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Ensemble Biography and soon to be graduates at bottom of page...
Meet our Studio:
Rachel Steiner, Senior
Rachel Steiner is currently a fourth year student at the University of Tennessee at Martin where she is majoring in Instrumental Music Education with an emphasis in percussion. She also takes piano lessons with the Department Chair, Dr. Elaine Harriss. Her previous instructors include: Julie Davila, Andy Smith, Amy Smith, Meagan Hills, Phil Morgan, Andrew Lynge, Matt Jordan, Sean Womack, and Tim Hale. Rachel is a graduate of Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, TN. She has performed in the Tennessee All-State Band and All-State Orchestra as well as the Mid-State Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band during her high school career. She has also been a part of the UTM Honor Percussion Ensemble and the Tennessee Valley Winds. She served as one of Ravenwood High School Band's front ensemble instructors in 2010. She teaches Union City High School's Front Ensemble this 2013 marching season. She marched in the Phantom Regiment Front Ensemble in the summer of 2011 and 2013. In the spring of 2013, she played percussion in the Jackson Symphony for their February Pops Gershwin Concert Series. Rachel participated in the All-Collegiate Band for TNMEA 2013 where she played percussion and piano. She also received the Jim Burdette Memorial Award in April. Rachel studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill. After graduation, she plans to teach and gain experience before going on to graduate school for a Masters of Education degree. degree.
Josh Spaulding, Senior
Johnson City, Tennessee
Josh Spaulding is a senior Music Education major at the University of Tennessee Martin. At UTM, he is a member of the UTM Percussion Ensemble, World Percussion Ensemble, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and the Skyhawk Marching Band. In addition, he is a current member of the Jamaica Me Happy Steel Band Group as well as the head sound engineer and media librarian for the UTM Percussion Studio. He placed 5th in the 2009 PASIC high school marimba competition, and competed in the 2012 PASIC collegiate marimba competition with high results. In addition, Josh is the Collegiate Division winner of the 2012 Tennessee PAS soloist competition. Josh had the honor of participating in the 2011 and the 2012 Nief Norf Summer Festival at Furman University, and performing in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil with the UTM Percussion Studio in 2011. Mr. Spaulding has had numerous opportunities where he has worked with world-class percussionists such as Mark Ford, She-e Wu, James Campbell, Thomas Burritt, Paul Rennick, John Tafoya, and Nebojsa Zivkovic among others. Josh is an alumnus of the 2008 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts where he was instructed by Mr. Andy Smith. Josh’s other former teachers include Mr. Dan McGuire, Mr. Jason Carpenter, and Dr. Andy Bliss. Josh is a member of the Syncro Percussion Duo, and the Music Director for the Aesthetic Percussion Group. Josh currently studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill, composition with Dr. Scott Roberts, and conducting with Dr. John Oelrich. He currently teaches percussion at Huntingdon High School in Huntingdon, TN, and he serves as a percussion consultant for the Westview High School Marching Band in Martin, TN, and the Central High School Band in Wise, VA. Josh is an active member of PAS, NAfME, SCI, and Phi Kappa Phi. Check out Josh's website at www.joshspauldingmusic.weebly.com
Rick Drewry, Senior
Rick Drewry is a Senior Music Education Major at the University at Martin and President of the Student Body within The University of Tennessee at Martin's Student Government Association. Rick has spent 10 years studying the art of percussion with wonderful educators, Andy Smith, Keith Dudek, Tim Hale, and currently studying under the fabulous, wonderful Dr. Julie Hill. Rick has spent two summers performing with Drum Corps International's organization The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of the front ensemble and will be performing with the group at the 2013 PASIC Marching Ensemble Clinic. At The University of Tennessee at Martin, Rick has performed every semester with the Wind Ensemble, and 3 semesters with the steel band ensemble, "Jamaica Me Happy." Along with his performing, Rick also has industry experience, working at Innovative Percussion as a marching snare stick pairer and mallet manufacturer.
