Fred Fox School of Music


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 and YouTube pages.

Dr. Morris Palter gave a solo peformance at PASIC 2016, and a presentation at TEDxTucson 2017 which involved members of the UA percussion studio. He was a part of four faculty concert colaborations including a full scale production of Stravinsky's "Les Noces" for choir, seven percussionists, four pianists, and dance. 2017/18 has Morris performing in Atlanta, San Diego, Juneau, AK, and Texas.

Congratulations to TREVOR BARROERO, sophomore, who was the recent winner of two concerto competitions. Trevor won the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and the University of Arizona Preseident's Concerto Competition. Trevor was the soloist with both orchestras during the 2014 concert season. His winning concerto was the Concerto for Marimba by Emmanuel Sejourne.

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 teaching positions (and one rock and roll recording and touring drummer) in the past ten years. The Fred Fox School of Music percussion studio continues its tradition of being one of the strongest in the country.

2017 – Andrew Morales – Adjunct instructor of percussion at Northwest Missouri State University
2017 – Rick Puzzo – Assistant Professor of Percussion at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska
2017 – Alex Meredith – New full time faculty at one of Tucson's preeminent schools, Catalina Foothills High School.
2017 – Sean Rees – Center Snare, Pride of Arizona Drum Line, member of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps
2017 – Eric Sorenson – Battery Captain for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps.
2017 – Alex Weir – University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, director of percussion studies
2016 – Matthew Timman – Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra percussion section and newly endorsed Dream Cymbal artist.
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-present – JEFF FRIEDL– Drummer for ASHES dIVIDE, Devo, Puscifer, Filter, and Perfect Circle

The Percussion Studio will soon be starting its sixth year of DISTANT DRUMMING. This year's masterclass presenters will be announced very soon. 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.

During the last three years, Distant Drumming masterclass artists have included, Chris Hanning, P:edro 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 and Aaron Spears.

Previous Distant Drumming guests have included Jim Atwood, Steven Schick, John Parks IV, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Kevin Bobo, Alan Abel, Anthony Cirone, Peter Erskine, Michael Schutz, Beverly Johnston, and Bob Becker from Canada; Morris Lang, Keith Aleo, Douglas Walter, and Tim Adams from the USA; and Pedro Salvador Velasco, Jose Alicia, and Fernando Rocha from South America.

During the summer of 2013, UA Percussion Studio members attended a number of outstanding workshops and festivals. Below is a list of their accomplishments:

TREVOR BARROERO, Aspen Music Festival
DANNY BARSETTI-NERLAND, Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar
CHRIS BILLINGS, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Modern Snare Drum Competition
JEFF HEWITT, National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy
MICHAEL MCATAMNEY, Northwestern Summer Percussion Symposium
RICK PUZZO, Nancy Zeltsman Marimba Festival
LIZ SOFLIN, Stuart Saunders Smith Intensive Workshop
DR. NORMAN WEINBERG, Faculty at The Electronic Percussion Workshop at the University of Delaware

The 2012-2013 Academic year brought the following guest artists to the UA campus. These artists presented concerts, master classes, and private lessons to our students.

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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