Student and alumni News

Congratulations to the MSU Percussion Ensemble for being selected as one of the winners of the PASIC percussion Ensemble Competition! They will perform at the convention this coming November 2017!!

Congratulations to Alex Smith (DMA 2018) on his new job as Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Central Missouri

Congratulations to Emilio Monreal (MM 2017) on his new job as Assistant Band Director at Angleton High School

Congratulations to Josh Flynn (MM 2017) on his new job as instructor of percussion at Center Grove High School

Congratulations to Moose Davis (MM 2017) on his new job as instructor of percussion at Broken Arrow High School

Congratulations to 4 LoKo$' Quartet members Alice Pan DMA 2017, Kathryn Irwin DMA 2018, Alex Smith, 2018 for completing a successful tour in Taiwan and Japan 


4LoKo$' Quartet

(Alice Pan - DMA 2017, Kathryn Irwin - DMA 2018, Alex Smith - DMA 2018)

2017 - performances and master classes in Taiwan and Japan 

Balanced Structure Percussion Duo

(Kathryn Irwin – DMA 2018, Emily Strachan – MM 2018)

2016 – performances and classes at Louisiana State University, Southeastern Louisiana State University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Tala Rasa Percussion Trio (

(James Beauton – BM 2010, Brendan Betyn – BM 2013, Steve Wulff – BM 2008, DMA 2017)

2016 – Performances and classes at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Maryland

2016 – Presser Award given by the Peabody Conservatory

2015 – Performances and classes at Southern Utah University, University of Las Vegas, Los Angeles City College, Cypress College, University of California Santa Barara, Chapman University

2014 – Performances and classes at Interlochen Center for the Arts, California Institute of the Arts, Chapman University


Michael Armendariz (DMA 2015)

Instructor of percussion and music business at New Mexico State University 

PAS chapter president of New Mexico (2014-16)

Garrett Arney (BM 2010)

Member of the arx percussion duo (

Instructor of Percussion at the Peabody Conservatory

Instructor of Percussion at Cleveland State University

Visiting Guest Artist at Michigan State University

Carnegie Hall Ensemble ACJW Fellow (2014-16)

Artist Diploma – Yale School of Music

MM – Peabody Conservatory

Pablo Bagilet(DMA 2011)

Principal Percussionist of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra (Santa Fe, Argentina)

Principal Timpanist of the Orquestra Sinfonica de Entre Rios (Parana, Argentina)

Professor of Percussion at the Instituto Superior de Musica de la Universidad Nacional (Santa Fe, Argentina)

James Beauton(BM 2011) (

DMA – University of San Diego (in progress)

MM – Stonybrook University

Member of RedFish BlueFish

Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival 2012

Winner of the Southern California Marimba Competition – 2012

Brendan Betyn (BM 2013)

DMA – Peabody Conservatory (in progress)

MM – Peabody Conservatory

Baltimore School of the Arts – Teaching Assistant

Colorado College Summer Music Festival - 2016

Aspen Music Festival – 2014

Steve Dailey (BME 2009)

MM in Wind Conducting from Baylor University

Band Director at Castle North Middle School (Newburgh, IN)

Moose Davis (MM 2017)

Cortona Sessions for New Music (Festival Participant) – 2016

Great Plains Marimba Competition – Third Prize – 2015

Mark DeMull (MM 2011)

DMA – Peabody Conservatory (in progress)

Performance Diploma – Peabody Conservatory 

University of Baltimore – Instructor of Percussion

Saginaw Valley State University – Instructor of percussion (2011-13)

Alma College – Instructor of Percussion (2010-13)

Brent Echols (BME 2014)

Assistant Director of Bands at Robert E Lee High School (Tyler, TX)

Cody Edgerton (BME 2016)

Band Director at Elk Rapids High School and Middle School (Elk Rapids, MI) 

Jake Finkbeiner (MM 2009)

Grand Blanc West Middle School – Band Director 

Alma College – Instructor of Percussion (2008-09)

Caleb Goncz (BME 2016)

Grand Blanc High School – Assistant Band Director

Sam Gould (DMA 2013)

