Former Scott Pemberton drummer, Nick Werth, offers up an inspiring display of creativity with his solo project, GALAXE. While simultaneously juggling the producer/MC roles, live beats and positive mantras unite to form a unique blend of conscious Hip Hop and Electronica. To make matters more interesting, Nick delivers the GALAXE sound via Xylosynth: a futuristic beat machine with limitless possibilities.
The first full-length GALAXE album, “ILL BEVANS,” was released in October of 2013. With the help of Portland-based engineer/producer Paul Laxer, Nick recorded drums, vibes, bass synth, piano, turntable, and vocals, creating a truly organic Hip Hop record. A year later, GALAXE celebrates it’s inaugural anniversary with a performance at the Joshua Tree Music Festival.
Currently, Nick is collaborating with a number of artists, including SPANKALICIOUS (ThazDope Records) and percussionist extraordinaire, Nate Werth (Grammy-winning Snarky Puppy).
Matt Filosa is a freelance percussionist, composer, and arranger currently residing in Euless, Texas. Co-owner of the marching arts design company Synced Up Designs, Matt writes, designs, and teaches groups all over the country. From 2011 to 2014, Matt was the drumline instructor for the Marching Chiefs at The Florida State University. Matt earned a Masters degree in percussion performance from the University of North Texas and Bachelors degree in percussion performance from the University of Florida.
Matt Jordan has been the front ensemble arranger for McM since 2014. Matt marched 6 years in the organization, from 2000-2005, and has served on the instructional staff in various capacities since he aged out. Outside of McM, he teaches percussion at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and works in artist relations and product development for Pearl/Adams Instruments. Matt is also currently the Music Coordinator and Electronics Designer for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally, Matt is finishing his DMA from Florida State University. For more information on Matt, visit his website, www.mattjordanpercussion.com.
Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy Award-winning Chicago-based percussion quartet. For fifteen years, the ensemble has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (Washington Post) of their recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy tour schedule, with past performances in 34 of the 50 states plus international tour dates in Colombia, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, and Poland.
You can read Third Coast Percussion’s full bio here.
Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, the music of American composer Viet Cuong has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as Sō Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Quartet, Albany Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Minnesota Orchestra, among many others. Viet’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his upcoming projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band and a Sousa-inspired work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Viet also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His recent works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto, and, most recently, a double oboe concerto. Currently the 2020 Early Career Musician-in-Residence at the Dumbarton Oaks, he was recently appointed the California Symphony’s 2020-2023 Young American Composer-in-Residence. Viet holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music (AD), Princeton University (MFA), and Peabody Conservatory (BM/MM).
Jim Casella is a composer and music publisher. He is best known for the music he’s created for percussion ensembles and the world-class drum corps Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA) and Cavaliers (Rosemont, IL). The company he co-founded, Tapspace, is one of the leading publishers of percussion music in the world. You might also be familiar with the software sample library he created called Virtual Drumline.
Jim’s signature series of drumsticks and keyboard mallets are manufactured by Innovative Percussion and are popular worldwide. He serves on the board of advisors for the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), the world’s largest percussion organization.
Chad Heiny, born April 26, 1980 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is a multifaceted freelance musician and educator residing in the Greater Pittsburgh Area (PA). An avid, versatile, and regularly commissioned composer, Chad has created music for an eclectic collection of ensembles and performers across the globe. His works, including a World Premiere at the 2018 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), are published by both Tapspace Publications and C. Alan Publications. He also holds positions as Music Editor with Tapspace Publications, Program Coordinator for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, and is an adjudicator for Winter Guard International.
Chad has been a passionate contributor to the pageantry arts since 1999, and prior to his current role at the Blue Knights, he arranged, coordinated, or consulted for several DCI World Championship Finalists including The Cadets, Spirit of Atlanta, Boston Crusaders, and Glassmen. An acclaimed percussion arranger, wind arranger, and program coordinator for high school and collegiate marching bands across the country, Chad’s work throughout the fall has won the hearts and minds of students, staffs, fans, and adjudicators. Accolades here include a 3rd Place Finish (and the award for High Music) with the Hebron High School Marching Band at the 2019 Bands of America Grand National Championships, several BOA Regional Champions, and many BOA Regional Finalists. He can also be seen walking across Heinz Field on game days as Creative Consultant for the Pittsburgh Steeline.
Chad earned a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Louisiana State University and Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Music Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of both the Percussive Arts Society and ASCAP, and is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion, Majestic Percussion, and Remo Drumheads.
Taylor Ambrosio Wood started her music career when she was 9 years old playing the Zimbabwean marimba and mbira (a traditional Shona thumb piano). She continued to pursue her passion for music by studying percussion and composition at The Boston Conservatory of Music. Taylor then completed her M.M. in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games at The Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain, at age 22, and recorded her thesis at AIR Studios in London.
