May 25, 2022, 10:51 AM
Percussive Arts Society
PAS is proud to announce our Hall of Fame Class of 2022: Peter Erskine, Roland Kohloff, Michael Udow, Bernard Woma, and Nancy Zeltsman.
“On behalf of the entire PAS community, I want to congratulate Nancy, Peter, Michael, and the friends, colleagues, and family of Bernard and Roland. All five of our 2022 Hall of Fame inductees have made significant contributions to our field and I am thrilled they will be inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame this year. I look forward to celebrating their achievements in person at PASIC 2022."
— Joshua Simonds, PAS Executive Director
About the PAS Hall of Fame
The Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame was established in 1972 to recognize the contributions of the most highly regarded leaders in percussion performance, education, research, scholarship, administration, composition and the industry. Inductees demonstrate the highest ideals and professional integrity to their profession to bring about significant events, substantive improvements in the world of percussion, and the betterment of the profession through exemplary services or acts.
Peter Erskine has played the drums since the age of four and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on 700 albums and film scores, and has won two Grammy Awards, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music (1992).
Peter graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and studied at Indiana University under George Gaber. In 1972 Peter commenced his pro career playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Four years later, he joined Maynard Ferguson before working with Jaco Pastorius in Weather Report and moving to Los Angeles. Peter recorded five albums with the band. He won his first Grammy Award with their album ’8.30’. During this time in LA, he also worked with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Farrell and George Cables. Peter then moved to New York City where he worked for five years with such musicians as Michael Brecker, Mike Mainieri, Eddie Gomez and Eliane Elias in Steps Ahead, John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Marc Johnson in the legendary group Bass Desires, the John Abercrombie Trio plus Bob Mintzer’s Big Band.
Peter’s lived in LA since 1987 but has been travelling around the world all of that time, working with such artists as Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Vince Mendoza, Steely Dan, plus European musicians Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Palle Danielsson, John Taylor, Kate Bush, Nguyen Lê, Rita Marcotulli, the Norrbotten Big Band in Sweden plus Sadao Watanabe in Japan. He won his second Grammy Award as the drummer of the WDR big band in Köln along with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza and others for the “Some Skunk Funk” album. Meanwhile, Peter keeps busy in on the road and in LA with such artists as Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Williams, plus John Beasley, Bob Sheppard and Benjamin Shepherd (all 3 musicians members of his Dr. Um Band), as well as playing in the studios. Films where Peter’s drumming can be heard include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” all three of the Austin Powers movies, “The Secret Life of Pets,” plus the title music of the Steven Spielberg/John Williams collaboration, “The Adventures of Tintin.” He also played the jazz drumming cues on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack for “La La Land,” and can be heard playing on the scores for “Sing,” “Logan” and “House of Cards.”
Peter produces jazz recordings for his record label, Fuzzy Music, with 4 Grammy nominations to its credit. Peter is also an active author with several books to his credit; titles include “No Beethoven (Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report),” “Time Awareness for All Musicians,” “Essential Drum Fills,” and his latest book (co-authored with Dave Black for Alfred Publishing), “The Drummers’ Lifeline.” He is also authoring a series of iOS Play-Along apps suitable for all instruments.
Peter is Professor of Practice and Director of Drumset Studies at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. Peter plays Tama Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, Remo Drum Heads, Meinl Percussion, and uses Shure Microphones and Zoom digital recording devices.
Roland Kohloff (1935-2006), a spirited and precise master of the timpani began his career with the San Francisco Symphony before spending thirty-two years with the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Kohloff joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1956, a twenty-one-year-old virtuoso fresh from the Juilliard School as a student of Saul Goodman, then timpanist with the New York Philharmonic. He quickly made an impression with the subtlety and verve of his playing.
Praising Mr. Kohloff’s contributions to a Richard Strauss score during his first season with the Symphony, Chronicle music critic Alfred Frankstein wrote, “He is one of the most dramatic as well as one of the ablest timpanists in the business, and someday he ought to be a soloist with the Symphony in his own right.”
That day came the following season when Mr. Kohloff was the soloist in a vividly theatrical performance of Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra. In subsequent seasons, he appeared in works by William Jay Sydeman, Niccolo Castiglioni, Lukas Foss, and George Crumb.
After sixteen years as principal timpanist in San Francisco, Mr. Kohloff left in 1973 for the New York Philharmonic, replacing his famed teacher Saul Goodman, where he spent the rest of his career. He also taught at Juilliard where many of his students now play in major orchestras throughout the world.
Having retired after a distinguished career at The Santa Fe Opera (Principal Percussion 1968 — 2009) and the University of Michigan (1982 — 2011 Emeritus Professor), Michael devotes his full time energies towards composing. Michael continues to provide short term composition and percussion residencies at conservatories and universities around the world. In 2013 this included residencies in China, Japan and Korea. His inspiring composition teachers included Warren Benson, Herbert Brün, Edwin London, Thomas Fredrickson, Paul Steg, Wlodzimierz Kotoński and he credits Salvatore Martirano, Ben Johnston, Gordon Binkerd, Morgan Powell and Neely Bruce for their informative contributions. Michael’s exceptional percussion education began with Doc Meyer and continued with Bob Lee, F. Michael Combs, Jack McKenzie, Frederick Fairchild, Russell Hartenberger Michael Ranta, Alan Abel and his BM, MM & DMA professor, Thomas Siwe.
