At MTSU, we have two percussion ensembles that perform music written specifically for percussion, usually coming from the 20th century onward. The percussion ensembles at MTSU have played the music of many notable composers in recent years, including Gordon Stout, Edgard Varèse, David Maslanka, and David Gillingham. In addition to these two ensembles, there are also smaller, student-led chamber groups that perform similar music written for 4-6 players. The percussion ensembles have performed and competed at the Tennessee Music Educators Association, The National Orff Convention, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (P.A.S.I.C.)
MTSU takes great pride in our steel drum bands, as they add a unique flavor to our arsenal of percussion sounds. They perform regularly both on and off campus as well as a formal concert each semester. Furthermore, they have had the honor of performing twice with the Nashville Symphony.
The MTSU Salsa Band is an ensemble dedicated to the study and performance of Afro-Cuban Salsa music. The percussion section generally includes congas, timbales, bongos, and a drum set. The group is open to students through audition. The members of the group study the style, form, and history or Afro-Cuban music, and are encouraged to write or arrange tunes in salsa style. Under the direction of Professor Lalo Davila, the group performs both on and off campus.
Band of Blue
The marching band at MTSU, the Band of Blue, is directed by Associate Director of Bands, Craig Cornish and presents original halftime shows at all home football games and selected out-of-town games. The percussion section is continually growing and contains an average of 50+ members. The percussion section is directed by Julie Davila and Dr. Brian Mueller.
We have three large ensembles at MTSU. The Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and the Symphonic Orchestra. Members are selected by audition each semester to be placed in the ensemble that best fits them. Each ensemble focuses on playing great classical literature while expanding the knowledge of each individual performer.
At MTSU, we have several jazz ensembles as well as jazz combos. These groups provide opportunities for percussionists to master jazz literature, improve improvisational skills, and the ability to develop jazz performance skillsets. The percussion section usually consists of a drum set, vibraphone, congas, and other accessories.
The Commercial Music Ensemble provides students with the experience of choosing songs, working with arrangements, rehearsing with the band, and bringing it all together as a cohesive performance. These ensembles are always looking for percussionists and they are a good way to expand your knowledge about Commercial Music!