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NIU Percussion News and Events

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December 2011


The percussion area of the Northern Illinois University School of Music dominated the programming at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, held November 9-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. PASIC 2011, always the largest percussion convention in the world, was attended by more than 5100 percussionists from around the globe.

PASIC 2011 celebrated the 50th Anniversary of PAS, and the competition for presenting clinics and performances was at an all-time high. Of the 98 public sessions held at PASIC 2011, 13 featured NIU faculty or alumni! Given how many well-known music schools there are world-wide, this is quite an accomplishment.

Wednesday, November 9: A mentoring session was presented by NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean and percussion faculty member Rich Holly as well as a performance by alumnus Allen Otte.

Thursday, November 10: Sessions were presented by alums Jim Campbell and his University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble in concert; Allen Otte (two sessions on this day); a performance by Andy Bliss, Erin Walker Bliss and Kerry O'Brien; and NIU drumline instructor Bret Kuhn.

Friday, November 11: Rich Holly presented a professional development session, and alums Jim Yakas and Bill Elliott presented clinics. On Saturday, November 12, NIU percussion professor Greg Beyer performed, alum Kirk Gay gave a clinic, and NIU steel pan professor Liam Teague was the featured soloist with the 50th Anniversary Mass Steel Band in concert.

We are so proud of the amazing work our alumni are doing, and it's a real honor to see how important we all are to the world of percussion. Yea, NIU!

August 2010


The NIU percussion areawill again bewell-represented at this year's Percussive Arts Society International Convention, November 10-13 in Indianapolis. NIU Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and percussion faculty member,Rich Holly,will make two presentations as part of Mentoring Day (Wednesday, November 10), one session related to earning tenure and the other a panel discussion related to administration, communication and organization.

Rich will also be a member of a panel on Friday, November 12,entitled "Getting a Teaching Gig: Going Beyond Being a Great Player." Among others, joining Rich in this panel will be NIUalum Jim Campbell, who is now the Professor of Percussion at the University of Kentucky.

Jim's UK Percussion Ensemble will also be performing on Thursday morning of the convention, aswill the "nief-norf" project which features three NIU alums, Andy Bliss, Erin Walker-Bliss,and Kerry O'Brien.

Former NIU percussion faculty member Orlando Cotto will present a marimba clinic on Friday, November 12. Also on Friday, the World Percussion panel discussion will be moderated by NIU Alumna Elizabeth Delamater, and among the panelists will be NIU percussion Professor Robert Chappell and NIU percussion alumna Maggie Bergren.