PAS Recent News

PAS Announces Newest Members to the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

by PAS | Oct 21, 2020
The Percussive Arts Society is pleased to announce the newest additions to the 2021 Board of Directors and Board of Advisors, which will go into effect January 1, 2021.

2021 Board of Directors
Effective: January 1, 2021

The Percussive Arts Society is pleased to announce the newest members to the Board of Directors which was voted on unanimously earlier this month by the current PAS Board of Advisors. “I could not be more thrilled to have Dr. Lamon Lawhorn serve as the new Secretary on the Board of Directors and Anders Åstrand as a new Director on the PAS Board. Both Lamon and Anders have a long history of service to PAS and will make fantastic additions to the current Board and Executive Committee” said Joshua Simonds, PAS Executive Director. “In addition to the new Board members, I want to publicly thank Karl “KC” Leffler for his years of time and service to PAS as he rotates off”.

The new Board members of the Percussive Arts Society will officially assume their roles on January 1, 2021.



AndersAnders Åstrand - Director

Åstrand is a renowned Swedish mallet specialist, considered to be a unique voice of both the marimba and the vibraphone.

He is a popular and sought after soloist, regularly performing and giving master classes and clinics throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Since 2017, Åstrand heads the contemporary music/improvisation class at Orford Music Summer Academy in Quebec, Canada.

Åstrand focuses on melodic and rhythmical improvisation, with influences ranging from jazz, Scandinavian folk music, Gregorian chants, and ancient Greek songs. He music

The element of improvisation is also an essential feature in his compositions. His commissions include compositions for percussion and chamber music ensembles, brass quintets, saxophone quartet, choirs, and big band. A more spectacular side features compositions for ice instruments for percussion ensemble, as well as using fighter aircrafts, snow trucks, and buildings as instruments to be played on.

Åstrand’s music can also be found in multimedia performances including dance, video projections, ice instruments, and fire sculptures. His latest compositions include More Steps a duett for saxophones, flute, marimba, and vibraphone, and Spring Dance, a solo piece for marimba, vibraphone, and symphony orchestra, and premiered 2016 at the Busan Maru Festival, South Korea.

Anders Åstrand regularly collaborates internationally with various ensembles and groups. The Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan) has premiered two of his pieces, Omnibus 17  and Next Move As a featured guest artist and mallet player Åstrand has toured both in Europe and South America with Pies En la Terra (Ecuador).

He plays vibraphone in both Soundscape Orchestra and Firm roots.  Soundscape Orchestra is based on electronic and acoustic instruments. Just released  their first Album in November 2018. Åstrand also plays the vibes in the big band Ann-Sofie Söderqvist Jazz Orchestra, and can be heard on the albums Move.

The duo Vibes and Bass (Mikael Berglund, bass, Anders Åstrand mallets) has released two albums with original music, Seven Thoughts and Frantelunia.

His own groups include WÅG (Mattias Wager church organ, Anders Åstrand mallets and percussion, Gary Graden vocals), Åstrand/Erlandsson Duo (Robert Erlandsson, double bass, Anders Åstrand mallets), and his percussion ensemble, Global Percussion Network, with which he has toured extensively in Sweden, Europe, the United States, and South Korea.



LamonDr. Lamon Lawhorn - Secretary

A native of Fort Worth, TX, Lamon Lawhorn graduated from Eastern Hills HS where he now has a percussion award named in his honor.  He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Prairie View A&M University, where he studied under Professor Larry Jones. While at Prairie View, Lamon was a member of the Marching Band known as the “Marching Storm”, Principal Percussionist in the University Symphonic Band, Principal Percussionist in the University Marimba Ensemble, and also served as Student Conductor for the University Symphonic Band. Upon graduation, Lamon attended the University of Mississippi, where he received his Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance and was a Percussion Graduate student of Professor Ricky Burkhead.  While at Ole Miss, he was the Principal Percussionist in the UM Wind Ensemble, and Drummer for the “Mississippians” Jazz Ensemble.  In 2008, he won the UM Department of Music Concerto Competition with his performance of Paul Creston’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra becoming the first African-American and percussionist to win the competition. Under the direction of Dr. Kris Keeton, Lamon received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Percussion Performance, where his dissertation was entitled, "The Evolution of Contemporary Gospel Drumming." Additional teachers throughout his schooling include Dr. Neeraj Mehta, Dr. Eric Willie, Dr. David Carlisle, and Bruce Graves.

