The University of Tennessee at Martin Percussion Studio started in 1967 under the direction of Professor Nancy Matheson who directed the studio until 2005 when Dr. Julie Hill, alumnus of the UTM Percussion Studio, took over as Director of Percussion. In 2017, Dr. Hill accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Brady Spitz is currently the Director of Percussion at UT Martin.
The UTM Percussion Ensemble has performed internationally at the Universidade Federal (UFBA) in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, the Universidade Federal (UFPE) and ConservatÃ³rio Pernambucano de MÃºsica in Recife, Brazil, and the PercuSonidos International Percussion Festival in Tampico, Mexico. The group has also performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention as winners of the 2016 World Percussion Competition and regionally, with annual performances at the Discovery Park of America and frequent appearances at the Tennessee Music Educators Conference and Tennessee Day of Percussion.
Dedicated to community engagement, the UTM Percussion Studio provides regular educational clinics and concert opportunities to our community, including the "Roots of Rhythm" presentations, reaching over 6,000 students and community members annually.
The UTM Percussion Studio collaborates with world renowned artists each year. Past guests include Michael Burritt, So Percussion, The Percussion Collective, Robert Van Sice, Liam Teague, X4 Percussion, Caixa Trio, B. Michael Williams, N. Scott Robinson, Scott Kettner, Brian Rice, Anders Astrand, James Campbell, Michael Gould, Miles Osland, Steve Houghton, and many more.
The UT Martin Percussion Ensemble is active in promoting new works for percussion, including involvement in a number of commissions and consortiums with composers such as Adam Silverman, Steven Snowden, Cayenna Ponchione, Ivan Trevino, John Psathas, Halim El-Dahb, Gary Gibson, and Mark Zanter among others.
The ensemble is currently under the direction of Dr. Brady Spitz.