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Percussion Studio Alumni

additions, updates, or corrections should be sent to ovalle@umich.edu

University of Michigan Percussion Alumni are extraordinarily diverse in their achievements and continue to represent some of the music world's leading performers, educators, composers, conductors and musical entrepreneurs. From classical to jazz, to pop music, to world music, from public and private schools across America to some of the country's leading universities, from intimate jazz venues to sold out concert halls and stadiums, University of Michigan Percussion Alumni can be found achieving success in virtually all areas of percussion.

 

bill moersch pius cheung steve aho gerald cleaver
William Moersch Pius Cheung Steve Aho Gerald Cleaver

 

 

University Professors      Orchestral /Performing Artists      Jazz/ Pop/ World/ New Music/ Freelancers      Educators/Entrepreneurs/Other

Percussion Alumni Recent Successes/ News

Dan Piccolo (DMA 2015)

Named Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Tennessee - Martin

Winner of the Presser Award (2015)

Hannah Weaver (MM 2015)

Accepted to the Eastman School of Music for doctoral study

Winner of the 2013 PAS Orchestral Mock Audition

Arlo Shultis (BM 2015)

Accepted to the Peabody Conservatory for graduate study

Winner of the Earl V. Moore Award

Christina Manceor (BM 2015)

Accepted to the Peabody Conservatory for graduate study

Winner of the 2014 Black Swamp Multi Percussion Competition

Ye Young Yoon (BM 2015)

Accepted to the New England Conservatory for graduate study

Dylan Greene (BM 2015)

Accepted to Bard College for Artist Diploma

Will perform with Elliot Cole on New Music Detroit's 2015 "Strange Beautiful Music" Marathon

Matt Geiger (MM 2014)

Accepted to the University of Kentucky for doctoral study

Winner of the 2013 PAS Solo Vibraphone Competition

Darren Lin (BM 2014)

Accepted to the Eastman School of Music for graduate study

Evan Laybourn (BM 2014)

Percussionist for the US Tour of "A Christmas Story: The Musical"

Ian Sullivan (BM 2010)

Named Principal Timpanist of the New York City Ballet (2014)

Neeraj Mehta (DMA 2012)

Named Assistant Professor of Music at Queensboro Community College - City University of New York (2014)

Scott Verdiun (BM 2011)

Named Principal Percussionist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (2014)

Paul Owen (MM 2013)

Named Professor of Percussion at Wiliamette University (2015)

Currently performing and touring the U.S. and Europe as the drummer for the band Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Joshua Graham (MM 2013)

Served two summers as the solo percussionist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (2014)

Accepted to Northwestern University for doctoral study

Jon Brown (MM 2013)

Performing and touring as the drummer for the band The Ragbirds (2014)

Hays Bunch (MM 2006)

Named Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina - Aiken (2014)

Elliot Beck

Named Principal Timpanist of the Battle Creek, Southwest Michigan and West Michigan Symphonies.

Also named section percussion of the Lansing Symphony.

Shannon Wood (BM 1989)

Named Principal Timpanist of the Saint Louis Symphony (2013)

Finalist for Principal Timpani positions with Detroit and Baltimore Symphonies

Dan Karas

Named Principal Timpanist of the Grand Rapids Symphony (2013)

Peter Dodds (BM 2011)

Named Teaching Fellow at Bard College (2013)

Garrett Mendelow (BM 2012)

2012 Tromp International Percussion Competition - Finalist (Second Place)

Kyle Acuncius (Specialist 2012)

Named Professor of Percussion - Mahidol University - Bangkok, Thailand

Principal Timpanist with the Thailand Philharmonic

Jeffrey Grant (MM 2012)

Accepted into post-graduate degree program at University of Southern California

Named Principal Timpanist with the Debut Orchestra - Los Angeles

Brian Baldauff (MM 2009)

Named Director of Percussion Studies and athletic bands at West Liberty University

 

don liuzzi tony disanza larry ferguson trey wyatt
Don Liuzzi Anthony DiSanza Larry Ferguson Trey Wyatt

 

Our alumni perform and tour internationally with groups including Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Josh Groban, Il Divo, David Foster, perform with orchestras such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Detroit, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, New World, Chicago, Orchestra de Lyon, St. Paul Chamber, Baltimore, Delaware, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Chautauqua, Jacksonville, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Fort Wayne, Flint, Madison, Florida, St. Lukes, Orpheus Chamber, Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Sarasota Opera, and the Florida Philharmonic. Alumni also perform with the President’s Own Marine Band and the Army Band "Pershing's Own.