As a classical musician, Lamon has performed in various orchestral venues including Principal Percussionist for the L-O-U Symphony Orchestra, Corinth Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, served as Artist in Residence at the FWISD Creative and Performing Arts Summer Music Camp, and performed in various theatre productions including "Cats", "Footloose," "Into the Woods" and many more. In addition to his orchestral experience, Lamon has performed with recording artist Matt MaGill, “Howlin’ Madd” Bill Perry, R.A. Hall, The Damnwells, toured with the Inner City All-Stars Brass Band, and the George Tisdale Band as a drum set artist.

Active within the Percussive Arts Society, Lamon previously served as secretary and member of the Drum Set Committee. Lamon is a sought after clinician and adjudicator in drum set, marching and percussion ensemble performances. An avid promoter of educational instruction, Lamon has conducted clinics at the Mississippi and North Carolina Days of Percussion, multiple PASIC Conventions and states such as North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. In addition, Lamon served on faculty at the Austrian Percussion Camp in Ossiach, Austria, teaching marching percussion and gospel drum set techniques.

Currently, Lamon serves as Assistant Director of Bands at North Carolina A&T State University.  His duties within the University Band Program include the coordination of all aspects of the University Band Percussion Ensembles in rehearsals and field instructions, including drumline and percussion ensembles. Lamon also teaches courses within the music department, conducts the University Wind, oversees the BGMM Media Team and recruitment activities of the University Band Program. Previously, Lamon served as Percussion Instructor at North Carolina Central University where his duties within the Department of Music included the oversight of Marching Percussion, conducting the MSM Percussion Ensemble, and providing additional private lesson instruction. In 2010, NCCU was rated as one of the Top 10 Best Drumlines in College Football by bleacherreport.com.

Lamon Lawhorn is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc. and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.  He currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife Sheena, daughter Kollyns, son Layden and their dog Pepper.


2021 Board of Advisors
Effective: January 1, 2021

The Percussive Arts Society is also pleased to announce the newest members to the Board of Advisors. The following members were voted on earlier this year by of the Percussive Arts Society members and will serve a three year term. “It is an honor to work with the PAS Board of Advisors, a diverse group of professionals representing a wide range of interests and areas of expertise. These individuals are elected by the PAS membership and serve as leaders, mentors and advocates for PAS. I am excited to welcome four new members, as well as three members who have been elected to a second term to the PAS Board of Advisors as they support and help guide our efforts of serving our current and future members. I also want to publicly thank Michael Bump, Ralph Hicks, Josh Smith, and Kenyon Williams for their time, talents and service to PAS as they rotate off the BOA”. – Joshua Simonds, Executive Director, PAS 

The new Board of Advisors members of the Percussive Arts Society will be as follows and will officially assume their roles on January 1, 2021.



BaxterDr. Jillian Baxter

Dr. Jillian Baxter serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Albany State University where she teaches Applied Percussion, Percussion Methods, Music Theory, and Music Appreciation. She has also served in similar roles as an Instructor at Young Harris College, Spelman College, and South Carolina State University. Dr. Baxter received the Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University, the Master of Music from Belmont University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Baxter has played on national and international convention stages and has had the honor to adjudicate, present masterclasses, and provide individual instruction in South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. While being a winner in the International Percussive Arts Society International Convention (P.A.S.I.C.) Individual Keyboard Competition and a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, she is also the Co-founder of the Amari Percussion Duo with performance partner Dr. Darrell Irwin Thompson. In the spring of 2010, the Amari Percussion Duo premiered Raymond Helble's Duo Concertante for Vibraphone and Marimba (2009), Raymond D. Ridley's FyrStar (2009) for Vibraphone and Marimba with nine single reed instruments and percussion, Hunter Stricklin's The Approach to Springer Mountain (2010), and the Arizona premier of Gérard Grisey Stéle with Simone Mancuso conducting.