Taylor has worked as an arranger and orchestrator for various film and video game projects, including A R Rahman Live, and composed tracks for the cult smash-hit game, Yandere Simulator. Most recently, she produced The Last of Us Remixed, as well as composed soundtracks for The Window Box and Balthazar’s Dream. You can also find her music featured in The Believer magazine’s collection of progressive and avant-garde music from indie video games, 2010-2018.
Rob Ferguson is currently the Percussion Arranger and Percussion Caption Coordinator for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois. In addition to his role with Phantom Regiment, Rob is also the Director of Matrix Performing Arts from Akron, Ohio which includes two WGI indoor percussion ensembles; Matrix World and Matrix Open. Rob also serves as the Music Designer for Matrix Open and as the Design Coordinator and Music Designer for Matrix World and has since its inception in 1999. Rob is also currently the Percussion Designer for the DCA Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps. Rob served as the Percussion Coordinator and Percussion Arranger for the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Toledo, Ohio, from 2008-2012, the Percussion Arranger for the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle corps from 2012-2015, and the Percussion Designer for Fusion Core in 2019. Rob previously served as a percussion representative for the Mideast Performance Association and currently serves as the Percussion Education Director for the Ohio Indoor Performance Association, as well as as a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board.
Rob holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Music in Music Performance from Kent State University where he studied with Michael Burritt and Ted Rounds. He previously served as adjunct percussion faculty and assistant marching band director at Youngstown State University, and currently is the Design Coordinator Norton High School bands in Northeast Ohio, John Hersey High School from Illinois, Moon Area High School in Pennsylvania, and is the Percussion Arranger for Edinburg North HS in Texas. Rob is an active clinician and adjudicator for both the indoor and outdoor marching activities. He has presented clinics on marching percussion, keyboard percussion, arranging, and amplification in the marching activity throughout the U.S. and in Europe including the 2007 PAS convention, the 2008 Indoor Percussion Europe Championships, and as a part of the 2016 Chiayi City International Band Festival in Chiayi City, Taiwan. Ferguson has also performed as a marimba clinician and guest artist with numerous high schools and college percussion ensembles.
In addition to teaching, Rob works professionally as a composer/ arranger for both marching and concert percussion ensembles as well as a designer, program coordinator, and consultant for outdoor and indoor marching ensembles throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is the owner of Ferguson Design Solutions, a company providing custom arrangements, original compositions for both marching ensemble and concert percussion, consulting, and design resources for marching bands, drum corps, and indoor percussion ensembles in all major arenas of the pageantry arts. Rob is also a sales representative for Field & Floor FX. Currently residing in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Rob is an endorser and clinician for Mapex & Majestic Percussion, Innovative Percussion, the Avedis Zildjian Co., Planet Waves, Pageantry Innovations, Presonus, and Remo Inc.
Dave Hall is an Assistant Professor of Percussion and Jazz Studies and coordinator of the percussion program at the University of Nebraska. Under his direction, the University of Nebraska Percussion Ensemble was selected to perform a showcase concert at PASIC in 2016 as winners of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition. Before his appointment in Lincoln he was a percussion instructor at Texas Christian University (TCU) and also taught lessons, ensembles, and courses at the University of North Texas as a teaching fellow. He regularly performs as a solo marimbist, drummer, orchestral percussionist, and steel pan artist as a result of his diverse skills as a percussionist and omnivorous musical approach. He has played snare drum for the Phantom Regiment and Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the TCU PASIC Champion Indoor Drumline, and the Dallas Mavericks Drumline. At North Texas, he performed with nearly every major ensemble including as a vibraphonist with the acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band. In addition to regular engagements in the United States, he has also performed abroad in Spain, Puerto Rico, Belgium, France, Italy, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Dave is an active composter, published by C. Alan Publications. His works for percussion have been commissioned, performed, and recorded around the world. His music has been called “the aural equivalent of a Dali painting” (New York Concert Review). His compositions have been performed at many notable venues including the Midwest Clinic, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and the Piteå Percussion Repertoire Festival in Sweden. He’s also been active as an arranger for university and high school percussion programs around the country as well as for the Army All-American Marching Band. He’s regularly involved nationally and internationally as an adjudicator and clinician for concert and marching percussion.
Dr. Hall has earned degrees in percussion performance from the University of North Texas (D.M.A.), TCU (M.M.), and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.M.). Dave is an endorsing artist for Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams concert percussion, Remo drumheads, and is a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network.
In 2009, Tom assumed the role of percussion arranger/ composer for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, after serving as the front ensemble arranger since 2002. Prior to his involvement with the Bluecoats, he was a marching and percussion staff member with the Cadets.
