Percussion Studies

Marimba Mallets

The Percussion Program at The University of Montana under the direction of Dr. Robert LedBetter is one of the premier comprehensive programs in the Northwest. Percussionists at The University of Montana are trained to become “total percussionists” through private instruction, numerous masterclasses with guest artists from around the world and outstanding performance opportunities. Each percussion major develops proficiency in the areas of snare drum, mallet keyboard, timpani, orchestral accessories, multiple percussion, drumset and world percussion while also focusing on their own specific areas of expertise. World percussion experiences include: Steel Drums, West African drumming (from Guinea, Mali, Ghana and Senegal), Afro-Cuban percussion, Brazilian, Mexican marimba, Salsa Band and Balinese Gamelan.

Percussionists at The University of Montana have many outstanding performing opportunities including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Grizzly Marching Band drumline, Symphony Orchestra, four Jazz Bands, several Jazz Combos, Missoula Symphony Orchestra and chamber groups. In addition to these outstanding groups, percussionists also perform to large crowds on the Percussion Ensemble Concerts. There are three Percussion Concerts a year including the World Rhythms Concert which features the World Percussion Ensembles in a yearly rotation.

Each year, the UM Percussion area hosts nationally and internationally renowned percussion clinicians and performers from around the world. UM percussionists have the opportunity to study with these artists in both the master class and private setting. In addition, students are able to perform alongside these great performers on percussion concerts. Some of the artists appearing on campus include:

Drumset                     Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Ed Soph,
                                      Jeff Hamilton, Steve Houghton, Gregg Bisonette, Jim White, Chris Smith,
                                      Chris Wabich, Will Kennedy

Vibraphone                Dave Samuels, Ed Saindon, Arther Lipner, Gary Gibson, Terry Gibbs

Marimba                     Casey Cangelosi, Mark Ford, Julie Spencer

Concert Percussion  Gordon Peters, William Kraft, Christopher Deane, Larry Snider,
                                       Jim Atwood, Casey Cangelosi

Snare Drum                John Wooton, Jeff Prosperie, Lalo Davila

Afro-Cuban                 Jesus Diaz, Luis Benneti, Lalo Davila, Cuban All-Stars

Hand Drums               Glen Velez, Yousif Sheronick, Robert Chappell

African                         Idrissa Gueye (Senegal), Edi Gborzi (Ghana), Abdoul Dumbia (Mali),
                                        Oumar Keita (Guinea), Manimou Camara (Guinea)

Steel Drums                Andy Narell, Liam Teague, Gary Gibson, Chris Wabich, John Wooton,

Gamelan                      I Made Lasmawan, I Putu Tangkas,

Group after concert        Christopher Deane

After a concert with Casey Cangelosi, Lalo Davila & Dave Gluck          Christopher Deane rehearsing with Percussion Ensemble

Saindon        Made Lasmawn

Ed Saindon working with UM student Eric Rokohl                                 Our Balinese Gamlen teacher - I Made Lasmawan