. In 2007, he was a performer with Speed Percussion, and he served on staff at Speed as co-director of the front ensemble for the 2008 season. He also taught the Tri-State scholastic AA Bronze medalist Southwestern High School Indoor Drumline in 2013. An active performer and clinician, Mr. Hopper has recently performed with Sacred Winds, The Orquesta Sinfonica Cristiana de El Salvador, Christine Anderson, The Almeida Duo, The Country Gentlemen Jazz Band, and serves as the principal percussionist in the Somerset Brass. Mr. Hopper has presented clinics at a variety of schools and universities in the United States, El Salvador, and Brazil. In addition to an active performing schedule, Mr. Hopper has also served as contributing writer for totalpercussionist.com and had published articles in the Bluegrass Music News. Mr. Hopper’s compositions are published through C. Alan Publications.
After taking the position at Southwestern High School in 2009, Mr. Hopper’s groups have consistently earned proficient and distinguished ratings at festivals and competitions across the state and region. Mr. Hopper directs the award winning Southwestern Drumline, Warrior Percussion Group, and the Warrior Batucada Brazilian Ensemble, as well as overseeing the marching and symphonic percussion sections. Mr. Hopper’s groups have performed with touring productions of “The Music Man,” the Campbellsville University Steel Band, the Elk Grove Percussion Festival in Chicago, Illinois, The Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, the Lassiter Percussion Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, the KASA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and in a variety of other performances around the region.
Mr. Hopper holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education as well as a Master’s in Percussion Performance from Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky. He has professional affiliations with the Kentucky Music Educators Association, and the Percussive Arts Society. Mr. Hopper is a proud endorser of Vic Firth sticks and mallets, as well as Beetle practice pads. He currently resides in Somerset, Kentucky with his wife Sarah and their cats Bossa and Thelonious.
Multi-percussionist, composer, and improviser Cory Hills thrives on breaking down musical barriers through creative, interdisciplinary projects. He has received degrees from Northwestern University, Queensland Conservatorium, and the University of Kansas, and was awarded a research fellowship to Institute Fabrica. Currently, Hills is an active performer, composer, and recording artist in Los Angeles, as well as a member of the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.
An advocate of new music, Hills has individually commissioned and premiered over 85 new works for percussion. He has given solo and chamber recitals across Europe, Australia, The United States, Mexico, and China. These include a featured performance for the International Society of Improvised Music, the Days of New Music Festival in Chisinau, Moldova, the Queensland Music Festival, the Ravello Concert Festival, the Venice Art Biennale, four PASIC conventions, the Morelia Percussion Festival, and Festival Mozaic. An advocate for percussion as an artistic discipline, Hills has been the artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain National Park, Conservatorio de Las Rosas, and a fellow at the OMI international artist’s colony.
Percussive Storytelling, a program that brings classical music and storytelling to kids in fun and accessible ways, was launched by Hills while a fellow at Institute Fabrica. The program recently marked its 400th performance, and has reached more than 50,000 children in eight countries. For this work, Hills has been the recipient of numerous arts grants, and was named the 2009 Emerging Artist through the Kansas Arts Commission. The Lost Bicycle, Hills’ debut solo CD of percussive stories, has received four national parenting and creative arts awards (NAPPA Parent’s Awards Gold, Parent’s Choice Award Silver, World Storytelling Honors Award, and a Creative Child preferred choice). In June 2015, The Lost Bicycle was released as a fully illustrated children’s book published by AcutebyDesign. On February 26, 2016, Hills will release his second album of percussive stories called Drum Factory, on Sono Luminus Records.
Hills is an artist for Innovative Percussion, Remo, Sabian, and Black Swamp Percussion.
