Percussion Closeup

The Percussion Program at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music offers excellent percussion instruction in the context of a stimulating liberal arts environment. We teach students to grow as percussionists, musicians, and scholars. Our program fosters passion and builds knowledge about percussion, inspiring students to be exceptional performers as well as life-long learners in music.

Percussion students study and perform all aspects of concert percussion, and have opportunities to extend that study to world percussion and drum set. The Conservatory has an extensive inventory of professional-level percussion instruments, including 5 octave and 4.3 octave marimbas and a full range of other keyboard percussion, as well as multiple sets of timpani, drums, and accessories. Schmucker Hall, the home of the Conservatory, includes two large, well-equipped practice rooms reserved for percussion students.

Percussionists at the Sunderman Conservatory have an array of performance opportunities. The College's size, as a highly selective, undergraduate institution, enables all percussion students to play interesting and challenging parts in a variety of ensembles. The Conservatory Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra perform twice each semester, and often program important repertoire for percussion. The Percussion Ensemble performs a full concert each semester, and has presented major works by twentieth-century percussion composers as well as premiered new music written for the group.

The Conservatory Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Dispatch play on campus and off, having toured Europe and performed at events such as the 2011 MENC (Music Educators National Conference) Eastern Division Conference. Percussionists also perform at weekly Conservatory studio recitals; for junior and senior recitals; in musical theater and opera productions; with the Balinese gamelan ensemble; and in the Symphony Orchestra's annual Concerto Competition.

Percussion majors in each of the Conservatory's three degree programs receive thirteen hour-long lessons each semester. Percussion minors receive thirteen half-hour lessons each semester. All majors are expected to give public performances of solo literature for keyboard percussion, snare drum, timpani, and multiple percussion each academic year.