Eric Beach, Adam Sliwinski, Josh Quillen, Jason Treuting Eric Beach, Adam Sliwinski, Josh Quillen, Jason Treuting

Percussion Program at Bard Conservatory

The members of Sō Percussion are thrilled to have started a new undergraduate percussion program at The Bard College Conservatory of Music. Our course of study places emphasis on chamber music—in both all-percussion and mixed ensembles—as a tool for creating thoughtful, well-rounded musicians. Students study with the members of Sō Percussion, with an exciting roster of additional teachers drawn from the professional music world, and, in a master class setting, with Program Advisors Jan Williams and Garry Kvistad. In addition, students will have opportunities to explore music outside of the Western tradition, most notably Gamelan, and to work closely with the John Cage Trust, located on the Bard campus.

The Bard Conservatory Percussion program also includes, for students who already have an undergraduate degree, a Percussion Teaching Fellow program. The teaching fellow is involved in all aspects of running the percussion program at the Bard Conservatory– scheduling and leading chamber music rehearsals, mentoring and organizing the orchestra percussion section, coordinating the teaching schedule, maintaining the instrument collection, and monitoring the progress of students in the program. For details about the program please click below:

Double-Degree Program

All of this takes place within the framework of a five-year double-degree program at one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the world. The 21st-century musician requires both strong musical skills and the skills and intellectual perspective that are developed in a broad liberal arts curriculum. Percussion students, like all Conservatory students, receive degrees both in music and in another chosen academic discipline.

Private Instruction

All percussion students study privately with the members of Sō Percussion and the teaching roster. In the first two years, students will spend one semester with each of the members of Sō Percussion on fundamental skills. In addition to lessons with their primary instructor, students will study 1–3 times each semester with an instructor from our excellent roster, covering topics to be determined by their primary teacher and the roster teacher. During the last three years, students and faculty will collaborate on a course of study geared toward the student’s interests.

Frequent Guests

  • Dan Druckman: Associate Principal Percussionist of the New York Philharmonic, Chair of the Juilliard Percussion Program
  • Jonathan Haas: Principal Percussionist of the American Symphony Orchestra, Artist-Faculty at the Aspen Music Festival
  • Tzong-Ching Ju: Artistic Director of Ju Percussion Group of Taiwan
  • Garry Kvistad: Member of Nexus Percussion, Steve Reich and Musicians
  • Jan Williams: Professor Emeritus of Percussion at SUNY Buffalo
  • Greg Zuber: Principal Percussionist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Artist-Faculty of the Verbier Music Festival

Percussion Ensemble

All percussion majors study and perform chamber music together as part of Bard’s resident student percussion ensemble.

Orchestral Experience

All percussion students perform in The Bard Conservatory Orchestra, which meets twice a week and performs both on and off campus throughout the yearr.

Solo Performance Requirements

Students will perform in public frequently, programming full recitals in at least two out of their last three years.

Academic Music Requirements

The core music curriculum includes four semesters of music theory and two semesters of music history.