Dr. Baxter is a member of the College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, and Percussive Arts Society where she serves on the University Pedagogy Committee and as the point person for Gender Concerns for the Diversity Alliance. She currently resides in Albany, GA and continues performing on the piano and percussion.






BlissAndy Bliss

Andy Bliss is a solo artist, conductor, curator, and educator who maintains a dynamic career of musical collaboration. Residing in Knoxville, TN, his performances have been heard locally at the Tennessee Theatre and the Square Room, and abroad in locations such as the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music (Germany), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Patagonia Percussion Festival (Argentina), the LiveWire Festival in Baltimore, and Stanford’s Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

His repertoire ranges from 20th-century masterworks by John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, and Steve Reich, to the performance and advocacy of contemporary composers such as John Luther Adams, David Lang, and Mark Applebaum. His passion for new music has propelled Andy to collaborate on new works with a wide range of today’s leading composers and musicians such as Christopher Adler, Christopher Burns, Evan Chapman, David Crowell, Nicholas Deyoe, Marc Mellits, Lewis Nielson, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, among many others.

Last season, Andy returned to Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival, revisiting John Luther Adams’ Four Thousand Holes with the nief-norf Project and performing Become Ocean with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra; joined Atlanta’s Chamber Cartel for an evening-length performance of Iannis Xenakis’ Pleaides at the Goat Farm Arts Center; presented the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Convention’s New Literature Showcase Concert; appeared in solo recitals at the McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, FL and the statewide PAS Day of Percussion in Illinois; and collaborated in Lexington, KY with Dieter Hennings and an all-star cast on a performance of Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître.

In the 2016-17 season, Andy will perform on double tenors in Brooklyn’s Panorama with the Crossfire Steel Orchestra; curates the PASIC Focus Day “Celebrating the European Avant-Garde,” a 6-concert event over two days; performs Jennifer Higdon’s percussion concerto under the composer’s baton; conducts the Eastern United States premiere of Mark Applebaum’s Rabbit Hole; directs a performance of Michael Pisaro’s Hearing Metal 3; and performs the world premiere of Constellations by Christopher Burns, an evening-length work for solo percussion and multimedia, written for Bliss.

Andy has made a practice of regularly working with younger composers, performers, and scholars, encouraging inquisitive modes of musical questioning and sustained collaboration with future generations. He is the Artistic Director of nief-norf, whose summer festival is now in its seventh year; there he performs, teaches, and conducts while curating a dozen concerts annually. The festival serves as a yearly contemporary music retreat, where more than fifty international participants enjoy an immersive environment of collaboration, experimentation, and support. Additionally, since 2011, Andy has served as the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Tennessee, where he founded the Ensemble Knox (resident chamber percussion group), the UT Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the UT Contemporary Music Festival.

A devoted music educator, Andy has presented recitals, lectures, and master classes at the Northern Illinois University New Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy (NCPP), Association for Technology in Music Instruction’s (ATMI) National Conference, and the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, and has held residencies at the Universities of Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina, and many others.  He currently serves the Percussive Arts Society as a member of the New Music Research committee and is Past President of the PAS Tennessee Chapter. Bliss has served on the adjudication jury for both the Music for All National Percussion Festival and the PAS International Percussion Ensemble Competition, and his method book Multitudes (Innovative Percussion) is a widely used pedagogical resource nationally. As a member of the Knoxville community, Bliss spends two weeks annually touring his Steelband and Brazilian Ensemble to Knox County public schools, fusing live performance with cultural and historical community engagement.