Grammy nominated marimba and percussion artist Greg Giannascoli was a winner of the 2001 Artist International New York Recital / Young Artist Competition and was also top prizewinner of the 1997 Patrons of Wisdom International Young Artist Competition held in Toronto, Canada. He has won a grant for a custom marimba from the Philadelphia Music Foundation, the Aronfreed Solo Recital competition, the National Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition, the Montpelier Cultural Arts Society Recital Competition, and the South Orange Symphony, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and Virginia Commonwealth University concerto competitions. Greg received his DMA from Rutgers University where he studied with William Moersch, his MM from Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied with Donald Bick and his BM from Rowan University where he studied with Dean Witten.
Greg tours regularly performing on the many Community Concert Series programs throughout the US. Greg has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Theatro Juarez in Mexico, the Glenn Gould Studio in Canada and at the 2005 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Greg’s performances have been presented on CBC and NPR radio and PBS TV. In the past few years Greg has premiered over 20 new works for the marimba including Changjun Xu’s Phoenix for Marimba and Strings.
For 10 years Greg was instructor of marimba at the Juilliard Pre-College and is also the coordinator of the percussion department at New Jersey City University. He has presented master classes at some of the top music schools including the Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music. Greg is the conductor of the Marimba Masters, Jr.; a virtuoso group of 7 young mallet players who perform orchestral transcriptions arranged by Clair Musser and Gordon Peters. Greg performs exclusively on the Yamaha 6000 and 4600 marimbas and 2700 studio vibraphone, uses Malletech mallets and Sabian cymbals. Greg performed with Orchestra 2001 on the Grammy nominated recording of George Crumb’s American Song Book VII; Songs of the Heartland.
Reviews of Greg’s performances include: “Here is music played so well it would capture and hold anybody’s attention indefinitely.”-Classical New Jersey, “With great mastery and two mallets in each hand Giannascoli gave a true lesson with what can be done with this singular instrument.”-The National of Mexico City, “Creston’s Concertino…his performance was outstanding.”-Whit Magazine, “Giannascoli’s performance of Miyoshi’s works was nothing less than astonishing, both in terms of artistry and virtuosity…tremendous facility…startling display of clarity and precision.”-Splendid Music Magazine. Reviews of Greg’s first CD, ‘Concertino’, include: “...elegantly phrased and sensitively performed...sails confidently through the most challenging technical passages.”-Percussive Notes. His most recent CD, ‘Prism Rhapsody’ was also reviewed: “…extremely gifted and skilled performer…facility behind the instrument apparent…virtuosic…precise… sensitive…beautiful lines…high caliber performances…stellar on all accounts.” – Percussive Notes.
Look for Greg’s book, “Opinions on Playing the Marimba”, published by HMPublications in 2020. Greg interviews many leading marimba players about what they learned from their teachers, what evolved along the way and what they now teach their students.
Ismael Garza (b. 1994) is a composer, percussionist, and music educator. Most recent compositional achievements include honorable mentions for the Percussive Arts Society composition competition with his work for Brass quintet and percussion quartet entitled Like Lead into the Sea (2017), and the International Percussion Institutes Call for Scores (2018) with his marimba solo entitled “Sing in me, Muse”. As a graduate of the University of North Texas Ismael has had the privilege to study under Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Jose Aponte, Jacob Thiede, and Michael Smith. Aside from his educational accomplishments Ismael is influenced by literature, history, science and the condition of human society, ideas and concepts in these subjects can be found in the output of his compositions.
Artistic and career pursuits of Ismael consist of expanding the musical repertoire of the percussion and orchestral world. As an advocate for music and its importance in global society Ismael believes everyone should have access to a quality musical education. He contributes to this pursuit of equity through his work as a teacher and as a composer.
Should you have any questions regarding compositional works Ismael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Elvert (b. 1994) is a composer and a percussionist based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Theory/Composition. While at CMU, Ryan studied percussion with Andrew Spencer and studied composition with Scott Harding, José-Luis Maúrtua, and David Gillingham. His sources of inspiration originate from classical literature, human emotion, and the aesthetic of nature. Ryan’s works for percussion have been premiered by the Central Michigan University Percussion Ensemble, RELA Percussion, re:creat duo, If + When, the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, his composition Waters of Oblivion - for fixed media and percussion was accepted to Electronic Music Midwest. The music of Ryan Elvert is available for purchase through his website, C Alan Publications, and Heartland Marimba.
