photo by misaki matsui



Makoto Nakura is a musician whose artistry and astonishing virtuosity have been mesmerizing audiences for decades.  He creates innovative programs of new music as well as traditional classical repertoire, revealing the versatility and expressive range of the marimba while enlightening and entertaining the listener.  His recent premieres include Toshio Mashima’s concerto for marimba and wind symphony at famed Philharmonie Hall in Berlin.  The 2013-2014 season will see Mr. Nakura’s French recital debut in Paris and the Canadian debut with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.

In 1994, Makoto moved from his native Japan to New York City, becoming the first marimbist to win First Prize in the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  His critically acclaimed performances around the world have included venues in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.  In the U.S., he has performed for audiences in 41 of the 50 states with orchestras such as the New York Chamber Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  As a recital soloist, his long list of appearances includes Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y and Washington’s Kennedy Center.  In addition, Mr. Nakura has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared in the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Spoleto USA Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Jeffrey Kahane's Green Music Festival and River to River Festival.

His recent honors include a National Arts Festival New Artist Award from the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs and the BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund Marimba Commission.  His CDs “Ritual Protocol”, “Triple Jump” and “Tsuneya Tanabe Marimba Works” are devoted to works written especially for him. He also recorded “Bach Beat”, which consists of five Bach transcriptions made by Mr. Nakura.  His newest CD “Music of Wood and Forest” was released by AMR in November, 2012 to critical acclaim.                                                            



Mark Sherman
Juilliard/New Jersey City University

"Winner in Downbeat Magazine's Critics Poll 2007,2008, and 2009"
Mark Sherman has performed globally for the last eight years as a leader, with six tours to Europe and throughout Russia, China, Korea, The Philippines, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Sherman brings a deeply rooted post bop approach to a program of originals and standards that convincingly carry on the art form with a potent level of invigorating musicianship. His music is relentlessly energetic, hard charging, and brimming with incredible improvisations from his refined skills, and deep commitment to the art form itself. Mark has conducted master classes in over 15 different countries with the sponsorship of Yamaha Corporation, and Salyers Percussion. He is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and New Jersey City University. Recently selected as a Jazz Ambassador for the United States State Department, and Jazz At Lincoln Center, he toured Russia, and Asia for over 30 Master classes and performances. In addition Sherman is on over 150 CD recordings as a sideman, and has recorded 10 as a leader.



Mika Stoltzman

Mika Stoltzman, called “High-wire jazz marimbist... an amazing, energetic performer ready for major exposure.” (LA Times) was born in Amakusa Island, Kumamoto, Japan, and now resides in New York City and Boston. Since studying at the University of Toronto, Mika has devoted herself to marimba performance and musical studies under the strong influence of the NEXUS. She is also studying Jazz privately with jazz vibe master, Mike Mainieri, in New York, while Steve Gadd has been her producer.

Mika released her first album, Mitsue, in 1998, followed up by her second release, Marimba Phase, in 2003 under Monroe Street. In 2010 Mika also released a live DVD, Marimba Madness, which features Gadd, Gomez and Peter John Stoltzman on piano. Her latest album, Mikarimba (Video Art Music, Japan 2010) was produced by drummer Steve Gadd and features bassist Eddie Gomez.
Her arrangement and performance of “Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint” appears on Steve Reich’s CD Triple Quartet (Nonesuch).
Mika has also appeared on Richard Stoltzman’s CD Goldberg Variation (BMG Japan) and Jo Hisaishi’s Asian X.T.C. (Universal Japan)

Mika has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel + Weill Halls, Tokyo (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), PASIC (2005, 2007), in addition to touring in cities around the world.She premiered John Wyre’s Moonlight for Marimba and Orchestra with the Kyushu Symphony, and Bill Douglas’s Marimba concerto with the Kumamoto Symphony Orchestra. She was also guest soloist in the Kracow Philharmonic in Poland, and Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in Hungary.

In August 2013,Mika;s guest performance of Chick Corea's Piano Concerto No.1 on Marimba (World Premiere) with Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Mexico conducted by Langranco Marchlletti on Sep 1st was a great success.

In August, 2011, Mika celebrated sold-out recitals at Blue Note Jazz clubs throughout Japan with her group, MIKARIMBA, featuring Mika on marimba, the legendary Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, and the formidable Stefan Karlsson (piano).

