The Percussion Studio at Southern Miss presently consists of twenty eight undergraduate students and six graduate students. Four of the graduates hold graduate assistantships. The assistantship assignments are for the Percussion Studio (2), the PRIDE Drum Line and band department, and the USM Symphony Orchestra. Southern Miss offers degrees in Music Education, Music Performance, Jazz Studies, Music Industry and a Bachelor of Arts. We also offer a Masters in Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts. We are proud of our reputation for excellence and look to build and grow on our solid foundation.
Why choose Percussion Studies at Southern Miss?
Our philosophy on teaching, is to prepare each student for what they will encounter in life following college. Compared to most college programs we tend to take a more “Practical Approach.” Music education, performance and jazz studies majors are required to pass proficiencies each semester on the major percussion instruments (snare drum, mallet keyboards, timpani and drum set). The proficiencies vary depending the degree plan. As the students study these instruments, they also will be introduced to hand drums, Brazilian percussion instruments, steel drums and much more.
- The PRIDE Drum Line
- Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra (SoMiSPO)
- Percussion Ensemble
- Samba Band
- Salsa Band
- Jazz Lab Band
- Jazz Combos
- Wind Ensemble
- Symphonic Winds
- Concert Band
Many other various chamber groups constantly need percussionists. There is no shortage of opportunities for all the percussionists in the studio. Graduate students and upper classmen also have the opportunity to play in several area symphonies. Several percussion students play in area jazz groups, dance bands and jazz bands for hire. Casino work is also available for those experienced players.
Recent PerformancesThe Southern Miss Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band have performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Internacional Festival de Percusion (Puerto Rico), the Mississippi PAS Day of Percussion and various venues along the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.
Guest ArtistsInternational guest artists appear frequently to perform with the Percussion Ensemble, Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra (SoMiSPO) and the Samba Band, including Andy Narell, Ney Rosauro, Gary Chaffee, Ellie Mannette, Horacio “El Negro” Garcia, Bill Summers, Javier Nandayapa, Ray Holman, Curtis Pierre, Oscar Albrieu, Liam Teague, Richie Gajate-Garcia, Mark Ford, Robert Greenidge, Tito Oliviero, Ted Piltzecker, Johnny Vidacovich, Victor Provost, Andy Harnsberger, Jeff Narell, Ricky Sebastian, Ghost Note, Jonathan Scales, Gregory Boyd, Jorgi Alibe, Tom Miller, Mark Sherman, Terry Bozzio, Arthur Lipner, Robert VanSice, Marty Hurley, Gregg Bissonette, Juan Alamo, Luis Benetti, Sandip Burman, Ralph Nader & Harvey Thompson, J.B. Smith, Steve Houghton, Tim Palmer & Jason Huxtable, Jeff Prosperie, Dave Samuels, Casey Scheuerell, Jim Chapin, Bobby Senabria, Yousif Sheronick, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Ralph Hardimon, Matt Savage, Jim Atwood, Chris Devine, Dan Moore, Carlos Stassi, Scott Pollard, Zoro, The Old Guard Drum Corps and the U.S. Navy Steel Band… to name a few.
SoMiSPO playing “Midday Oasis”
Percussion Ensemble, Andy Gilstrap soloist
“Concerto for Vibraphone” by Ney Rosauro