WELCOME TO THE
MOORES SCHOOL OF MUSIC DEPARTMENT OF
PERCUSSION STUDIES HOME PAGE
This site is intended to provide comprehensive information concerning the Department of
Percussion Studies at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. The site provides a comprehensive description of our pedagogical and
philosophical orientation, the facilities to our percussionists, performing
opportunities, and the process of applying for admission and auditioning for our program. We
hope you enjoy your visit!
For more information or to receive application materials, please
Dr. Blake M. Wilkins, Director of Percussion Studies
University of Houston
120 School of Music Bldg.
Houston, TX 77204-4017
With the Moores School Percussion Ensemble's selection as a winner of the 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Composition Competition and its subsequent Showcase Concert performance at the 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Louisville, KY, the Department of Percussion Studies at the University of Houston established an international reputation as a new leader in percussion performance and education. Under the direction of Dr. Blake Wilkins since 1997, the Percussion Department has grown to nearly 30 students and has quickly emerged as one of the most dynamic programs in the region.
The pedagogical orientation of the Percussion Studies department at the Moores School embraces an
intensive total percussion approach.
Applied percussion study is oriented first and foremost toward
traditional percussion - concert and rudimental snare drum, timpani, and keyboard instruments.
In particular, our program places significant emphasis (40-50% of the student's total lesson
work) on keyboard percussion instruments such as solo marimba and vibraphone. Students also
receive training in orchestral percussion techniques and repertoire, as well as multiple percussion
Moreover, students have the opportunity for considerable training on drum set through
secondary lessons and may additionally experience world percussion through masterclasses and
guest artist clinics.
Opened in 1997, the John J. and Rebecca Moores School of Music Building, a 25-million-dollar,
state-of-the-art music facility, has already
been recognized as one of the most outstanding facilities of its kind in the country. The music
building houses dedicated percussion facilities, which include a large percussion rehearsal room
(the Percussion Studio) and practice rooms designated solely for the use of percussion students. In
addition, the school has
one of the finest and most complete percussion instrument inventories in the state of
Dr. Wilkins leads a percussion faculty that includes drum set artist
Joel Fulgham, and orchestral studies specialist Brian Del Signore (principal
percussionist with the Houston Symphony).
Percussion Ensembles & Other Performance Organizations
A critical dimension of the Percussion Department's pedagogical and philosophical orientation is
the student's participation in one of the Percussion Ensembles. The flagship of this program is the Moores School Percussion Ensemble I, a group of 12
advanced percussionists performing classically-oriented works written expressly for percussion. In 2003, the department initiated the Moores School Percussion Ensemble Commissioning Series, a program committed to fostering the finest new literature for the medium. The first two works written as a result were Donald Grnatham's Houston Strokes and Rob Smith's Surge. In winning the 2003 PAS Percussion Ensemble Competition, the Moores School Percussion Ensemble asserted itself as one of the finest collegiate percussion ensembles internationally.
Ensemble program also encompasses the Moores School Steel Band (The PANtagonists). This band of 17 percussionists has become one of the most popular music organizations in the Moores School of Music. The percussion inventory includes a complete set of Mannette Steel Pans, purchase in 2002. The band plays traditional arrangements, original Panorama steel band compositions, and arrangements of popular music written expressly for this group. This high-energy ensemble is one of the most energetic of its kind and is highly sought after all over the state of Texas.
Within the vision of the Moores School of Music Percussion Studies department,
participation in the Percussion Ensembles is without question one the most important activities for
percussion majors at UH.
Being a percussionist at UH also involves service in any of our numerous large performing
organizations – the Moores School
Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensembles, Wind Ensembles, Concert Bands, and the Cougar Marching
Percussion Department Student Body
The department has achieved (and surpassed) its goal of 26 full-time percussion majors,
including undergraduate, Master's, and Doctoral students. This target number of students is
optimum for fostering a healthy atmosphere of competition and ensuring quality performance in all
performing ensembles, while at the same time affording a high level of personal attention to each
student. Dr. Wilkins is committed to working with every student who enters the percussion
program, thus assuring a consistency in the department's pedagogical approach.
For percussionists, the Moores School of Music offers degrees in Percussion
Performance or Music Education from the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.