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Providing a rewarding and fulfilling musical experience while preparing students to be serious competitors in an industry that requires excellence and diversity.
The percussion area in the ASU School of Music provides students with a comprehensive foundation to develop the disciplines and skills essential to becoming a professional musician or teacher. ASU’s reputation, faculty and facilities provide aspiring musicians with a unique opportunity to develop as a performer and to provide the tools necessary to launch a professional career. Undergraduate programs in performance, jazz studies, music education, music theory, composition and music therapy are offered, as well as masters and doctoral degrees in performance and education. The BM and MM programs in education and music performance attract accomplished musicians interested in intensive training for careers in music. In addition to traditional studies in music theory and history, you study with renowned faculty through private lessons, participate in percussion ensembles, chamber groups and large ensembles, and prepare for solo recital performances. The DMA in performance is designed for successful performing artists who wish to develop an area of specialization through music research in preparation for university teaching and scholarly publication. Within each of these programs there is latitude for you to specialize and still obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the percussion area.
An experienced teaching staff offers a wide range of instructional opportunities. Dr. J. B. Smith is the director of percussion studies. His specialties include concert percussion, keyboard percussion and recital coaching. Dom Moio teaches drumset, concert snare drum and Latin percussion. Simone Mancuso specializes in contemporary repertoire and recital coaching. Shaun Tilburg, principal percussionist with the Phoenix Symphony, offers instruction on orchestral repertoire.
Percussion students have the opportunity to play in the ASU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, the Sun Devil Marching Band and the Lyric Opera Theatre Orchestra. There are also numerous small ensembles including the Contemporary Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Jazz Ensemble, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Mexican Marimba Ensemble, Pan Devils Steel Band, African Drum Ensemble, Gamelan, Concert Jazz Band and many jazz combos. For advanced players there are numerous playing opportunities off-campus including theatrical productions, local and touring artists and community orchestras.