Dr. Berkhout received his Doctorate in Composition at Northwestern University where he was awarded the Faricy Award for Creative Music. He’s also an active cellist, having received his Masters Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Minnesota.
In 2015 Dr. Berkhout was selected as a finalist for The American Prize in Composition—professional chamber music division. Dr. Berkhout was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2006 Gustav Mahler Composition Contest for his work Eclipse, which was premiered in Viktring, Austria by the Janus Ensemble Vienna. In 2004 he was the winner of the Omaha Symphony Guild’s International Composition Contest for his work REM, a Lucid Dream Fantasy for solo cello and two chamber orchestras, which was premiered by the Omaha Symphony in 2005. His work Zapstar was one of six works selected from over 230 submissions for the ALEA III 2003 International Composers Contest and his composition Visual Sound, which had its premier in Amsterdam, was nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize 2000.
Twice he was selected as a semi-finalist for the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize. He has received attention at many national and international festivals including June in Buffalo, Music Ninety-Eight in Cincinnati, the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam, and the New Music Symposium 2001 at the Domaine Forget in Canada.
Dr. Berkhout currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Queensborough Community College, part of the CUNY system.
Dr. Jeffrey Barudin is a dynamic and innovative percussion performer and pedagogue. He has performed as a soloist and ensemble member around the world, including several performances at PASIC and PAS Days of Percussion. He has also participated in numerous world premiere performances and recordings. His playing has been praised as having "...the naturalness of conversation" and "joy that cascades from every note."
He can be heard on several commercially available CD's, including the Grammy-winning “Songs of Innocence and Experience”, composed by William Bolcom and conducted by Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Other CD appearances include performances with the University of Michigan Symphony Band, the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, and the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition. He has worked with several important composers, collaborating closely with Michael Daugherty for his timpani concerto “Raise the Roof” and Bright Sheng for his marimba concerto “Colors of Crimson”. He has also worked with noted composers David T. Little, Kristen Kuster, Asaf Peres, and David Biedenbender. He has articles published in Percussion Notes and the PAS Educator’s Companion, and his compositions are published through C-Alan Publications and the Heartland Marimba Festival Publications.
He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. His primary functions are serving as the conductor of the LU Symphony Orchestra and overseeing the percussion studio. He has also served on the faculty at the New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine. Dr. Barudin is the Principal Timpanist with the St. Louis Civic Orchestra, and a frequent collaborator with Chamber Project STL. He received his DMA and MM degrees from the University of Michigan, and his BS in Music Education from Penn State University. His primary instructors were Dan C. Armstrong, Gifford Howarth, Joseph Gramley and Michael Udow.
Dr. Barudin is proud to represent the Yamaha Corporation as an Educational Performing Artist, and to endorse Sabian cymbals, Innovative Percussion mallets and products, and Black Swamp percussion. For more information, please visit his website at www.jeffreybarudin.com.
Andrew Ardizzoia (b. 1979) is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where he began his studies in music at an early age. His catalog of orchestral, band, choral, chamber, and solo vocal works have been performed on four continents by a wide variety of soloists and ensembles. His music, described as “exuberant, rhythmic, and great fun”, as well as “smart, intriguing, and masterful”, has earned numerous awards and commissions including the Presser Foundation Award, a Zoni nomination (Arizona’s top theatre award), as well as grants from Arizona State University, the University of Hartford, and the Alvin Edgar Fund at Iowa State University. In 2012 he received the Diemente award from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.