In 2012, Mika celebrated a sold-out recital at Carnegie Weill Hall in NYC. Mika performed 8 world premiere pieces with Richard Stoltzman, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez and Mike Mainieri (vibraphone). In September, Mika performed at the World Heritage Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, Japan with Richard Stoltzman and Duke Gadd (drums). She then joined with Eddie Gomez and the four completed a successful Japan tour.


John Kizilarmut

John Kizilarmut holds a Master's Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas and a Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University . He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists and ensembles, including Matthew Wilson, Ryan Kisor, Branford Marsalis, Shirley Jones, DJ Starscream, the Mac Frampton Orchestra, and the Des Moines Symphony. He is a frequent guest performer and clinician at percussion and jazz festivals throughout the midwest, including the Iowa and Nebraska Days of Percussion; Tallcorn, Cherokee, and Iowa City Jazz Festivals, and most recently performed with TOCA artist Jamal Mohamed and Marimba One artist Matthew Coley at the 2013 PASIC convention in Indianapolis, IN. John is also an active composer and arranger, and his works have been featured by many award winning music programs including the 2012 State Jazz champion Waukee High School Jazz Ensemble, Lake Central High School Band, several DCI Drum Corps, and the University of Texas percussion ensemble. He currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife Nicole and son Evan.



Benjamin T. Finley

Benjamin Finley is currently the Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Percussion at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Originally from Searcy, Arkansas, Benjamin earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, and Brannen Temple. Prior to his appointment at East Central University, he served on the faculty of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. In addition, Benjamin was the director of the marching percussion program at the University of Texas from 2003 to 2005, coordinating and teaching the drum line of the Longhorn Band.

Dr. Finley served as percussion caption head of the Delta Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps in 2000, and competed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention Snare Drum Individuals from 1999 to 2001. As an adjudicator/clinician/arranger, Benjamin has worked with numerous schools in the Austin, San Antonio, and Houston areas, as well as Texas State University, and has given clinics in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Idaho, and Missouri. Benjamin also holds a Masters of Music from the University of Central Arkansas, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University. His additional teachers include Blake Tyson, Phil Parker and Gilbert Baker. As a concert artist, Benjamin is active in the creation and performance of new music for marimba and percussion, and in the presentation of solo concerts throughout the Midwest. In addition to giving concerts and clinics, Dr. Finley has also worked with several consortiums in the commissioning of new works by composers such as Robert Morris, Halim El-Dabh, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Wuorinen.

As a composer, Finley has published several works for marimba, percussion, and percussion ensemble – many of which are available through Tap Space Publications ( Some of Benjamin’s performance videos can be viewed at


Kirk Gay
Percussionist, Educator, Arranger, Composer

Mr. Gay is currently the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies and an Instructor of Music at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.  He teaches student lessons for the percussion studio and directs “Black Steel” the UCF steel drum ensemble. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician and an endorser and clinician for Sabian Cymbals and Grover Pro Percussion. As a composer and arranger he has works published by Tapspace Publications, Alfred Publications and Pan Press Publications. Mr. Gay’s timpani etude book “Pedal to the Kettle”, released by Tapspace Publications, is used in many states for All-State auditions as well on the state solo lists.

Mr. Gay obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from Northern Illinois University.  He later went on to study with Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received his Master’s Degree in Timpani Performance.

An active clinician, Mr. Gay has presented many clinics and master classes at universities and high schools in the U.S and abroad. He has performed clinics at the Florida and Alaska PAS Day of Percussion and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Mr. Gay has also published numerous articles for Percussive Notes magazine, the Texas Bandmasters Association, School Band and Orchestra Magazine.

He performs regularly with the Walt Disney World Orchestra and the Orlando Philharmonic and currently is the Principal Percussionist with The Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Timpanist with the Bach Festival Orchestra of Winter Park, FL.

Mr. Gay marched in Star of Indiana Drum & Bugle Corps from 1986 – 1989 where he was 1989 DCI Timpani Individuals Champion and two time DCM Timpani Individuals Champion. He has taught and written for many drum and bugle corps including The Crossmen, Phantom Regiment, Magic of Orlando, Empire Statesmen and The Yokohama Inspires from Japan. Mr. Gay was head arranger and percussion coordinator with the Phantom Regiment in 1996 when they won the DCI Championship.


Dillon Ingle
Percussionist, Educator, Arranger, Composer

A native of North Carolina and a graduate of Western Carolina University, Dillon has spent the last 5 years as a Band Director and Percussion Director in the Rio Grande Valley and has been the Percussion Caption Head with Genesis since it was founded in 2009.

