Percussion

Degrees Offered:

Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science (B.A./B.M./B.S.)

Click here for Undergraduate degree options (Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science)
 

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

Please click here for Percussion audition procedures for 2020-21 application cycle.

Master of Music (M.M.)

Admissions

Please see the Graduate Admissions page for detailed information on application requirements and the audition process.

  • Recording: Percussion candidates are required to submit a comprehensive video recording for audition  purposes 1 week before the scheduled interview date. The document below contains detailed instructions.

** MM Application Video Instructions **

Degree Requirements

  • See M.M. Percussion degree worksheet for details. This is the document your advisor will use to keep track of your degree progress.
  • For detailed information on exams, recitals, etc., please visit the Graduate Student Resources page. Be sure to check out the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

Admissions

Please see the Graduate Admissions page for detailed information on application requirements and the audition process.

  • Recording: Percussion candidates are required to submit a comprehensive video recording for audition  purposes 1 week before the scheduled interview date. The document below contains detailed instructions.

** DMA Application Video Instructions **

Degree Requirements

  • See D.M.A. Percussion degree worksheet for details. This is the document your advisor will use to keep track of your degree progress.
  • For detailed information on exams, recitals, etc., please visit the Graduate Student Resources page. Be sure to check out the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.
Doctoral Minor

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The University of Wisconsin-Madison percussion program is broad-based, including studies in Western solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire, jazz performance on drum set and vibraphone, as well as study of selected non-Western percussive styles. The program supports the Western and world percussion ensembles as well as numerous other ad hoc chamber experiences. Courses in percussion repertoire and percussion pedagogy are offered in a regular basis for the graduate and upperclass undergraduate students.

The percussion studio, founded on a highly selective admission policy, is generally comprised of 10-12 undergraduate and 3-4 graduate students. All students study with faculty and have many opportunities to work with numerous guest percussion artists brought to campus each year.  Percussion lesson curricula are individually designed for each student, creating a personalized education that emphasizes broad skills while allowing each student the creative room to pursue areas of personal interest.

Great care is given to maintaining a balanced and selective studio affording each student extensive and diverse performance opportunities.  All of the undergraduate and masters students perform in one of the large ensembles (orchestras and/or bands) and also have opportunities to perform in the jazz program, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and other curricular and non-curricular chamber ensembles.

Percussion Ensembles
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has multiple active percussion chamber ensembles that rehearse and perform regularly. The Chamber (formerly Western) Percussion Ensemble is a chamber group dedicated to the performance of significant and interesting works for the percussion ensemble. Repertoire from diverse trends in 20th and 21st century chamber composition is explored with an emphasis on new compositions for percussion. Guest artists regularly perform with the ensemble and guest composers are often featured. The World Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of significant percussive styles from around the globe. Percussion traditions from various cultures, including Cuba, Brazil, India and the Middle East are explored through performance and cultural research and most of the music studied by the ensemble is done so in the oral tradition. The ensemble works diligently to present the music performed in its traditional folkloric settings.  In 2010 the ensemble won the Percussive Arts Society International World Percussion Ensemble Competition, resulting in a feature performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.

Click here for a list of student percussion repertoire.

Percussion Facilities
The percussion department has eight dedicated practice rooms housing a large and diverse collection of high quality percussion instruments. The percussion studio is extensively equipped and large enough for chamber music rehearsals. In addition, we have a large secondary studio that serves as storage space for university and student equipment and as a place for percussion students to congregate and relax. Each of the rehearsal halls is equipped with standard band and orchestral percussion instruments.

Guest Artists
The percussion studio regularly hosts various short-term guest artists who offer a variety of concert/recital appearances, masterclasses, workshops and private lessons. Recent short term guest artists have included:

Chamber Groups/Composers: DuoJalal, SÓ Percussion,Quey Duo, Nexus Percussion, Third Coast Percussion, Iktus Percussion, Pendulum Percussion, Dave Hollinden, Serra Hwang, Michael Daugherty.

Soloists/Orchestral/Drum Set: Evelyn Glennie, Bob Becker, Chris Froh, Payton MacDonald, Roger Braun, Steve Schick, Bob Becker, Paul Wertico, Jeff Stitely, Carl Allen, Dane Richeson, Marko Machenko, Bob Breithaupt, John Jutsum, Julie Spencer, Linda Maxey, Takiyoshi Yoshioka, David Hall, Ted Piltzecker, Tony Miceli, Joseph Gramley, Jonathan Farralli, Tom Stubbs, Michael Udow, Vadim Karpinos.

Global Percussion: Yousif Sheronick, Michael Spiro, Mark Lamson Jorge Alabe, Scott Kettner, Nininho, Dende, Abdulhamid Alwan, Ensemble Duniya, Jack Forbes.

Occasionally, in cooperation with other campus programs, the percussion department hosts long term residencies by master percussionists from the United States and abroad. Juan de Marcos Gonzáles (Havana, Cuba & New York City), Roberto Vizcaino Guillot (Cuba) and John Santos (San Francisco) have held long term residencies teaching the world percussion ensemble as well as various lessons and coachings in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean musical styles.

History of the UW-Madison Percussion program 1967-2017