Recent performances have included the premiere of Andrew’s “Quod erat demonstrandum…” by the Iowa State University Wind Ensemble at the CBDNA North Central division conference, and his Symphony for Wind Ensemble, by the Hartt Wind Ensemble under Glen Adsit. Andrew’s Etudes and Fugues for solo marimba have been performed by percussionist Matthew Coley in Switzerland, Germany, and on tour across Northern California. Other performances include the premieres of his Ritmos Colorados and Stonewall Magnificats for percussion ensemble, and performances of the Songs of Introspection in both Michigan and Connecticut.
During the summer of 2015, Andrew served as composer-in-residence at the Heartland Marimba Festival and Academy. His works have also been heard at major conferences around the world, most recently at the Keiko Abe Lucerne International Marimba Academy (Kalima), as well as the World Saxophone Congress, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the International Horn Society, and the International Summer Arts Institute. Recent works may be heard on recordings from the International Arts Educators Forum and the Percussion Ensemble at Fort Lewis College.
Andrew’s works have also been performed at Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, both Idyllwild and Interlochen, and at many other colleges, festivals, and museums. Recitals dedicated to his works have taken place in California and Arizona, and his music has been part of art installations, dance programs, and theatrical productions around the Pacific Rim.
Upcoming projects include new works for two Italian chamber groups: Trio Najma and Quintetto Pentarmonico, as well as the Icelandic harp/percussion duo Harpverk.
Andrew holds a D.M.A in composition with a cognate in music theory from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He holds the M.M. in composition from Arizona State University, and the B.M. in composition from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific. His primary teachers have included Stephen Michael Gryc, Robert Carl, Rodney Rogers, James DeMars, Robert Coburn, and Francois Rose. He has participated in masterclasses with composers Christopher Theofanidis, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Torke, and Jonathan Newman, as well as with conductor Karla Lemon at the Scotia Festival of Music. He also studied conducting with Henrik Jul Hansen and Eric Hammer. Andrew regularly leads clinics and performances of his music with ensembles of all ages.
Andrew currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT, where he teaches courses in theory, composition, and history, in addition to leading the concert band and choir. He has previously taught at the Hartt School, Arizona State University, and Paradise Valley Community College. He is a member of BMI, the College Music Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and his percussion music is published by Heartland Marimba Publications.
Andrew lives in Hartford with his partner Rico Reyes, and a rescued Chihuahua/terrier mix named Joey, who is a very good boy (mostly).
Keeghan Fountain is a 2020 graduate from Ithaca College with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition. He is an experienced percussionist and composer, and has had a number of commissions, premieres, and performances of his work throughout North America. Keeghan's works have been played at venues and festivals around the country, including but not limited to, The Southern California Marimba Festival, the Tennessee-based Music Saving Musicians Charity Event, and in the National Symphony Orchestra's Young Peoples' Concert at the Kennedy Center.
While at Ithaca College, Keeghan studied percussion under Gordon Stout, Mike Truesdell, and Conrad Alexander, and Composition under Evis Sammoutis and Jorge Grossmann.
Alongside his compositional career, Keeghan has been staying busy by working with NH high schools to arrange Marching Band/Indoor Percussion shows while also creating his own composition studio in the NH-MA area. His marching shows can be heard throughout the New England region in Nesba and WGI exhibitions.
Keeghan's music has been published through Eastern Hill Music, Heartland Marimba, and through his own self-publishing on his website. Some of Keeghan's pieces have remained unpublished and free to download from his website, to give performers an avenue to embrace new music without having to worry about financial strain.
At this point in his life, Keeghan's focus with his compositions is to create pieces that are fun to perform and technically challenging, while also making it accessible to the ears of a mainstream audience. He takes inspiration from genres like Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, pop, and other forms of Contemporary Music to mix with his classical training to create pieces that stand out on the typical concert program. Many 21st century performers and musicians are drawn to Keeghan's pieces due to their relevance in today's world and the fun atmospheres that they create.