After a very successful year at San Benito H.S. Dillon decided to return to Western Carolina to pursue his Masters in Music Education and to spend more time developing the Genesis Percussion Program.

Dillon is a sought after writer and is quickly making a name for himself in the world of Marching Percussion. After completing his post graduate work at Western, Dillon will be again be returning to Texas to teach music and percussion



Kai Stensgaard
Marimba Artist, Composer

Kai Stensgaard, marimba artist and composer from Denmark. Kai is one of the pioneers in six mallet playing. He has composed several works for six mallets. Amoung those a concerto for marimba and Orchestra called “Concierto Mexicano”. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by marimba players all over the world. He has given concerts and clinics in Europe, USA, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Mexico.
He is the author of the method for six mallet playing called “The Six mallet Grip” and has published 7 CDs and a DVD displaying his compositions and personal marimba style.

In 2011 he invented a new mallet instrument called the Aluphone. This new instrument can be used as a solo iinstrument in the same way as the marimba and the vibraphone. Composers have already started writing music for the Aluphone and Kai has started playing solo recitals using the Aluphone.



Scott Jamison
Percussionist, Instructor

Scott Jamison started learning how to drum from Scott Laborde and Ben Burnett in sixth grade band at Oak Grove Middle School in Hattiesburg, MS. From the Fall of 1999 through the Spring of 2003, he marched in the Oak Grove High School drumline that was instructed by Jim Moore, Kevin Welborn, and Brian Farris. During his last year of high school, he auditioned for a local indoor group called "emiNence." It was there that he learned a lot of good stuff from Tony Lymon, Ryan Saul, and Matt Little.

Scott majored in Music Education at The University of Southern Mississippi from the Fall of 2003 through the Spring of 2007. There, he had the pleasure of learning from "Dr. Throwdown" himself, Dr. John Wooton. He also learned a lot from Patrick Anderson, Casey Kirk, Jeff Grant, Jeff Mills, Harrell Bosarge, and many other faculty staff and fellow students.

While at Southern Miss, Scott was an active participant in the Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Orchestra, and The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band. He was a co-captain of the drumline in 2005 and was the drum captain in 2006, while serving as the 2006 Presser Foundation Scholarship recipient. During his time at Southern Miss, he was also a drumline instructor for his Alma Mater, The All-Superior Oak Grove High School Marching Band.

In the summer of 2006, Scott had the distinct pleasure of performing with the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. During this time, he received direct instruction from Matt Ramey, Brian Stevens, Glen Crosby, Murray Gusseck, Eric Kraft, Walter Turner III, and Ralph Hardimon. It was this experience that really formed the skills that he had learned throughout the years into a hollistic philosophy that made sense.

Scott joined the military in 2007, finished a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music in 2010 from The University of Southern Mississippi (while in the military), and now plays the snare drum professionally in a group that operates out of the Washington D.C. area. In this group, he's performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack H. Obama, several foreign diplomats and military leaders from around the world, and thousands of people across the country (and in Canada). He was brought onboard as a Clinician/Instructor for "Summer Drummin' at Southern Miss" in 2012 and 2013; has given multiple clinics and rudimental presentations to elementary school, middle school, high school, and college percussion programs around the country; and has also performed as a Clinician at the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, as well as for the United States Association of Rudimental Drummers' 2010, 2012, and 2013 Conventions.

With the help of Danny Wells and David Vernon, Scott started RudimentalChopShop LLC, which is an organization dedicated to educating drummers of varying genres and ability levels. RudimentalChopShop debuted it's first YouTube video in February of 2014, and is available to take your suggestions for future videos and/or your requests to hire the group or its individual members for live clinics. Contact the group at

Scott loves rudimental drumming and the traditions that it represents, and he looks forward to continuing to share some more of the little bit of knowledge that he's gained thus far!



RudimentalChopShop is an organization dedicated to educating drummers of varying genres and ability levels. RudimentalChopShop debuted it's first YouTube video in February of 2014, and is available to take your suggestions for future videos and/or your requests to hire the group or its individual members for live clinics. Contact the group at

Where the Members Met:
David Vernon and Scott Jamison first met at an emiNence indoor drumline audition camp in the Winter of 2002. David earned a spot on the line that year, and Scott still views that audition process as a terrific learning opportunity. Danny Wells and Scott first met in 2003 at The University of Southern Mississippi's "Summer Drummin' at Southern Miss" marching percussion camp for high schoolers. David first met Danny at The University of Southern Mississippi's Band Camp in 2004.