Grand Rapids Community College – Instructor of Percussion

Grand Valley State University- Instructor of Music Literature

Jake Greenwood (BME 2009)

Band Director at Leslie High School (Leslie, MI) 

Alina Grimm (DMA 2013)

Drake University – Fine Arts Coordinator

Drake University – Percussion Teaching Artist

National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy Paper Presentation - 2014

Tia Harvey (MM 2014, DMA 2017)

Running Start Competition Michigan State University Grant Winner – 2016

National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy Paper Presentation - 2015

Kathryn Irwin (DMA 2018)

Cortona Sessions for New Music (Festival Participant) – 2016

Vic Firth Stick Company Young Artist Endorser

Kevin Keith (MM 2016)

Featured Performer at Electronic Music Midwest 2016

Colorado Symphony - extra percussionist (2016-present)

Performance Diploma – University of Denver (in progress)

Colorado College Summer Music Festival – 2015, 2016

Wei-Chen Lin (DMA 2012)

Lein Percussion Group Member

TransWorld University (Douliu City, Taiwan) – Professor of Music

Craig Luft (2011 BME)

Band Director at Corunna High School (Corunna, MI)

Ben Mapes (BM 2014)

DMA – Peabody Conservatory (in progress)

MM – Peabody Conservatory 

Alice and Leary Taylor Award in Performance from the Peabody Conservatory

Chautauqua Summer Music Festival – 2015

Denise Martaus (BME 2011)

Elementary Music Teacher for the Huron Valley School District (Oakland Co, MI)

Redline Percussion – Frontline Instructor

Joe Mundy (BME 2010)

Band Director at Pelham High School (Pelham, NH)

Director of the Manchester Community Music School NH Youth Wind Ensemble

Yun Ju “Alice” Pan (DMA 2017) 

Master Classes at the University of Ohio, Ball State University, University of North Alabama

First Prize Winner of the Australian International Marimba Competition - 2016

First Prize Winner at the Taiwan International Percussion Championship – 2016

First Prize and Audience Prize Winner at the Taiwan International Percussion Championship – 2015

First Prize Winner at the White Lake Solo Competition - 2014

PASIC International Vibraphone Competition Third Prize Winner – 2013

Chuck Scheller (BME 2013)

Elementary Music Teacher Ector County Independent School District (Odessa, TX)

Natalie Sears (BME 2014)

Band Director at Pinewood Middle School (Kentwood, MI) 

Geordan Sherd (BME 2010)

Chadwick International School (Incheon, Korea) – Middle and High School Music Teacher

Steve Spence (BME 2008)

Band Director at Greenfield Middle School (El Cajon, CA)

Alex Smith (MM 2014, DMA 2018)

Article Published - "New Musical Contexts for More Sustainably Made Marimbas" in the inaugural issue of the Percussive Notes Online Research Journal.

Michigan Heritage Award – 2016

Somers Teaching Award from Michigan State University – 2015

Winner of the Hatching Competition Grant – 2015

Rasmussen Award from Michigan State University – 2015

Running Start Grant Competition Winner- 2014

UNCG Sustainable Shorts Competition – 2014

Tomoko Taki (Performance Diploma 2014) -

Solo Performer and Educator based in Tottori, Japan

Kelsey Tamayo (DMA 2014) 

Percussion Professor at Drury University

Taneycomo Festival Orchestra – 2016

Interlochen Arts Camp Teaching Assistant - 2013

Ross Taylor (BME 2013)

Assistant Band Director at Clarckson Community Schools (Clarckson MI) 

Front Ensemble Manager for Redline Percussion

Innovative Percussion Artist/Educator

Mackenzie Viventi (BME 2011) 

Director and Teacher at Miss Mackenzie Music (Agoura Hills, CA) 

Zuri Wells (BM 2016, MM 2018)

Brevard Music Center Concerto Competition Winner – 2015

Brevard Music Festival – 2015

NANM Competition Third Prize Winner – 2014

Demetrius White (BME 2010)

Band Director Holland Public Schools (Holland, MI)

Jonathan Wright (BME 2015) -

Band Director and Music Teacher at Springfield Schools (Springfield, CO)


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