Brett William Dietz is Associate Professor of Percussion at the Louisiana State University School of Music. He is the music director of Hamiruge (the LSU Percussion Group). He earned the Bachelor of Music in Percussion and the Master of Music in Composition/Theory from the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. In 2004, Dietz earned his Doctorate of Music from Northwestern University. He has studied percussion with Jack DiIanni, Andrew Reamer, Stanley Leonard, and Michael Burritt while his principal composition teachers include Joseph W. Jenkins, David Stock, and Jay Alan Yim.
Dietz is in demand as a clinician and soloist throughout the United States and abroad. Recent performances have taken him Paris, France (perKumania International Percussion Festival), Bongkok, Thailand (College Music Society International Conference), and Genral Roca, Argentina (Patagonia International Percussion Festival). He has performed at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and is a founding member of the Tempus Fugit Percussion Ensemble. TFPE has performed throughout the United States and Europe and has released two compact discs (Tempus Fugit and Push Button, Turn Crank) that have received great critical acclaim. Dietz’s new compact disk, Seven Ghosts was released in 2006. He performs with and conducts Hamiruge on Stanley Leonard’s new recording Collage and also performs on Michael Burritt’s newest release, Waking Dreams.
An avid composer, Dietz’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, East Asia and Australia by numerous ensembles including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Wind Ensemble, National Wind Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, River City Brass Band, Northwestern University Wind Symphony, Louisiana State University Wind Ensemble, Duquesne University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the University of Scranton Wind Symphony, the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble, Ju Percussion Ensemble, Malmo Percussion Group, and the University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble. His compositions have been featured at the 1998 College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference, and the 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Dietz’s composition, Pandora’s Box received its New York Premiere at Carnegie Hall by the National Wind Ensemble conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. His opera Headcase was premiered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Called “haunting and powerful – a remarkably sophisticated score that blends words, music and visual displays to touch the heart and mind” by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the opera relives the story of the stroke Dietz suffered in 2002.
He was a recipient of the 2005 Merrill Jones Young Composers Band Composition Contest, the 2002 H. Robert Reynolds Composition Contest, 3rd Place Winner of the 2002 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest, and the 2001 Pittsburgh Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. His composition five-0 for brass quintet received an award from WFMT (Chicago Classical Radio) and was premiered live on the air as part of the station’s 50th anniversary (2001).
In addition to his work at Louisiana State University, he has also served on the music faculties of Duquesne University, Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA), and the Merit School of Music in Chicago. Dietz endorses Dynasty Percussion, Zildjian Cymbals, and Innovative Percussion. When not composing, performing, or teaching, he spends all of his free time with his wife Jennifer, his cats George and Two, and working on his golf game!
Jared Steven Coffin writes music for a specific place and time. He takes influence from people and places, then infuses the cultural, social, and political context of the time, to write music that represents, reflects, and examines. By creating this work, Jared forms structures, atmospheres, and experiences for future audiences and performers to find meaning and understanding through music.
His work is characterized by minimalist textures, pan tonal harmony, overlapping rhythms, lopsided groove, and Post-Modern eclecticism.
Jared has been awarded or participated in the Nautilus Music Theater Composer Librettist Studio, Lehigh & ACDA Choral Composers Forum, Grace University Lutheran Composer in Residence, St. Mary’s Summer Composition Intensive, Hinge Arts Residency, Theater Mu Jerome Workshop, Heartland Marimba Educational Projects Commission, & Bandwidth Community Band Festival.
Jared holds a MA in Composition from the University of Minnesota and a MM in Music Education from Boston University. He has studied with Alex Lubet & Edie Hill, in addition to, private studies with Mary Ellen Childs, Marilyn Shrude, Ken Ueno, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Sametz, Zae Munn, & Joshua Marquez.