Tom is a member of the United States Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC; where he serves as the percussion section leader. He’s held this position since receiving a Bachelor of Arts in percussion performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
Tom serves as a composer, arranger, clinician, consultant, and adjudicator for various marching band, drum corps and pageantry organizations around the world. He is proud to be a signature artist for Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets and also endorses Evans Drumheads and Zildjian cymbals.
Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe and Boston’s Best 2018 “Creative Catalyst” by The Improper Bostonian, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, public artist, educator, and arts entrepreneur. Maria has created large-scale multimedia events in public spaces from Cincinnati to Northern Sweden, with several locations in Boston, including Fenway Park, Charlestown Navy Yard, Edison Power Plant, and Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.
Empowered by and curious about the sonic world, Maria finds music, narrative, and collaboration in unexpected places. She’s created entire works from found, non-traditional sounds, and transformed iconic structures into percussive playgrounds. She’s been commissioned by the National Parks Service, BLINK Cincinnati, TEDx Cambridge, New Gallery Concert Series, i = u festival, the Illuminus Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Outside the Box Festival. In 2018, she released her debut album “A Line that Terminates at the Present,” which according to I Care if Your Listen “skillfully weaves together her talent as an improviser with her technical prowess as a percussionist into a lively narrative.”
An experienced entrepreneur, Maria has founded and directed numerous ventures, including Kadence Arts, Make Music Boston, Quartet Kalos, Masary Studios, and Ensemble Evolution. Dedicated to shaping the next generation of creators and arts administrators, she is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and Lecturer at Northeastern University’s Music Industry Leadership program and from 2012 – 2015 she served as the program manager of the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at New England Conservatory. Prior to rooting in New England, Maria spent three years in Northern Sweden at the Piteå Institution for Music and Media as an artist in residence.
Maria received a Bachelor of Music degree from The Ohio State University and a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music, where she was granted a Performer’s Certificate in recognition of her artistic achievements and Arts Leadership Certificate. Maria is Yamaha Performing Artist, and additionally endorses Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, and Remo.
Jay Bocook is internationally recognized as a composer, arranger, conductor, and educator. His works have been performed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2003, Bocook was a contributing arranger to the musical CyberJam, which opened to rave reviews at London’s Queen’s Theatre. Currently he is working as the arranger for Blast! The Music of Disney, which will open in Tokyo, Japan in the summer of 2017.
In 2003, the U.S. Marine Band premiered Jay’s transcriptions of the film music of John Williams at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An encore performance with Williams and “The President’s Own” took place in 2008. Jay’s transcription of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from “On the Waterfront” can be heard on the 2015 Marine Band CD Elements.
In 1982, Bocook was appointed director of bands at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1989, he left to pursue other opportunities as an arranger for Jenson Publications, but returned to Furman in 2000 as Director of Athletic Bands. He remains a principal composer and arranger for Hal Leonard, where he has published over 600 arrangements and original compositions.
Bocook served as arranger for the ten-time world champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from 1993-2016, and currently serves in the same capacity for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps of Denver, CO. In 2009, he was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he was elected into the American Bandmasters Association.
Brian Nozny (b. 1977) leads a diversified career as a percussionist, composer, and educator spanning a wide array of musical styles, including classical, jazz, world, and popular genres. As a percussionist, he has performed in an orchestral capacity with many orchestras throughout the country and currently serves as Principal Timpanist with Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Destin, FL), and Section Percussionist with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (Pensacola, FL). His excursions into chamber music have included collaborations with groups such as the Bravura Percussion Trio, the Copper Street Brass Quintet, the nief-norf project, the Brickhouse Jazz Combo, and currently as a member of JP3 (The John Psathas Percussion Project) and the BRN Duo with his wife, flutist Rachel Nozny.
As a composer, his original works and arrangements are regularly performed throughout the world. Notable ensembles and performers that have premiered Nozny’s compositions include Keith Aleo, the Caixa Trio, the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and NEXUS. Brian’s most recent commission, an original work for vibraphone soloist and percussion quartet, Bullet Hell, was commissioned by a consortium of twenty-five percussionists throughout the U.S. The consortium was organized by Tyler Tolles, who premiered the work in April of 2018 at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Brian’s compositions have been published by Bachovich Music Publications, Henmar Press, Innovative Percussion, Row-Loff Productions, and Tap Space Publications, and have been recorded on the Garnet House, Rattle Records, and Resonator Records labels.