Our alumni are teaching and performing at leading universities, colleges, and conservatories including Michigan, Curtis, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin-Madison, Taipei, Lewis and Clark, Texas A&M-Commerce, Kunitachi in Tokyo, Ft. Lewis, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Eastern Oregon, Ohio-Athens, Singapore Conservatory, Penn State, Ohio University, Toledo, Towson, Austin Peay, Oakland, among others.

Christopher Froh biyakuye ensemble
Christopher Froh (left)
Roger Braun (drums) and Mark Stone (vibraphone) with Biyakuye
dan lidster
mike shea
mark suter
ya chi cheng
Dan LIdster MIke Shea Mark Suter Ya Chi Cheng

 

 

 

University Professors/Educators

 

Brian Zator payton macdonald roger braun alison shaw
Brian Zator
Payton MacDonald
Roger Braun
Allison Shaw

 

Kyle Acuncius

Mahidol University | Bangkok, Thaiiland

Thailand Philharmonic, Principal Timpani

Daniel C. Armstrong

Penn State University | State College, PA

 

Brian Baldauff

West Liberty University | West Liberty, WV

Jeff Barudin

Lindenwood University | St. Louis, MO

Founding Member, Drop Circle Percussion Trio

Mark Berry

Western Kentucky University | Bowling Green, KY

Founder and Owner - Living Sound Triangles, LLC

 

Cara Weissman Boden

Instrumental Music Director at Tokyo International School | Tokyo, Japanl

Former Percussionist with the Michigan Chamber Brass

Roger Braun

Ohio University | Athens, OH

Founding member - Biyakuye,  Los Banquitos Viequos,

performed with Keiko Abe,  Lyle Mays, Kathleen Battle, Billy Taylor

Hays Bunch

University of South Carolina - Aiken | Aiken, SC

Amanda Cook

Western State Colorado University | Gunnison, CO

Pius Cheung

University of Oregon | Eugene, OR

Internationally Acclaimed Marimba Soloist

David Colson

Western Michigan University | Kalamazoo, MI 

Anthony DiSanza

University of Wisconsin | Madison, WI

Madison Symphony Orchestra, Principal Percussion

Larry Doran

Director of Bands at Midlothian High School - TX

Adjunct Professor of Percussion - Dallas Baptist University

John Dorsey

Eastern Michigan University | Ypsilanti, M

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Principal Percussion

Teun Fetz

Eastern Oregon University | La Grande, OR

Christopher Froh

University of Caifornia-Davis | Davis, CA

Member of San Francisco Contemporary Music Players,

S. F. Chamber Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble

 

Joseph Gramley

University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, MI

Member, Silk Road Ensemble

Laurence Kaptain

Dean, College of Arts and Media - University of Colorado - Denver | Denver, CO

First student to receive Doctor of Musical Arts in percussion from the University of Michigan

 

Payton MacDonald

William Patterson University | Patterson, NJ

Neeraj Mehta

Queensboro Community College | Queens, NY

Fullbright award winner - studied in Denmark with Gert Mortensen

Fernando Meza

University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN

Extensive performances in Japan, Latin America, and the U.S. with

internationally renowned marimba artist Keiko Abe

William Moersch

University of Illinois | Champaign, IL

Internationally Acclaimed Marimba Soloist

Gary Olmstead

Former Professor of Percussion - Indiana University of Pennsylvania | Indiana, PA

Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame Member

2014 Medal of Merit Award from Ohio University

Jonathan Ovalle

University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, MI

John Pennington

Fort Lewis College | Fort Lewis, Colorado

Performs with the Santa Fe Opera, Music in the Mountains International Music Festival

Animas Music Festival, San Juan Symphony

Nick Petrella

University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory | Kansas City, MO

Director of Education - Sabian Cymbals

Dan Piccolo

University of Tennesse-Martin | Martin, TN

Olman E. Piedra

University of Toledo | Toledo, Ohio

As a member of the world-fusion band, NOMO, toured US, Canada, and Europe

former Principal Percussionist - Waco Symphony

Whitney Prince

Eastern Michigan University | Ypsilanti, MI

Former Professor of Percussion, current Professor of Music Theory

Kristen Regester

Early Childhood Program Manager - Sherwood Community Music School | Chicago, IL

Patrick E. Roulet

Western Washington University | Bellingham, WA

David Schmalenberger

McNally-Smith College of Music | St. Paul, MN

Extensive study of African/ Caribbean Music including travels to Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Trinidad, and Brazil.