Beth Mehocic (b. 1953), composer, poet, visual artist, filmmaker and author received her M.M. and Ph.D. in music composition from Michigan State University, East Lansing and is currently the Music Director/Composer-in-Residence and full professor for the Department of Dance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In 2016, she became a recoding artist for Parma Recordings and her chamber music work Piece by Piecewas recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Chamber Players. In 2017, her work for solo cello, Somewhere Between D and C#was recorded by acclaimed Romanian cellist, Ovidiu Marinescu on the Moto Bello CD for the Moto III Seriesfor Parma Recordings and was released in March, 2018 with a CD release concert at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, May 19, 2018. Her Concerto for Piano and Orchestawas recorded July 2, 2018 by the renown Croation Chamber Orchestra with the celebrated Maltese pianist, Charlene Farrugia as soloist and MiranVaupotic conducting. In September 2018, her orchestral work Left of Winterwas recorded by the Janáček Philharmonic, conducted by JiříPetrdlík and her string quartet, Picasso’s Flightwas recorded by the renown Altius Quartet in January, 2019.
Dr. Mehocic has written over one hundred works for orchestra, concert band, chamber music, dance ensembles, theatre and film and her works have been performed throughout the United States, Japan, China, Korea and Europe. She has produced works in several Las Vegas Hotels including The Mirage, Caesar's Palace and the Las Vegas Hilton.
From 2000-19, several of her music compositions written for choreography have been performed at the Endinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, the Adaliade Fringe Festival, Adalaide, Australia and for joint concerts between UNLV and the Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea. Her video dance poem Perpetual Motionwith original music for vibraphone quartet, was also performed in Seoul, Korea and the video is in the Jerome Robbins Dance Library of the NYC Library at Lincoln Center.
Shadows,a dance poem with her original music,and her video dance poem, Handswere presented at the 2005 International Taishan Congress of Cultures and the 19thWorld Congress of Poets in Tai’an City, Shandong Province, China for which she was awarded a “Gold Medal in Innovation” for digital poetry, dance and music by the Peoples Republic of China.
As a multimedia performing artist, her music, poetry, visual art and dance were presented in her one-woman exhibit entitled Poetic Visionswhich was on tour in the Clark County Library Galleries in Las Vegas.
She has received several grants from The Nevada State Council on the Arts as well as receiving a grant for her participation in the China Conference. Her other grants include awards from New Music Across America, the Southwest Gas Corp., The Western States Arts Foundation and Meet-the-Composer as well as awards in music composition from ASCAP.
Her article "Learning to Dance with Live Music" was published by Dance Teacher Nowand her article "Chamber Music in Las Vegas" was featured in the directory edition of Chamber Music America.
She was proclaimed "Distinguished Composer" of the City of Las Vegas by Former Mayor, Jan Laverty Jones and received commissions from New Music Across America, the Sierra Woodwind Quintet, the University of Utah for a musical score to a documentary film that commemorated fifty years of dance history at that university as well as commissions from Artists Embassy International and the Natica Angilly Poetic Dance Theater.
She was awarded the First Performing Artist's Fellowship in Music Composition from the State of Nevada and became a founding member for the International Guild of Musicians in Dance, the first guild in western history devoted to the advancement of concert dance music and musical education of dancers. She was also the founding editor for the Guild's Journal.
Matthew Coley is an internationally acclaimed performer and the artistic director of the Heartland Marimba Festival. He has been described as "off the charts" (John Cook, Westminster Presbyterian Fine Arts Series, Des Moines, IA), while "delivering virtuoso...exquisite soloing on marimba" (Lauren Warnecke, seechicagodance.com). Performing on marimba, percussion, hammered dulcimer/cimbalom, and glass, Matthew travels regularly bringing the beauty of the marimba's singing wood and the diverse timbre of other percussion and dulcimers to many audiences. About his dulcimer performing it has been written that “Coley rips across the strings of the hammered dulcimer with abandon bordering on delirium!” (Linda Shapiro, Chicago Press Review). Matthew has performed in over 30 US states, 10 countries, and as a soloist with ensembles throughout the US and abroad including Clocks in Motion Percussion, Heartland Marimba Festival Collective and Quartet, Sudar Percussion of Croatia, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, and Moldavian Philharmonic and Teleradio Symphony Orchestras.