Rick is also very active on campus serving his third year in the Student Government Association. Two years as Senator of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and one as President. During that time, Rick has served as the University of Tennessee at Martin's Chairman on Multicultural Affairs. He is passionate in advocating multiculturalism to the University. Rick loves coffee and being around the best people he knows in the world.
Will Kwasigroh, Senior
Will Kwasigroh is in his fourth year at UT Martin. He is a Music Education with an emphasis in percussion. He was section leader of the Dyer County High School percussion section his junior and senior years. He was a member of the Dyersburg Community Orchestra throughout his high school career. Will earned a position in the All West TN Honor Band his senior year of high school. Will traveled with the UTM Percussion Studio in the summer of 2011 to Brazil where he took lessons in Brazilian Percussion, performed a concert with the Universidade Federal da Bahia Percussion Ensemble, and also took lesson in the national fighting/dance style known as capoeira. Will also traveled to New Zealand with the UT Martin Alumni Choir in the summer of 2013, and performed in churches on the South Island. He is currently staff member at South Gibson County High School, where he teaches drumline during marching season and private lessons all year long. His main goal is to become a known percussionist/drummer in the Nashville area. He studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Michael Kidd, Senior
Michael is a 4th Music Education major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He graduated from Bolton High School. During his time at UTM he has participated in the UTM Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and University Singers. Michael has had lessons with Rober Kessling, Stan Head, and Michael Karz, Michael has had the opportunity to attend PASIC and attend masterclasses from artists such as: Maracu2, Ji Hye Jung, Nebojsa Zivkovic, N. Scott Robinson, and Anders Astrand, Julie Davila, and Keith Aleo. Michael also serves as the Percussion Tech. for Dyer County High School. Michael currently takes lessons from Julie Hill.
Jennifer Hotz, Junior
Jennifer is a junior Music Education major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She graduated from Naperville Central High School where she participated in: "Drumshow", The Naperville District 203 Steelband, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and Pit Orchestra. Currently she participates in the UTM Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and University Singers. Jennifer has attended conventions such as PASIC and NAFDA and masterclasses from artists such as: Ji Hye Jung, Nebojsa Zivkovic, B. Michael Williams, N. Scott Robinson, and Anders Astrand. Jennifer currently serves on the PAS University Committee and is a member of the Rebana Duo with UTM alumni Katie McClain Rhoads. Her teachers include: Ben Wahlund, Dr. Julie Hill, Dr. Greg Beyer, Maggie Bergren, Yuko Asada and Clarice Castilho.
Noah Friedman, Junior
Bedford County, Tennessee
Noah Friedman is a Junior member of the UT Martin’s Percussion Studio. He graduated from Community High School from Bedford County. His previous lesson teachers include: Julie Davila, Lalo Davila, David Walker, Matt Jordan, and Mark Wilson. Noah is currently taking composition lessons from Dr. Scott Roberts. Noah has auditioned successfully into the UT Martin Wind Ensemble both years at UTM (having served as Principal in his first year). Noah is currently a member of the Syncron Percussion Duo with Josh Spaulding. He plans to continue his education and receive his masters degree in Music Education. Noah studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Katherine Felthauser, Junior
Katherine Felthauser is a third year student at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She is an instrumental music education major. Katherine graduated from Northwest High School in Clarksville, TN. She has had the honor to perform with Music City Mystique and Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of the front ensemble. This is Katherine's third year studying percussion with Dr. Julie Hill. Katherine is the TA for the Skyhawk Marching Band front ensemble for the 2013 season. She has recently been accepted to the Music Education Professional Program of the university.
Michael Fountain, Sophomore
Michael Fountain is a second year Music Education major. He is a graduate of New Madrid County Central he studied music wtih his band directors Ryan Blocker and Butch Owens. Michael has traveled extensively in Europe with performances spnning six countries. Upon graduating from UT Martin, Michael plans to perform and teach all over the world and explore additional experience as a recording/studio artist. Michael studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Justin Lee, Sophomore
Justin Lee is in his second year at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He graduated from Middle College at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. He also attended Northwest High School in Clarksville, TN. While there had the opportunity to be a part of Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, and continues to march with Music City Mystique and Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps as the front ensemble section leader. He served as a technician, arranger, caption head, and sound engineer for indoor and outdoor percussion ensembles. Outside of the marching activity, he has taught private lessons, attended PASIC, composed and arranged numerous pieces for a variety of percussion instruments, and worked in commissioning new works for percussion. He is currently studying with Dr. Hill and plans to expand his horizons as a percussionist, composer, musician, and educator.