A native of Milan, IL, Andy’s percussion studies were mentored by James Campbell, Rich Holly, Robert Chappell, Orlando Cotto, Liam Teague, Cliff Alexis, and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist and thanks Zildjian, Innovative Percussion, Evans, Black Swamp, and Meinl Percussion for their generous support and sponsorships. When not performing or with his students, Andy can be found consuming as much baseball as possible––either watching the Chicago Cubs on television, or playing a game of backyard catch with his wife Erin, and their son, Donovan.



Omar_CarmenatesOmar Carmenates

Omar Carmenates is currently the Associate Professor of Percussion at Furman University in Greenville, SC where he oversees all aspects of the percussion program including classical, jazz, and world percussion studies. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida. Under his direction, the Furman University Percussion Ensemble has become known for its performances and recordings of ecoacoustic music, helping promote Furman’s standing as one of the nations academic leaders in sustainability. Most recently, the ensemble received major support from the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability to collaborate with composer Matthew Burtner on the premiere recordings of his Six Ecoacoustic Quintets and Avian Telemetry, a new interdisciplinary work written expressly for the ensemble. Students of the ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, the International Conference on Romanticism, and the Esri International GIS User Conference.

Omar is also a versatile musician with a strong interest in performing and recording contemporary solo and chamber music. His debut solo recording, entitled The Gaia Theory, was released through Rattle Records in 2013 and he can also be heard on the Cantaloupe Records release of John Luther Adams’ concert-length Inuksuit for 9-99 outdoor percussionists, a work that he both co-commissioned and directed in its United States premiere. He is also the director, producer, and arranger of the “John Psathas Percussion Project”, a multi-year collaboration aimed at recording and performing percussion ensemble arrangements of the works of New Zealand’s most prominent composer, John Psathas. The recordings and scores from this project are published through PARMA Records and Promethean Publications respectively.

In addition to his duties at Furman, Omar is an avid participant in the pageantry arts whose work can be seen and heard around the globe. While currently serving as an adjudicator for WGI Sport of the Arts, he has also served as a composer/arranger for the Cadets, the Boston Crusaders, the Spirit of Atlanta, and the Beatrix (Hilversum, Holland) Drum & Bugle Corps and has also acted in various teaching capacities at the Phantom Regiment, the Spirit of Atlanta, and the Boston Crusaders. Additionally, he has been the percussion arranger for high school programs across the United States including the Bands of America Grand National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble.

Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.



HallTeddy Hall, Jr.

Teddy Hall, Jr. is an active performer, educator, and clinician. He received a Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Mississippi and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Alabama- Birmingham. Mr. Hall’s teaching experiences include serving as Instructor of Music (percussion) at Alabama State University, Hampton University, Tennessee State University, Alabama A&M University, and Stillman College. Hall has also taught general music and band at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Mr. Hall has presented percussion clinics at the AL PAS Day of Percussion, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Amro Music, Memphis Drum Shop, Florida A&M University, Miles College and the Virginia/DC PAS Day of Percussion. He has served as a percussion adjudicator at various marching band festivals, honor band festivals, and all-state festivals in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Aside from his teaching experience, Mr. Hall has vast and diverse playing experience serving as a freelance musician with such groups as the Cobb Wind Symphony, Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Corinth Symphony Orchestra, Hampton University Chamber Orchestra, York River Symphony Orchestra, UAB Community Winds, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, West Side Winds, TSU Faculty Jazz Combo, Atlanta Music Project, and the Tuscaloosa Big Band. As a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Mr. Hall served as the Treasurer for the Alabama Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and currently serves contributing member of the University Pedagogy Committee and Diversity Committee. He is proud to be an educational artist for Vic Firth, Pearl, Sabian, Mike Balter, and REMO.