Matthew served as the Percussion Faculty in the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre from 2009-2015 and also now directs the Academy, SoundWAYS, Collective, Quartet, and Publications divisions of HMF. After six years teaching at ISU, Matthew is once again a full-time performer, and will continue his passions of building a bigger and better Heartland Marimba Festival and bringing the marimba, dulcimer, and their composers into the spotlight through unique projects for many diverse audiences.
Matthew regularly collaborates with composers looking for unique ways to push the percussion repertoire. Works that he has commissioned and/or premiered include: Lurgy for Carillon and Percussion Ensemble by Neil Thornock (premiered at Iowa State University, 2013); Rural Sketches for Marimba and Contrabass Ensemble by Igor Iachimciuc (premiered at Chicago Cultural Center, 2014); Glass House Concerto for Solo Percussion (glass, metal, wood, and stone) and Wind Ensemble by Andrew Ardizzoia (premiered at University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 2013); Images of Africa for Dulcimer and Percussion Sextet by Steven Simpson (premiered at University of Iowa, 2014); and most recently he has created and premiered with the Central Iowa Symphony a version of Haydn’s Concerto in C for cimbalom, vibraphone, and marimba. In addition, he has commissioned and/or premiered many solos for marimba and dulcimer.
Released in 2012, Matthew’s second album Souvenirs establishes him as one of the most innovative and exciting artists of his kind. Adam Blackstock (Troy University) wrote of it in the July 2012 Percussive Notes, “If you are in search of a disc with great recording quality, a high level of performance, and an eclectic collection of tracks, this title should be added to your iTunes wish list. Souvenirs delivers 80 minutes of diverse works…” Other critically acclaimed solo albums include, Circularity (“most enjoyable…world-class performing,” [2010, Jason Baker, Percussive Notes]) and Between the Lines (“performed luminously, with intense vigor” [Brett Dietz, Percussive Notes]), which is a collaborative disc of all of Neil Thornock’s percussion music, released in early 2015 on New Focus Recordings.
Matthew has performed as a soloist at five Percussive Arts Society International Conventions; at universities, institutions, and concert halls across the nation in over 30 different US states; in Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland; and as soloist and clinician at several state Days of Percussion. He has won several prizes from national and international competitions and holds percussion performance degrees from Northwestern University (DM and MM) and the University of North Texas (BM) (teachers included: Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, James Ross, Leigh Howard Stevens, and She-e Wu). Matthew is an endorsed artist by Marimba One, Black Swamp Percussion, ProMark Drumsticks and Evans Drumheads, Beetle Percussion, and Sabian Cymbals, and is published by Innovative Percussion, Edition Svitzer, and Heartland Marimba Festival Publications. His signature mallet percussion practice pad system is available through Beetle Percussion. More information can be found at www.hearMatthewColey.com and www.HeartlandMarimbaFestival.com.
Dolores White was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Howard University for two years and transferred to Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where she received the Bachelor degree in piano performance. She completed her M.M. in piano performance and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Postgraduate work was at Ohio State University with Thomas Wells, briefly & Kent State University with James Waters, composition professors.
Her music offers a unique way of listening and enjoying American Contemporary Music. Centered in American and European Classical elements, she fashions music that reaches into the rich resources of American traditions and music that draws on ethnic and international materials. She started her compositional achievements after winning second prize in the Ithaca College High School Choral Competition, 1988. Later, she was commissioned by the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra to compose an orchestral piece for the Celebration of the Centennial of the Chicago World Fair Exposition in 1993. The concert occurred at the Cleveland Art Museum, 1993, titled “Salute to the Arts”.
She was one of the finalists in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s African American Composers Competition and Conference. Her piece “Celebration” was performed by the Detroit Symphony on a concert series program with Leslie Dunner, conductor. The piece was later performed by the Columbus Ohio Women Symphony, Victoria Bond, conductor and the Dallas, Texas Symphony, Leslie Dunner, conductor.