Jerry Emmons, Sophomore
Jerry Emmons is a second year Music Performance major at UT Martin. Jerry attended high school at McNairy Central High School where his instructor was UTM Percussion Studio Alumnus, Daniel Vargason. Jerry has attended the UT Martin Honor Band and Honor Percussion Ensemble, the All-West TN Honor Band, and the All-State TN Honor Band
multiple times throughout high school. He has performed with Gateway Indoor Percussion (a WGI world class group), has competed in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Modern Snare Drum Competition, and is a member of the Jamaica Me Happy Steel Band. Jerry is also a battery percussion tech and McNairy Central HS and Union City HS. When he's not drumming, Jerry enjoys the visual arts and golf (both by club and disc). Jerry studies percussion with Dr.Hill.
Della Coleman, First Year
Della Coleman is currently a sophomore at UT Martin studying Music Education with an emphasis on percussion. Della graduated from Northwest High School, located in Clarksville, Tennessee. She was involved in marching band and concert band under the direction of Mr.Kelly and Mr.Jackson. During the summer of her high school sophomore year she was accepted into Governor’s School for the Arts 2010, where she was under the instruction of Andy Smith. Della participated in the Northwest High School Indoor Scholastic Open Class Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Jamie Millis in 2010. She studied percussion with Carlos Johnson during her high school career. Della has attended master classes/ worked with Eric Willie, Andy Harnsberger, The Caixa Trio, B. Michael Williams, Ji Hye Jung and Chris Romanowski. She participated in the 2013 marching season of MCM, a World Class WGI indoor line. Della is currently studying percussion with Dr.Julie Hill.
Brandon Blankenstein, First Year
Brandon Blankenstein is currently a first year student in the UT Martin Percussion studio and is pursuing a degree in Music Education. Brandon graduated from Science Hill High School, located in Johnson City, Tennessee and was under the direction of Mr. Dan McGuire and Dr. Carson Vermillion. In high school, Brandon represented Science Hill in the ETSBOA junior and senior clinics from 2010 to 2013, and in 2013, earned 2nd chair in the TMEA All-State Band. He was accepted into the Governor's School for the Arts in 2011 and was under the instruction of Andy Smith. Brandon performed with the Symphony on the Mountains Youth Orchestra from 2010 to 2013. In 2012, he competed in and won first place in the inaugural TN PAS high solo competition. He has also competed at PASIC with Science Hill and as a soloist. In 2013, he had the honor of touring with Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. Upon graduating, Brandon plans to pursue a career as a music educator and performer. Brandon studies percussiong with Dr.Julie Hill.
CJ Barrow, First Year
White House, Tennessee
CJ Barrow is a first year Music Education major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Before graduating from White House Heritage High School, he was involved in many different ensembles including three years in the All-Middle Tennessee Bands and Orchestras, Western Kentucky University Honor Bands, Austin Peay State University Honor Bands, All-Robertson-County Honor Bands, two years with the UT Martin Honor Percussion Ensemble, and one year with the Curb Youth Symphony in Nashville. He has also had experienceperforming in winter drumline and playing percussion ala orchestra pit. Other interests include composing and arranging for various ensembles, scoring films, and learning other forms of technology in music. After previously studying with Michael Holland at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt, he now studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill and plans to strengthen his abilities as an educator, composer, and musician.
