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University of Arizona

The UA Percussion Studio is one of the most active and forward-thinking studios in the country. There's always something exciting happening. Check out some of our recent activities below. Oh, and don't forget to visit our Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr pages.

Dr. MORRIS PALTER will be joining the percussion faculty for the 2015-2016 Academic Year. Dr. Palter is a well-known performer and education who most recently has been the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

CROSSTALK, the UA Electronic Percussion Group presented a Featured Concert at PASIC 2015 during "Tech Day 2.0". The group then returned to UA and created four videos of our the pieces we played at that concert. You can learn more about CrossTalk and watch those videos at the CrossTalk website: http://crosstalk.arizona.edu/

CROSSTALK completed four new videos of the compositions performed at Tech Day 2.0 at PASIC. You can watch them here: http://crosstalk.arizona.edu/video-4our.htm The videos were all recorded live without any overdubs or pre-recorded tracks. What you hear/see, is what we do!

DR. NORMAN WEINBERG was awarded the The Charles and Irene Putnam Excellance in Teaching Award. This award is considered the College of fine art’s most prestigious recognition of excellence in teaching, as demonstrated by outstanding achievement in teaching during the eligible review period. Nominations are accepted from the Directors of the various Schools, and an Ad Hoc committee, composed of the five previous Putnam winners, reviews the dossiers, and makes the selection.

In other news, one of the bands that Dr. Weinberg performed in during his college years was elected to the Kansas Musician's Hall of Fame. The Induction ceremony was March 1, 2014, and his band, SANCTUARY, got back together for a 30-minute set during the awards show.

During the summer of 2016, UA Percussion Studio members attended a number of outstanding workshops and festivals, and performed at several important events. Below is a list of their accomplishments:

KYLE MAXWELL-DOHERTY, Sub for Hamilton on Broadway and Radio City Music Hall Spectacular
LIZ SOFLIN, Performances at Tempe Center for the Arts
DREW MORALES, Performing Member at Heartland Marimba Festival Academy
CLAIR THORPE, Counselor-in-Training at NAU's Curry Summer Music Camp
TYLER BERG, Performances with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra
TREVOR BARROERO, Performed with the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy in Powell River, British Columbia. Won first place in the PRISMA concerto competition and received the opportunity to solo with the PRISMA orchestra in Canada and to fly to Russia in December to perform in the percussion section of the Moscow Symphony. Performed as timpanist/percussionist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute in Whistler, British Columbia. Participated in the Washburgh Timpani Seminar in the University of Maryland and was winner of the annual mock audition.
CARLOS SOLIS, Pan Ramajay Festival at the University of Denver
CHRISTIAN MALASPINA, Drummer for the Jakob Danger Band's West Coast tour
ZACH WHITE, Auxilliary Percussion at Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2016 DCI Champions)
KEVIN CROSS, Collaborations with Cincinnati based percussion trio Three by Radio (3(r)
SEAN REES, Center Snare / Drum Captain The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. Winner of the 2016 DCI Rodney Goodhart Memorial Scholarship
MATT TIMMAN, Percussion Faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, MI

CROSSTALK was awarded a grant from the James P. and Shirley J. O'Brien Foundation to sponsor a composition competition to create a work for CrossTalk and UASteel, the school's top steel band. Deadline for this competiton was January 15, 2014. You can get all the information about the competition HERE The winning composition was premiered at the CrossTalk concert during the Spring 2014 semester.

Below is a list of students who have won university or high school teaching positions (and one rock and roll recording and touring drummer) just in the last few years. I'm very proud of these students and our program.
I believe that our studio is as strong as any major university in the country, and this list is the proof.

2016 –DANNY BARSETTI-NERLAND – Band Director, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson
2015 –HILLARY ENGLE – Director of Bands Sahauro High School, Tucson
2015 –TAMARA WILLIAMS – Band Director at Dueitt Middle School in Spring, TX
2015 –ANTUON LOPEZ – Percussion Instructor at Garland ISD, Texas
2014 –JONATHAN LATTA – Assistant Dean of the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific
2012 – MICHAEL SAMMONS – Director of Percussion at the University of Utah
2011 – JOSH ARMSTRONG – Director of Percussion at Delta State University
2011 – DOUG SMITH – Director of Percussion at Utah Valley University
2011 – SCOTT SHINBARA – Professor of Percussion at University of Nebraska at Omaha
2010 – DAN SMITHIGER – Director of Percussion at Southern Illinois University
2008 – MICHAEL VERCELLI - Director of the World Music Performance Center at University of West Virginia
2008-2016 – JEFF FRIEDL– Drummer for ASHES dIVIDE, Devo, Puscifer, Filter, Perfect Circle, EODM, etc.

