Percussion Studio Overview


UMD percussion students benefit from a well-rounded percussion curriculum designed to both hone their fundamental skills and prepare them for a multitude of playing opportunities as soloists and ensemble players. Our program is centered around a “total percussionist” philosophy, meaning that all students will study and perform regularly on all major percussion instruments:


  • Snare drum - concert and rudimental styles
  • 2 and 4 mallet marimba
  • Vibraphone
  • Timpani
  • Multiple -percussion
  • Drum set
  • Hand drum s/ world percussion
  • All other orchestral in struments


UMD percussion students are in high demand around campus and in the Twin Ports area (Duluth/ Superior) and beyond, having many opportunities to perform both on and off campus. At UMD, percussionists can expect to perform regularly in a variety of ensembles including Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, big bands and jazz combos, and the Bulldog Marching Band.


All percussion majors receive a 1-hour private lesson each week. The lesson curriculum is spread out to cover all the instruments mentioned previously throughout their time of study, and is oriented toward the goal of helping each student to become well-rounded percussionists, and to achieve their individual goals as performing musicians. In addition to lessons, students participate in percussion studio classes each week – this meeting time functions as an outlet for masterclasses, student performances, and guest artists presentations. Students that are not music majors may also sign up for 30-minute weekly lessons, and also may participate in musical ensembles on campus.


UMD Percussion Ensemble


The UMD Percussion Ensemble rehearses 3 hours each week and performs one concert each semester. This group performs a wide variety of literature including historically significant works, contemporary percussion ensemble literature, world music, and elements of popular music. The ensemble has been featured at the Minnesota Music Educator's Association Mid-Winter Clinic (MMEA) and around the state of Minnesota, and has also hosted and performed with numerous world-class artists on campus at UMD. The percussion faculty performs frequently with the ensemble, offering the students a unique side-by-side experience to inform their chamber music skills. The Percussion Ensemble is open to all UMD students, regardless of major (audition required for non-music majors).

Register for MU 1515 or MU 4515

Facilities and Equipment

Click here to view pictures of some of our awesome percussion facilities!


The UMD Percussion Studio boasts a wide range of percussion equipment of the highest professional caliber, including a vast array of world, contemporary, and specialized percussion instruments to compliment an impressive collection of traditional concert percussion equipment. The bulk of the instrument collection is housed in a large percussion storage facility conveniently located adjacent to the music department’s primary rehearsal space. There are 6 designated percussion practice rooms that are outfitted with various instruments (certain rooms also equipped with sound systems for audio playback).


Entrance Auditions for Percussion

UMD offers degrees in Music Education , Music Performance , Theory & Composition , Jazz Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music . To audition with percussion as your major instrument, please consult the audition requirements. Competitive scholarships are also available! Students interested in auditioning for a music degree are encouraged to apply early, particularly those who are interested in a music scholarship. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.