With the beginning of 2017, it’s a time to look back at the past year as well as forward to the new year and new opportunities. The fall was so busy with teaching and performances that I forgot to even post an update! My teaching load was completely full as I taught my online Rock History course at Phoenix College, taught percussion and jazz sectionals at Hinsdale Central High School, instructed the Front Ensemble at Oak Park River Forest High School, and maintained my large studio of private percussion students.
Another teaching opportunity came when I visited Cottonwood, Arizona to present my “Science of Percussion” residency for the fourth time in the last five years at Cottonwood Middle School, funded by the Henderson Foundation. It’s always special to hang out in that beautiful part of Arizona, and it was great to work with the students at CMS again.
After performances with Beyond This Point at the Humility Gallery in Chicago in August, we got picked up by the American Theatre Company to do the show there. We then took it on the road to perform at the University of Missouri in addition to teaching some lessons, coaching percussion ensemble, and presenting a clinic. I also performed on multiple occasions with BTP in subway stations as part of the “Transfer(to)” project, which was a lot of fun.
There were many other performance and presentation highlights throughout the fall, such as presenting my Bjork research paper at the College Music Society National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, premiering one of John Elmquist’s new works, and playing with the Wisconsin Philharmonic. The holiday season was also filled with many enjoyable gigs. I look forward to many more performance opportunities coming up this spring, in addition to starting to teach at Roosevelt University. I will be teaching the Percussion Methods class to music education students.