The Percussion Studio just completed its eighth year of DISTANT DRUMMING. This year's masterclass presenters are listed below. We wish to thank Vic Firth and Zildjian for their continued support of this outstanding series.

The Distant Drumming Masterclass series brings outstanding performers and teachers to the UA Percussion Studio through SKYPE. Generally, for each session, three to four students perform for these artists and receive comments and advice on their performance.

Previous Distant Drumming masterclass artists have included: Chris Hanning, Pedro Carniero, Pete Lockett, Jim Campbell, Casey Cangolosi, Pius Chueng, Mark Ford, Gwen Burgett, David Skidmore, Neil Larrivee, Doug Perkins, Will Hudgins, Colin Currie, Svet Stoyanov, Gordon Stout, Tim Adams, Aaron Spears, Jim Atwood, Steven Schick, John Parks IV, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Kevin Bobo, Alan Abel, Anthony Cirone, Peter Erskine, Michael Schutz, Beverly Johnston, Bob Becker, Morris Lang, Keith Aleo, Douglas Walter, Tim Adams, Pedro Salvador Velasco, Jose Alicia, and Fernando Rocha.

A recent academic year brought the following guest artists to the UA campus. These artists presented concerts, master classes, and private lessons to our students. This list is typical of the quality of our guest artists each year. Click Here to see a complete list.

TIM ADAMS – Former Timpanist with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Professor at University of Georgia
NATHANIAL BARTLETT – Marimba/Electronic Virtuoso
MARIO DECIUTIIS– Electronic Percussion Guru and Owner of Alternate Mode
DAME EVELYN GLENNIE– World Renown Percussionist
TODD HAMMES – Hand Drumming Virtuoso
GIFF HOWARTH – Marimba Virtuoso
FREDERIC MACAREZ– Timpanist with the Orchestre de Paris & Paris Conservatory
JOHN TAFOYA– Former Timpanist with the National Symphony Orchestra and Professor at Indiana University

Rosewood Marimba Band
The Rosewood Marimba Band was a featured artist at the McCormick Marimba Festival in January 2013. As a direct result of the Distant Drumming series in the previous Spring, the Rosewood Marimba Band was also invited to give two featured performances at the 17th Annual Puerto Rico International Percussion Festival. Held in August, this Festival is one of the most prestigious in the Americas.

Percussion History and Literature, a fully-online course developed by Dr. Norman Weinberg, has been offered at Temple University, University of Central Florida, Universiity of North Texas, the University of South Alabama, and the University of Arizona. For more information, click here. Or, you can click on the Percussion History and Literature menu on the left.

The course was highlighted in a article by Kurt Gartner that was recently published in Percussive Notes: Norman Weinberg, Setting the Standard for Online Percussion Course Instruction. You can read the article about the course by clicking on the link.

Norman Weinberg's Faculy Artist Recital was the first "LIVE WEBCAST" from the University of Arizona School of Music. This took place on September 21, 2009 from Crowder Hall. Since then, The Percussion Studio continues to present live webcasts of many events: ensemble performances, student recitals, and guest artists. This year, we'll be presenting nearly every percussion-related event live on the web. Check out the "LIVE WEBCAST" menu on the left for up-to-date information.

CrossTalk was part of a collaborative project called "SPEED" that was awarded $30,000 from the College of Arts and Sciences. The collaboration includes over 10 faculty and 50 students and combines forces of CrossTalk with the Stage Technology Program, the School of Electrical Computing and Engineering, and the School of Dance. Performances of SPEED took place at the Marroney Theature on May 8, 2010. It was a fantastic experience for all involved.

CrossTalk won first place in an international video competition sponsored Alternate Mode. For this honor, the group won a brand new TrapKAT electronic percussion controller. The group performed Licorice and Cigarettes by UA faculty member, Jay Rees. Norman Weinberg, co-director of CrossTalk, also took home an "Honorable Mention" for the video of his original composition, Beijing. Check out both of the videos here!


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