Alison Shaw

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh | Oshkosh, WI

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Quorum Chamber Arts Collective

Clifton Smith

Music Department Chair - Lincoln Way East High School | Chicago, IL

Mark Stone

Oakland University | Rochester Hills, MI

Extensive study in Ghana, Performances with Gyil Master, Bernard Woma

Founding member, Biyakuye

 

Neil Sisauyhoat

Del Mar College | Corpus Christi, TX

Extensive study of Cuban folkloric music with Michael Spiro

David Steinquest

Austin Peay State University | Memphis, TN

Coordinator of the Mid-South Jazz Festival

former member of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point.

Michael Varner

University of Texas - Arlington | Arlington, TX

Dave Walker

Old Dominion University | Norfolk, VA

performs regularly with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra

Doug Wolf

University of Utah | Salt Lake City, UT

Performs regularly with the Utah Symphony and Ballet West Orchestra

Brian Zator

Texas A&M University-Commerce | Commerce, TX

Studied with Keiko Abe, numerous appearances at PASIC as a featured performer/soloist

mallet instructor for the mobile app. - Pocket Percussion Teacher

mark berry mark stone playing vibraphone david steinquest gary olmstead
Mark Berry
Mark Stone
David Steinquest
Gary Olmstead

 

Orchestral/ Performing Artists

 

shannon wood mark griffith scott parkman brian prechtl
Shannon Wood
Mark Griffith
Scott Parkman
Brian Prechtl

 

 

 

Dave Alcorn

Founding member of the chamber percussion group Clocks in Motion

Faculty, New England Music Camp

Elliot Beck

West Michigan Symphony, Principal Timpani

Southwest Michigan Symphony, Principal Timpani

Lansing Symphony, Section Percussion

Thomas L. Blanchard

Delaware, Reading and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras, Section Percussion

Performances, recordings, and tours as regular extra with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Quincy Brown

Air Force Academy Band, Section Percussion

David Coash

Florida Orchestra, Section Percussion; Opera Saratoga, Principal Percussion

Faculty - University of Tampa & Florida Southern College, Co-Founder/Director of the

Spectrum Contemporary Ensemble, Percussionist - BOGUS POMP (Zappa cover band)

Ya Chi Cheng

Evergreen Symphony Orchestra - Taipei, Principal Timpani

Assistant Professor of Percussion - Fu-Jen Catholic University,

former principal percussionist - Louisiana Philharmonic

Daniel T. DeSena

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Section Percussion 

Freelancer, past faculty Banff International Music Center

Joseph Ferraro

Dallas Opera, Section Percussion

Performances with Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Peter Flamm

San Antonio Symphony, Principal Timpani

Larry Ferguson

U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own", Drummer/ Percussionist

Kevin Garry

Jacksonville Symphony, Section Percussion and Principal Drum Set

Former Winner, New Jersey State Rudimental Snare Competition (1979,1981)

Andrew George

Director of Orchestras - Texas Tech University

Guest Conductor with Columbus Symphony, BalletMet of Columbus, Toledo Symphony,

Madison Symphony Orchestra

Mark Griffith

Houston Symphony, Section Percussion

Paul Harkins

Flint Symphony, Section Percussion

Dan Karas

Grand Rapids Symphony, Principal Timpani

Gregg Koyle

Sarasota Opera - Principal Timpani & Orchestra Manager

Santa Fe Opera - Percussionist & Orchestra Manager

Performances with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival 

Don Liuzzi

Philadelphia Orchestra, Principal Timpani

Professor of Percussion - Curtis Institute of Music 

Brian Prechtl

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Section Percussion

Member, Global Percussion Trio

Larry Rachleff

Rhode Island Philharmonic, Principal Conductor

Director of Orchestras – Rice University | Houston, TX

Charles Ricotta

Flint Symphony, Principal Percussion

Drumline Director, University of Michigan Marching Band

Scott Parkman

Artistic Director - American Century Music

Former Associate Conductor - Saint Louis Symphony

Matthew J. Savery

Music Director and Conductor of the Bozeman Symphony

Ian Sullivan

New York City Ballet, Principal Timpani

Olaf G. Tzschoppe

Soloist - Les Percussions de Strasbourg

Terry Smith

Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Section Percussion

 

Mark Suter

Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Associate Principal Percussion

Member - Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Director of Percussion Program at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore

David Tolen

Santa Fe Symphony, Principal Percussion

Performs regularly with the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra

Scott Verduin

Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Principal Percussion

William Vits

Grand Rapids Symphony, Principal Percussion

Kenneth Wolin

President's Own Marine Band, Principal Percussion

Shannon Wood

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Principal Timpani

Owner of malletshop.com

Trey Wyatt

San Francisco Symphony, Section Percussion

Owner - California Percussion, LLC

Faculty - San Francisco Conservatory 

Jazz/ Pop/ World/ New Music/ Freelancers

 

tim brown maria flurry sabrina ma dane crozier
Timothy Tacket Brown
Maria Flurry
Sabrina Ma
Dane Crozier

Steve Aho

Los Angeles- based drummer/percussionist, Music Director for Warner Bros recording artist William Joseph, has performed with Josh Groban, Il Divo, Tony Bennett, John Williams, David Foster, Tom Scott, Joe Chiccarelli, Peter Asher, Chad & Jeremy, Nathaniel Kunkel, Michael Lloyd, Neil Sedaka, Patti Austin, and Michael Feinstein, has also performed for the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards.

Shoko Araya

Member Chris Hardy and Shoko Araya percussion duo, formed as students at the University of Michigan

Timothy Tacket Brown

Seattle-based Freelancer, drummer with Haley Sales

Gerald Cleaver

Mainstay in the NYC jazz scene, International Touring Artist, leads the bandsViolet Hour, NiMbNl,

Uncle June and Farmers By Nature Performed with Roscoe Mitchell, Ralph Allessi, Yaron Herman,

Miroslav Vitous, former Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies - University of Michigan,

recipient of a NEA Jazz Studies Grant to study with drummer, Victor Lewis

Dane Crozier

Chicago-based freelancer, founding member of the Spectrum Trio

Andre Dowell

Sphinx Orchestra, Competition Director

Founding Member - Identity Cubed Percussion Trio

Maria Flurry

Founder of Harpbeat, Arizona-based freelancer

Founder of Chaparral Arts, Inc. and artistic director of the Chaparral MusicFest

Flint Symphony - Principal Timpani (1990-2000)

Eric  A. Galm

Author of the book "The Berimbau: A Guide to Brazilian Music" 

Christopher Hardy

Member Chris and Shoko Duo

Renee Keller

DMA - Northwestern University, Chicago-based freelancer, Chicago Civic Orchestra

Sabrina Ma

Winner, Classic Marimba League International Competition

 

John Maloney

Chicago-based freelancer

Daniel McDonald

Ann Arbor-based freelancer/educator

 

Fritz McGirr

Ann Arbor freelancer, drummer for the Moxie Strings

Aaron Siegel

Percussionist/Composer based in NYC, Founder/Director - Aaron Siegel Ensemble

Percussionist with Anthony Braxton, on staff of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall

Mike Shea

Ann Arbor/ Detroit, MI freelancer

Drummer for the band Fifty Amp Fuse 

Jonathan Smith

Current DMA student, University of Michigan

Substitute Percussion for the broadway show Alladin

Michael Swain

Detroit -based freelancer, Recent CD release of solo electronic project titled "Under Clouds"

Xavier Verna

Sphinx Organization - Manager of Education and Conferences

Member - Identity Cubed Trio

dan piccolo
Dan Piccolo

 

Entrepreneurs/ Other

 

Timothy Clark

Director of Sales and Operations at Arlen Music Productions

Graduate Studies at Cleveland State University

Ron Glenn

Daniel Lidster

Founder and Owner of Encore Mallets, Inc.

Carol L. Daubert

John A. Frascarelli, Jr.

Chalmers P. Haas

David Mitchell
Co-founder: NovaPoint Group and Open-Supplies.com
Former Yamaha Product Specialist, Concert & Marching Percussion
Former Percussionist with Grand Rapids Symphony, Flint Symphony, Jackson Symphony, and Ann Arbor Symphony

Juliet C. Prater

David J. Schmalenberger

Matt Smith

Nicole M. Turney

Emmy-Award winning Filmmaker and Editor - Brooklyn, NY

Mike Tyszko

Gregory W. White

Craig W. Wigley

Peter A. Wilson

Andrea Wirth

Undergraduate Academic Administrator in the Foreign Languages department at MIT.

Performs, records, and tours internationally with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums

Has appeared with and recorded with the Boston Pops Orchestra

Gary F. Wreford

 

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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