Currently an Assistant Professor of Music at McNeese State University where he is the Director of Percussion Studies, Nozny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech, Master’s degrees in Composition and Performance from the University of Miami and the University of North Texas respectively, and his Doctoral degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Kentucky. His primary percussion teachers include James Campbell, John Willmarth, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Ed Smith, Ed Soph, and Ney Rosauro; his compositional training has benefited from study with Jon Nelson, Don Wilson, and Jon Polifrone.
Brian is proud to be endorsed by Evans Drumheads, Innovative Percussion, Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments, and SABIAN Cymbals.
Composer Gemma Peacocke grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, and she moved to New York in 2014. She writes a broad range of music including art-pop chamber music, electroacoustic pieces, and orchestral works. She has a particular love of interdisciplinary work and often collaborates with artists, writers, and theatre directors and designers.
Gemma’s first album, Waves & Lines, sets poems by Afghan women collected and translated by Pulitzer Prize-winner Eliza Griswold in her book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from contemporary Afghanistan. Waves & Lines was released on New Amsterdam in 2019 and has been performed as an evening-length multimedia song cycle at the Kennedy Center, Roulette Intermedium and National Sawdust in New York, and Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre.
Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Collective, ~Nois saxophone quartet, the Furies, cellist Nick Photinos, and Alarm Will Sound. In January-February 2020, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra premiered All on Fire, a piece commissioned by the orchestra in honour of the 200th anniversary of the birth of suffragist Susan B Anthony.
Gemma is a founding member of the Kinds of Kings composer collective. Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” the collective focuses on amplifying and advocating for under-heard voices and producing immersive and transporting concerts. The collective is an Artist-in-Residence with New York’s National Sawdust for the 2019-2020 season and has been commissioned by Eighth Blackbird and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to write a concerto to be premiered in 2021.
Gemma is a joint Ph.D. candidate in Music and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University. She usually lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, with her husband George and their highly-strung adopted standard poodle, Mila. She also spends as much time as possible in New Zealand.
From genre-crossing projects with jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman, to an innovative e-book scoring collaboration with Salman Rushdie, from an unforgettable recording session with the Grand Mufti in Paris’s Grand Mosque, to a Billboard classical-chart-topping album with System of a Down front-man Serj Tankian, John’s musical journey weaves through myriad genres, and has moved concert audiences in more than 50 countries on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica).
Early career collaborations included working with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Kristjan Jarvi, the Takacs Quartet, Lara St. John, the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Edo de Wart, Joanna MacGregor, Pedro Carneiro, the Halle Orchestra, The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Emilia Romagna “Arturo Toscanini”, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and many more. Then followed a period of intense creative exploration in the worlds of electronica and jazz, and a series of mega-projects (such as scoring much of the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games). All of which has led to an explosion of first-hand collaborations with artists from dozens of musical traditions spanning Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Australasia.
John is now developing projects that integrate the many strands of this creative journey. Much of his recent work has social and historical commentary at its core. The film White Lies (original film score) depicts a headon clash of beliefs and the nature of identity in early NZ European settler society. Between Zero and One is inspired by ancient and modern rhythms, and brings musicians from around the world into the concert space via interactive projection, transforming and challenging the traditional experience of fixed-location, temporallycontained performance. 100 Years (in collaboration with Serj Tankian) is an unflinching exploration and remembrance of the Armenian Genocide begun in 1915. Most recently, the epic and experimental No Man’s Land project overtly challenges the accepted handling of WWI commemoration. No Man’s Land involved filming and integrating 150 musicians from more than 25 different countries, including Oum El Ghait (Morocco), Meeta Pandit (India), Bijan Chemirani (Iran/France), Marta Sebestyen (Hungary), Vagelis Karipis (Greece), Refugees of Rap (Syria), and Derya Turkan and Saddredin Ozcimi (Turkey).
The works of this Greek New Zealand composer now emerge from a dazzling 21st-century backdrop, where dynamic collaboration with creative masters from all corners of the physical and artistic globe result in outcomes that are visionary, moving, and inspired. John’s music has achieved a level of international success unprecedented in New Zealand history, and he is also now considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora.
Omar Carmenates is currently the Associate Professor of Percussion at Furman University in Greenville, SC where he oversees all aspects of the percussion program including classical, jazz, and world percussion studies. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida. Omar is also a versatile musician and his debut solo recording, entitled The Gaia Theory, was released through Rattle Records in 2013. He can also be heard on the Cantaloupe Records release of John Luther Adams’ concert-length Inuksuit for 9-99 outdoor percussionists, a work that he both co-commissioned and directed in its United States premiere. He is also the director, producer, and arranger of “The John Psathas Percussion Project”, a collaboration aimed at recording and performing percussion ensemble arrangements of the works of New Zealand’s most prominent composer, John Psathas. The recordings and scores from this project are published through PARMA Records and Promethean Publications.
Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.