Where the Members Marched after High School:
David marched in the drumline at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the Fall of 2001 and 2002. David and Scott marched next to each other in the drumline at The University of Southern Mississippi (or "Southern Miss") from the Fall of 2003 through the Fall of 2005. In 2004, David aged out with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps while Danny marched with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. After that summer, Danny David and Scott marched next to each other during the Fall of 2004 at Southern Miss (while David was the drum captain). It was during this time that they developed a strong competitive friendship. In 2005, Danny moved back to Houston, TX and ended up marching with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps that summer. In the Fall of 2005, David and Scott led the line at Southern Miss as co-captains. It was during this time that Danny talked Scott into marching his age out year with him in the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006. After that summer, Scott returned to the drumline at Southern Miss and led the line as drum captain. The following summer, Danny aged out with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007.

What Types of Educational Experience they have:
Scott majored in Music Education from the Fall of 2003 through the Spring of 2007 at The University of Southern Mississippi. During his time at Southern Miss, he was a drumline instructor for the All-Superior Oak Grove High School Marching Band. He joined the military in the Summer of 2007 in order to perform professionally on rudimental snare drum. He finished a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Spring of 2010 from The University of Southern Mississippi while still serving in the military. While in that military ensemble, Scott performed for presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama, several diplomats and military leaders from around the world, and thousands of people across the country (and in Canada). He was a Clinician/Instructor for "Summer Drummin' at Southern Miss" in 2012 and 2013. He has given multiple clinics and rudimental presentations to elementary school, middle school, high school, and college percussion programs around the country; and has also performed as a Clinician at the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, as well as for the United States Association of Rudimental Drummers' 2010, 2012, and 2013 Conventions.

David went to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College from the Fall of 2001 through the Spring of 2003, and The University of Southern Mississippi from the Fall of 2003 through the Spring of 2006, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. He was an Assistant Band Director at Clinton High School from the Fall of 2006 through the Spring of 2009. In the Fall of 2009, he decided to go back to school. He was a Master's student at The University of Kansas through the Spring of 2012. The only thing currently standing between him and a Master's Degree in Performance are a few tests, which he put off in order to join the military in the Fall of 2012. He did this to perform professionally on rudimental snare drum for spectators around the country.

Danny majored in Music Education at The University of Southern Mississippi from the Fall of 2004 through the Spring of 2005. It was during this time that he decided to move back to Houston, Texas in order to attend fire academy. Right after fire academy graduation, he attained an EMT certification and worked as an EMT for the next 6 years. From the Fall of 2005 through the Fall of 2008, he was a drumline technician for Stephen F. Austin High School; and from the Winter of 2006 through the Spring of 2007, he was a drumline technician for Cypress Falls High School Indoor Drumline. In the Spring of 2013, he decided to join the military in order to perform professionally on a rudimental snare drum for spectators around the country.



Michael C. Thursby
Director of Athletic Bands, Percussion
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Michael C. Thursby is the Director of Athletic Bands and Percussion at the Minnesota State University, Mankato where he teaches courses in percussion, music education/theory, assists with the MSU Instrumental ensembles, and is Director of the Maverick Athletic Bands.

From 2010-2013, Thursby taught in Northern Minnesota, where he directed the marching programs, conducted concert ensembles, led the percussion program, and taught a variety of other music courses. Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he spent much of his time teaching in Iowa and Wisconsin. In the realm of marching arts, Professor Thursby has worked as a percussion instructor, arranger, and clinician throughout the Midwest, working with the "Shadow Armada" marching band from Oregon, Wisconsin and directing the percussion sections for the University of Iowa "Hawkeye Marching Band," and the UNI "Panther Marching Band." He also spent time marching in Drum Corps International with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and the Emerald Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.  He currently serves as a percussion arranger and music consultant for the Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps out of St. Peter, MN.

Thursby has served as an adjudicator for the Minnesota Percussion Association and in several other circuits throughout the Midwest. He endorses and performs with Mapex and Majestic Percussion equipment, Salyers Percussion, Evans drumheads, and Zildjian cymbals.

Thursby's formal training included undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa where he earned his BM in Percussion Performance and Music Education. In 2010, he earned the Master of Music degree from University of Northern Iowa. His primary conducting teachers were Dr. Myron Welch, Dr. Ronald Johnson, and Dr. Rebecca Burkhardt. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Minnesota Band Directors Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the Percussive Arts Society.