Her composition for Soprano, Narrator and Orchestra, “Give Birth to the Dream” from Maya Angelou’s poem “On the Pulse of Morning” was commissioned by the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra and performed on the Martin Luther King Concert at Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus, Cleveland Ohio where Dolores White was assistant professor of music for many years. The piece, “Give Birth to the Dream” was performed by the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra the following year on their Martin Luther King Concert.
The Cleveland Chamber Symphony performed her piece “Crystal Gazing” with Edwin London, conductor, at Cleveland State University, Oberlin College Music Series and several area churches in Cleveland. The Cleveland Chamber Symphony has many Cds, “The New American Scene No. 2″ features the works of Five Outstanding African American Composers which includes Dolores White’s “Crystal Gazing”.
Her string quartet, “Two Violins, Viola and Cello in Three Movements” is on the Cleveland Composers Guild latest CD titled Telling Tales, Albany Label. Her piano Piece “Toccata” is included in Dark Fires, a CD of piano selections composed by African American composers perform by Karen Walywn, Albany Label. Several of her choral selections were performed by the Gregg Smith Singers on a New York City Concert and the Robert Page Singers performed several of her choral selections at Cleveland State University and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She is a contributor to the Two Volumes book titled “Black Women in Amercia, a Historical Encyclopedia”, published by Carlson Publishers, 1st Edition, 1993, Darline Hines. She received the YWCA Certificate of Achievement for Professional Career Women, 1989; while assistant professor of music, Cuyahoga Community College. In 1990s, Santiago de Cuba, participated in Music and Dance seminars with Cuban musicians and dancers. At the Faculty Symposium, 1990, “Partnership in the Arts” she gave a presentation on, “History of the Cleveland Orchestra” that was published in the Cuyahoga Community College Symposium Booklet that year. She was selected to attend the June in Buffalo, New York Workshop/Conference (2000) with Donald Erb, George Crumb, Bernard Rands, Charles Wuorimen. In May, 2001, she attended the Inter-American Conference on Black Music Research sponsored by the Center for Black Music Research and the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Society for American Music in Port of Spain, Trindad & Tobago. In 2002-3, MasterWork Chorale of Toledo, Ohio commissioned her to write two short choral numbers for their December Series Program. The Cleveland Fortnightly Musical Club and Cleveland Composers Guild commissioned her Chamber Ensemble composition for Four Clarinets & Violin, Cleveland Institute of Music, 2003. She has done research on Afro-Cuban Music and Culture and given presentations on the topic at John Carroll University, Cuyahoga Community College, Western & Eastern Campuses and Cleveland State University. While she was assistant professor of music at Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus, she received several Bascom Little grants to promote Contemporary American Chamber Music programs at the College.
Willis Music Company, Boston Music Company, Cuyahoga Community College Press, Southern Illinois University Press have published works of Dolores White and she is included in several of Helen Walker-Hill books and publications on African American Women.
She is a member of ASCAP and has received many ASCAP awards. Also, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, American Music Center, OMTA, The International Alliance of Women in Music, Cleveland Oberlin Alumni Club, Center for Black Research, Chicago Music Association and NANM (National Association of Negro Musicians). In November, 2008, she presented “Living Portriats” performance/recital of Contemporary Chamber Music of Dolores White & Hale Smith at Sherwood Conservatory of Music at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois.
In May, 2009, she was a presenter at the Feminist & Music Theory 10 Conference at the University of Greensboro, North Carolina. The presentation was on Twenty First Piano Literature of Dolores White. The presentation was on Twenty First Piano Literature of Dolores White.
In July, 2009, she was a presenter at the 90th Anniversary of NANM in Chicago, Illinois. The presentation/performance was on Twenty & Twenty-First Century Art Songs of Dolores White and Hale Smith (fourteen art songs). The presentation/performance was reviewed by the New Amsterdam Newspaper and was given an excellent review. Performers were : Kimberly Jones, soprano, Cornelius Johnson, tenor and Dianna White Gould, pianist.