Paul Zacarias, First Year
Paul Zacarias is currently a first year student at UT Martin studying Music Education with an emphasis on percussion. Paul graduated from La Vergne High School, located in La Vergne, Tennessee. He was involved in marching band, percussion ensemble, and concert band under the direction of Mr. Edward Freytag and Chris Crumley as well as an advanced choral ensemble and an all male vocal group under Mr. Gilbert Aldridge. He participated in the MTSU Wind Band Conference under the direction of Johan De Meij. He participated in the Austin Peay Marimba Choir under the direction of David Steinquest in 2011 and 2012. He studied percussion with Edward Freytag during his high school career. Paul studyies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Trice Mayhall, First Year
Trice is a first year Music Education major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He graduated from Obion County Central High School. He participated in the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Percussion Ensemble. He was a member of the All-West Honor Band all four years of high school, and the UTM Honor band his Junior and Senior Year. He also had the privilege to perform with the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps in the front ensemble. He is now the Front Ensemble teacher of Obion County Central High School. He is a member of the UTM Drumline, Concert Band, and Percussion Ensemble. Trice studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Michael Godwin, First Year
Michael Godwin is a first year Music Education major at UT Martin. Michael attended high school at Dyer County High School where his band director was UTM Alumnus, Justin Brown. Michael has attended the UT Martin Honor Band and Honor Percussion Ensemble, and the All-West TN Honor Band multiple times throughout high school. When he's not drumming, Michael enjoys video games and raquettball . Michael now studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Andie Fisher, First Year
Andie Fisher is a first year Music Education major at UT Martin. Andie graduated from Franklin High School, where she was a member of the marching band, wind ensemble, and percussion ensemble under the direction of Mr. David Aydelott and Michael Holland. In high school, she also participated in the Cool Springs Youth Orchestra and Williamson County Honor Band. Andie studies percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Additional Non Majors in the Percussion Ensemble:
Landon Nipp, Sophomore
Union City, TN
Landon Nipp is a second year student at the University of Tennessee at Martin pursuing a major in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. He graduated from Union City High School in May of 2009. In high school, Landon was in both the symphonic band and the marching for four years. He was a member of All-West 2004 and All-West 2007, making Red Band and Senior High Red Band, respectively. Landon also participated in the University of Tennessee at Martin Honor Band from 2004 through 2009. Landon's high school band director was John Easley. Landon is a member of the UTM Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Julie Hill.
Lee Rice, First Year
Lee Rice is a first year student at UT Martin this semester. He is currently undecided in his college career choice, but hopes to join the Percussion Studio nest semester. Lee graduated from Davidson Academy, which is located in Nashville Tennessee. While in high school, Lee had the opportunity to participate in the marching band, concert band, and jazz band under the direction of Elizabeth Evans. Lee also has been a part of the Middle Tennessee State Honor Bands the past four years. When Lee isn’t playing drums, he likes to spend his time outside playing sports such as soccer.
Lee is a member of the UTM Skyhawk Marching Percussion section and the UTM Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Julie Hill.
Sam Webb, First Year
SOON TO GRADUATE....
Keegan Paluso, Senior - Student Teaching
Keegan Paluso is currently in his fifth year at UT Martin. He is studying music education with a percussion emphasis with Dr.Julie Hill. In his time at UT Martin he has studied from such artists and clinicians as: Paul Rennick, Tim Maynard, Mike Macintosh, Drew Guy, John Tafoya, Tom Burrit, Kevin Bobo, Maraca2 Percussion duo, Andy Harnsburger, Andrew Bliss, Mike Gould, John Parks, James Ross, Jim Riley, and Anders Astrand. He has also done instructional work at the following schools: Munford High School, Brentwood High School, McNairy Central High School, Ripley High School, Gibson County High School, Liberty Technical Magnet High School, and Goodpasture Christian School. As well as his various hiring for supplemental education, Keegan has performed on numerous instruments in various bands on the popular music scene. Some of the current titles of projects he is involved with are: Cobra Cats, Daniel Musgrave and the Do Rite Daddies, Badlands Radio, and Stella Ruth. Various recordings of these have been featured on radio stations 105.7 The Quake in Union City, TN and Froggy 104.1 in Jackson, TN. Upon graduation he plans to pursue a career as a performing musician and an educator.