HerringDr. Scott Herring 

Dr. Scott Herring currently holds the position of professor of percussion at the University of South Carolina. At USC, Herring directs the Percussion Ensemble and the Palmetto Pans Steel Band. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University and a Masters degree and Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University. While residing in Chicago, Herring performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was a member of the Northwestern University Graduate Percussion Quartet, which traveled to Germany and London for performances. Herring frequently appears as a guest artist with university percussion ensembles across the U.S. and has presented concerts and clinics at PASIC 1996, 2002, 2006 and 2011. In addition, the University of South Carolina Percussion Ensemble was selected as a winner of the 2012 International Percussion Ensemble Competition. Herring is an endorser of Malletech Instruments and mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion products and Remo Drumheads.  

Herring also performs with USC saxophone professor, Clifford Leaman, as the RoseWind Duo. They have given numerous performances and clinics at universities across the country and have been invited to perform at many professional conferences, including the 2007 NASA Region 7 Conference in Greensboro, N.C., the 2007 South Carolina Music Teachers Association State Conference, the 2007 and 2010 International Navy Band Saxophone Symposium and the 2008 Biennial Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance. In May 2010, they also traveled to France and Spain for two weeks for a series of concerts and clinics, and in December 2010, they were featured artists at The First International Wind and Percussion Festival in Beijing, China. In August 2011, the duo traveled to Yantai, China for a series of clinics and concerts. Recently, RoseWind gave a featured concert at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland. The duo has also been invited to present a performance/clinic at PASIC 2012 in Austin, Texas. Their debut CD, Release, is available from Equilibrium Records.

Herring, in collaboration with Susan Powell and Joseph Krygier, also performs with the Shiraz Percussion Trio. The group is dedicated to performing contemporary works for percussion ensemble as well as music created by members of the group. The Shiraz Trio has performed at numerous universities, music festivals and Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion throughout the U.S.

Herring has formerly served as president of the Kansas Chapter of PAS, vice-president and president of the South Carolina chapter of PAS. In addition he has formerly hosted the Kansas and South Carolina Days of Percussion. Herring also served as a new music reviewer for Percussive Notes from 2002-2008, and currently serves as a member of the PAS Board of Advisors.



SloanHeather Sloan

Heather Sloan received her DMA in Percussion Performance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a Fulbright scholar with a specialization in Caribbean music, especially Afro-Caribbean folkloric expressions of the Dominican Republic. She presents regularly in the US and elsewhere; recent work includes a Spanish-language research presentation on the changing symbolic roles of women in Dominican bachata music at the Seventh Congress of Caribbean Music, Identity & Culture in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Heather is currently finishing a Master’s degree in Information and Library Sciences with a Specialization in Digital Humanities. She uses digital mapping and storytelling to explore intersections between socio-political, cultural, and ecological concerns in Afro-Caribbean music traditions. From 2016 to 2019, she served as the Inaugural Chair of the PAS Diversity Alliance. In 2019, she was a Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Fellow. For 2020-2021, she was awarded a fellowship from the Indiana University Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH). Heather lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and works at Herman B Wells Library as the Media and Maps Assistant.











WillieEric Willie

Described as a "true musical talent and professional" Eric Willie has a varied career as a percussion soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher.

Having performed on three continents, he has presented solo performances and clinics throughout the United States, Russia, Brasil, and Colombia. In the United States, Eric has appeared at ten Percussive Arts Society’s International Conventions (PASIC), the Midwest Clinic, as well as several state days of percussion and music educator conventions.

In addition to his talents as a classical percussionist, Eric is known for his marching percussion arranging and teaching experience. He has served on staff with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, as a Percussion Consultant with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, and instructor and/or arranger for the Spirit, Southwind, Carolina Crown, and the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps.

Currently, Eric serves as Associate Professor of Percussion Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He directs the classical percussion ensembles, Maracatu Naçao do UNCG, and serves as a Chair of the School of Music Faculty.

Contact Us

Percussive Arts Society
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Indianapolis, IN 46204
T: (317) 974-4488
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