Jordan Garza
Percussion Director
ront ensemble coordinator and Percussion Ensemble Coordinator for Teatro Indoor Percussion

From San Antonio Texas, Jordan Garza is currently the Percussion Director at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, TX.  Jordan has recently joined the Genesis DBC team as the front ensemble coordinator and Percussion Ensemble Coordinator for Teatro Indoor Percussion.  Genesis is going into its fifth season and Teatro is going into its second season as the TCGC Open Class Champion.

Jordan is a graduate of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas where he received his degree in Music Education (Instrumental Emphasis) specializing in Percussion and Texas All-Level teaching certification.  Jordan’s instructors during his formal percussion studies include: Kari Klier, Genaro Gonzales, Robert Lopez, Craig Turner and Allen Joanis.  During his time at Texas State University Jordan was the section leader of the Bobcat Drum line that took second place at PASIC in 2008.  Jordan was also the Principal Percussionist of the Texas State University Wind Ensemble for consecutive semesters.  Jordan has been a consistent soloist with the University Percussion ensemble and was the 2nd place winner of the Texas State Concerto Competition in 2007 and 2008. 

Prior to Austin HS Jordan has taught at Lehman HS and Alamo Heights HS. While at Lehman his groups won their division and outstanding front ensemble at the South Texas Classic. Jordan also worked as the percussion specialist for Cedar Park HS in Leander Independent School District from 2009-2011 with Paul Pape and Roland Chavez.   Their ensembles from Cedar Park won several championships including LoneStar Percussion Festival 2009: Overall 1st Place, Best Front Ensemble, Best Snare; Westlake Marching Festival: Best Percussion, 1st Place; USSBA Championships: Best Percussion, 1st Place; Plano Drumline Competition: 3rd Place, Best Tenor Line, Best Cymbal Line.  Mr. Garza has worked doing clinics/camps for number of other schools and universities including Texas State University, Seguin High School, MacArthur High School, Lehman High School, Brazosport High School, Pflugerville High School, Dripping Springs High School and Akins High School. 

Jordan graduated from Judson High School in Converse TX where he was a member of the 2005 5A All-State Band. He has been playing percussion for 16 years and still continues his playing as a successful music educator, performer, arranger, and clinician.  His professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Percussive Arts Society.



Matthew Lorick
Composer, audio engineer and percussionist

Originally from Blythewood, SC, Matthew Lorick is a rising composer, audio engineer and percussionist. His compositions are published by Percussion Music Europe and Dutch Music Partners.   He has studied with Dr. Tom Nevill, Mr. David Lopez, Mr. Dacey Bell, Mr. Jason Frith, and Mr. Jaye Ingram.

Lorick previously held positions as the Director of Percussion at The University of Texas at Brownsville Music Academy, Hartsville HS, McBee HS, Indian Land High School in Fort Mill, SC, and Richland Northeast High School in West Columbia, SC. He was the assistant percussion instructor at Rio Hondo HS in Rio Hondo, TX, who were the 2008 3A Silver Medalists at the UIL State Marching contest. While serving at Indian Land he also was the Battery and Front Ensemble Arranger, where his works lead the section to various "Best Percussion" captions. He currently is an associate percussion instructor at Mercedes HS in Mercedes, TX, where he assists Mr. Dale LeMarr with private lessons, percussion ensemble, and marching band percussion. He is a certified music educator in the state of Texas.

Matthew endorses Salyers Percussion, Mapex/Majestic, Remo,  and Hercules Stands.



Caleb Pickering
Percussionist, Instructor

Caleb Pickering is currently a graduate student at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas where he assists in instructing the percussion ensemble, marimba band, and teaching History of Rock. He is currently a student of Dr. Dean Gronemeier and Dr. Timothy Jones. Previously, he received his B.S. in Music Education from Texas A&M University - Commerce, where he was a percussion student of Dr. Brian Zator.  As a percussionist and educator, Caleb teaches and performs in the Las Vegas area, and previously in the DFW and North East Texas areas.

Caleb has been a member of Vegas Vanguard Entertainment Drumline performing at the Hakkassan night club at MGM,  Lone Star Wind Orchestra Percussion Ensemble, the TAMU-C 2010 PASIC “Call for Tapes” Percussion Ensemble Concert, and a performer at the 2014 Australia National Drum & Percussion Camp.  From drumming to electronic music in dance clubs, to performing as a classical soloist, Caleb works frequently in both the classical and popular music scenes.  As a composer, his music has been performed by several high school ensembles, and by members of the UNLV Percussion Ensemble.