James Fout, Senior
James Fout is majoring in Performance-Instrumental Pedagogy with an emphasis in percussion. He aspires to be a performing musician as well as a private instructor. James graduated from Germantown High School. During his senior year, he represented Germantown in the 2006 Tennessee All State Orchestra, where he placed first chair. James has previously attended the University of North Texas and the University of Memphis. He has had many excellent teachers including Robert Kessling, Mike Karcz, Dr. Frank Schaffer, Stan Head, and Brandon Kelly. He has performed in the UNT Percussion Ensemble directed by Christopher Deane. He has also performed in concert with Ney Rosauro, as a member of the UofM Percussion Ensemble, and with Dr. Andy Harnsberger, alongside two other UT-Martin percussionists. James has attended masterclasses instructed by Anders Astrand, Keiko Abe, She-e Wu, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Douglass Howard, Garwood Whaley, Jose’ Aponte, Ney Rosauro, Thomas Burritt, and others. He has taught at Peabody High School in Trenton, Tn for two summers. He is currently studying percussion with Dr. Julie Hill.
Kerry Durso, Senior - Student Teaching
Kerry Durso is a senior music education major at UT Martin. After participating in the Father Ryan High School Drum Line in Nashville, TN, for four years and competing at the local and national levels at BOA and WGI, she decided to continue her percussion study at UTM. Having decided to major in music education, Kerry has studied with Dr. Julie Hill and has taught summer camps at McNairy Central High School, Father Ryan High School, and Union City High School. In 2011 she played marimba for Gateway Indoor Percussion in WGI and Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps in DCI. She is Vice President Membership of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity and proud to be a member of the UTM Percussion Studio family.
Patricio Alvarado - Honorary Member
Pato is an off site member of the studio, but an integral part of the team. Pato freelances in Tampico where he studies at Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas where he studies with Professor Evaristo Aguilar.
The University of Tennessee at Martin Percussion Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Julie Hill. The ensemble is diverse in scope, specializing in contemporary and world percussion music of all types.
The University of Tennessee at Martin percussion ensemble has performed internationally at the PercuSonidos International Percussion Festival in Tampico, Mexico, the Universidad Federal (UFBA) in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and regionally on numerous occasions at the Tennessee Music Educators Conference.
In addition, the ensemble provides West and Middle Tennessee communities with a number of educational clinic and concert opportunities including the Roots of Rhythm Presentations. The mission of the UTM Percussion ensemble is to promote diversity and tolerance of cultural differences through music.
The UT Martin Percussion Society is very active in promoting new works for percussion and have been involved in a number of commissions and consortiums with composers such as Cayenna Ponchione, Ivan Trevino, John Psathas, Halim El-Dahb, James Campbell, Gary Gibson, Mark Zanter, and more.
The UTM Percussion Ensemble has collaborated with world renown artists such as Nebojsa Zivkovic, Ji Hye Jung, Third Coast Percussion, Ivan Trevino, B. Michael Williams, N. Scott RobinsonThomas Burritt, Bret Kuhn, Keith Aleo, Zoro, Anders Astrand, Michael Gould, James Campbell, Miles Osland, Steve Houghton, Paul Renick, Ney Rosauro, the Caixa Trio, James Ross, Brian Mason, John Parks, Michael McIntosh, Glen Caruba, and Matt Savage.
The UTM Percussion ensemble was founded in the fall of 1969 and experienced 36 years of growth and excellence under the direction of Professor Nancy Mathesen. Dr. Julie Hill came to UTM in the fall of 2005 after Prof. Mathesen's retirement. Dr. Hill strives to teach contemporary and world percussion styles through the diverse literature performed by the percussion ensemble.
UTM graduates have secured successful teaching careers in public schools and at colleges such as the University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Louisville, and San Jose State University. Recent graduates have pursued their Master Of Music degrees in Percussion Performance, Music Education, Musicology, and Music Therapy and have received Graduate Teaching Assistantships to universities such as the University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin (Madison), Appalachia State University, and Central Arkansas University. Our graduates are music professors, professional performers, composers, percussion specialists, band directors, road managers, sound technicians, principals, general music teachers, research assistants, and entrepreneurs. Another graduate is serving his second term as Mayor of Trenton, TN.