I am a Professor of Music Cognition/Percussion at McMaster University (Canada), where I received the designation of University Scholar in recognition of my efforts to bridge music performance and music research.  I conduct the Percussion Ensemble, serve as the Director of the Canadian Percussion Network, teach and adjudicate, and perform as a freelance percussionist as much as my schedule allows.  

Prior to McMaster, I spent five years as Director of Percussion Studies at Longwood University, taught percussion at Virginia Commonwealth University, and performed frequently with the Roanoke Symphony, Opera on the James, Oratorio Society of Virginia, and the Lynchburg Symphony.  During that time I also co-commissioned, premiered, and recorded internationally renowned composer Judith Shatin’s trio Time To Burn, which now appears as the title track on an album from Innova Recordings.  

My solo performances include recitals at Kent State University, University of California, Colorado State University, University of Toronto, as well as with University of Virginia Percussion Ensemble, Ontario and Virginia/DC “Day of Percussion,” Project:Percussion Festival, and the Alvin Lucier Festival.  I began teaching at the Penn State Honors Music Institute in 2013.  I earned an MM in Percussion Performance from Northwestern University (studying with Michael Burritt), and a BMA in Percussion from Penn State University (studying with Dan Armstrong and Gifford Howarth).  I am proud to be an artist/clinician for Innovative Percussion and Sabian cymbals, whose products he is proud to endorse. Additional information on performances (performing and conducting) can be found on my popular channel on Youtube .

I have been fortunate to be invited to present at numerous PASICs. My appearances include solo performances (playing Ground Loops for percussion and Internet), chamber music (premiering Judith Shatin’s Time to Burn), and numerous research presentations – including a memorable 2019 session with Russell Hartenberger discussing what “really happens” when attempting phasing in Steve Reich’s landmark composition Drumming.  In 2013 and 2014, I was able to partner with the Scholarly Research committee to conduct a series of rhythm perception experiments, testing  150 percussionists.  Results from these studies now appear in leading academic journals and presented to PASIC in a research “lightening session” in 2022.

 

In 2019, I received the Alumni Award from the Penn State School of Music, and previously the Petro Canada Young Innovator award in recognition of my efforts to build connections between percussion research and performance.  I enjoy translating research findings to public audiences in lecture recitals and talks, and have given over 50 keynotes at major universities in addition to appearances on the CBC’s Quirks and Quarks with Bob McDonald, and Ontario Today with Rita Celli. I enjoy using these opportunities to share research findings and introduce percussion instruments to new audiences. For example, when invited to appear in the popular Canadian show On The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, I discussed research findings and demonstrated their application with performances on the marimba and xylophone. My vibraphone playing has also been featured on a segment of Quirks and Quarks when discussing my research on how musical sounds can improve the alerting messages used in hospital medical devices.   

As part of my work building bridges between music performance and music research, I direct the MAPLE Lab-an interdisciplinary team of graduate and undergraduate students exploring musics’ psychological basis.  Our researchis now featured in multiple textbooks, as well as in an invited chapter of Russell Hartenberger’s 2016 Cambridge Companion to PercussionResearch and publications are on my Google Scholar and Linkedin profiles. General information can be found on Wikipedia, and further detail on my team’s current research can be found on the official MAPLE Lab website. My TEDx talk “Death by Beep?” discussing how percussive sounds can prevent problems with hospital medical devices is available on the official TED channel here