Lee Krueger
Percussionist, Instructor, Percussion Consultant, Arranger, and Clinician

Lee Krueger is the Director of Percussion for the Rochester Catholic Schools and Marching Band Director at Rochester Lourdes High School in Rochester, MN. His duties include teaching lessons to 5th - 12th grade percussionists as well as directing all Elementary, Junior High, and High School concert and marching percussion ensembles. During his tenure with Rochester Lourdes High School, Lee has developed an award winning marching band, winter drumline and concert percussion ensemble.  The drumline has competed at the WGI World Championships multiple years and was the Minnesota Percussion Association (MPA) Champion in its class in 2011. The concert ensemble has received a superior rating at all competitions.  Lee is also a percussion consultant, arranger, and clinician for multiple schools in Southeast Minnesota and the Twin Cities. In the summer and fall you may find him on a parade route or football field judging bands with Tri-State Judges Association.

Lee was the Percussion Caption Head for the Govenaires Drum & Bugle Corps from 2009-2012 after previously being a percussion consultant with them for many years. During his time as Caption Head the Govies proudly took home two DCA World Championships in 2009 & 2011. He is a freelance percussionist and has performed with several professional groups in the Rochester area.  Lee has been on the Board of Directors for MPA for over a decade.  Lee was proud to be honored with the title of MPA Instructor of the Year and was also a finalist for the first annual Rochester Arts Awards in the "Arts in Education" category.

Lee endorses: Mapex Drums, Majestic Percussion, Saylers Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Evans Drumheads.



Blake Taylor
Orchestral Musician, Solo Recitalist, Chamber Musician, Clinician, and Teacher

Percussionist, Blake Taylor, is a native of Groves, TX. Blake received his Bachelors of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Houston, and his Masters of Music degree in Orchestral Percussion Performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts in Roosevelt University. He has studied with Dr. Blake Wilkins at the University of Houston, Vadim Karpinos of the Chicago Symphony, Ed Harrison of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Matt Strauss of the Houston Symphony, and Brian Del Signore of the Houston Symphony.

He maintains an active and varied career as an orchestral musician, solo recitalist, chamber musician, clinician, and teacher, with performing and teaching experience throughout Illinois, Texas, and Arkansas. He has performed with many groups including the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Classical Symphony Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago New Music Composers Symposium, the Divisi Strings Orchestra, and the Session 7 new music ensemble.

He currently holds the Principal Percussion position with the Arkansas Symphony and the Third Section Percussion position with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also the percussion instructor at the Lonestar College North Harris campus and the Lonestar College Montgomery campus. He has recorded with the UH percussion ensemble on two nationally released albums: Surge and Not Here but There. Blake is proud to be a Grover Pro Percussion and Salyers Percussion endorsed artist.



Brannon Baker
Percussion Caption Head for the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps, Percussionist, Instructor, and Teacher

Brannon Baker is the Percussion Caption Head for the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps from Austin, Texas. He is also the Director of Bands for Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, Texas. At Lee he oversees all aspects of the program including the marching band, concert ensembles, percussion studio, and indoor programs. The marching band has been a consistent UIL Sweepstakes recipient and the indoor percussion and color guard programs have been state finalists in the TCGC/TECA circuits. Lee Indoor Percussion was the TECA State Champion for 2013 and the Lee Winter Guard was TECA State Champion in 2014.

Mr. Baker graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Mr. Baker studied conducting under Dr. Robert Carnochan and Glen Richter. He was also a member of the percussion studio, studying with Tom Burritt, Ben Finley, and Thad Anderson. While at UT, Mr. Bakerperformed with the percussion studio, steel pan ensemble, and Symphony Band. During his five-year tenure at Texas he also performed with the Longhorn Band, serving as section leader/composer for the UT Drumline during his senior year.

For five years Mr. Baker was actively involved with Drum Corps International. From 2001-2003, he marched with Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps based in San Antonio and from 2004-2005 he was a member of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from Allentown, Pennsylvania. During his age-out year as a marching member, The Cadets won the Fred Sanford High Percussion Trophy and the World Championship.

Prior to his position as Head Director, Mr. Baker served as an Assistant Band Director at Lee HS for 4.5 years. His profession affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.



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