Born in 1949 in Detroit, Michigan, Udow began his musical studies at the piano. After several years, he gravitated towards percussion. At the age of eleven his family moved to Wichita, Kansas where he joined the Wichita Youth Symphony. In his first rehearsal with Roger Roller on the podium conducting George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody, Udow recalls being overwhelmed with the of the sound world of the strings, winds, brass and percussion; this pivotal experience provided the pathway for his life, which continued with four summers at the National Music Camp at Interlochen where his percussion teacher, Jack McKenzie encouraged Michael to compose and later. Later, at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Michael began his formal composition studies with Warren Benson.
Arriving at the University of Illinois in the fall of 1967, John Cage’s monumental Music Circus “happened”. Michael performed Ben Johnston’s Knocking Piece with Jocy de Oliveira in synchronization to an animated film of the poly-rhythms. He also performed Morton Feldman’s King of Denmark with Merce Cunningham dancers improvising to the music. That was the beginning of Michael’s comprehensive college education interacting constantly with composers. During his undergraduate studies Michael received a BMI Student Composers Prize for his composition, Seven Textural Settings of Japanese Haiku. After joining the New Orleans Philharmonic and then on to the Fulbright to Poland, Michael returned to the United States to tour with the historic groundbreaking Blackearth Percussion Group. Ultimately returning to Illinois with a Creative Arts Fellowship, he continued his composition studies and matriculated with a MM and the first DMA degree in percussion performance from the University of Illinois in 1978.
After late nights during summer months at the opera and while teaching during the winters, Udow continued to compose, including two operas as well as numerous symphonic, chamber and solo works. Michael recently completed Stepping Stones, a marimba duet, for Eriko Daimo and Pius Cheung and is currently completing a new orchestral and a new wind ensemble work.
Bernard Woma (1966-2018) was from the Gbannε clan of the Dagara people. He was born on December 18, 1966, in the village of Hiineteng, in the Upper West Region. His father noticed that, as a newborn, Bernard’s hands were clenched in fists, as if he was clutching xylophone mallets, a sign that he was destined to become a Gyil player. Consequently, Bernard began playing the gyil when he was two years old and became known for his musical abilities throughout the Upper West Region as he grew older.
In 1982, Bernard moved to the capital city of Accra and began to play the gyil for the Dagara community in the city. Soon after, in 1989, he was offered the position of solo xylophonist for Ghana’s National Dance Company at the National Theatre of Ghana. In 1992 he was also appointed as the Master Drummer of the company and held the honorable position as the ceremonial Atumpan Drummer for Ghanaian State functions for the rest of his life.
In 1997, Bernard founded and became Artistic Director of Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana. He went on to establish the Dagara Music Center (DMC) in 1999 so that he could train and teach Ghanaian and foreign students the diverse forms of traditional music, dance, and arts from around the country in order to preserve them and promote their embedded values. Bernard’s leadership and vision created a friendly and collegial learning environment that attracted people from around the world to come to study and learn from him.
At the invitation of Dr. Kay Stonefelt, Bernard was invited to become a guest lecturer at the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1999. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with minors in History and Arts Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia, (May 2008), and two Masters degrees in African Studies and Folklore & Ethnomusicology at Indiana University (2012 and 2015). During the twenty years that he spent in the United States, Bernard held residencies and adjunct faculty and guest artist positions in many universities and colleges. He also presented many scholarly papers and lecture demonstrations at international conferences. His scholarship became part of a deeply engaged educational praxis when, in 2008, he brought the Saakumu Dance Troupe to the US for what would become an annual international tour.
As a performer, Bernard shared the stage with renowned artists such as Maya Angelou, Yo Yo Ma, and Glen Velez. He performed for international dignitaries and presidents such as U.S. President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he served as the cultural resource person for President Barack Obama’s family when they visited Ghana. He also was a co-founder of Jumbie Records and founder of the New York’s AXF: African Xylophone Festival.
On April 27, 2018, Bernard passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. During his life, Bernard touched thousands of people through his music, teaching, and compassion for others.
“The velvety, rich-toned allure of Nancy Zeltsman”* has made a mark on a generation of marimbists, as have her commissioning efforts, performances, recordings and decades of teaching. Zeltsman has premiered over 130 solo and chamber music compositions including pieces by Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Aldridge, Steven Mackey, Lyle Mays, Paul Simon, Carla Bley, and Louis Andriessen. Alejandro Viñao and Paul Lansky both wrote their first marimba compositions for Nancy (followed by many others). Currently, Nancy co-directs Threshold Music Project.
Zeltsman is a professor at joint institutions Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She has taught marimba at both schools since 1993 in positions that were created for her. Since 2013, she has been regular guest professor of marimba at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and a Guest Artist at University of Michigan since 2021. Nancy has presented master classes across the United States and Europe, and in Japan, China, Mexico and Brazil – at The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Lawrence Conservatory of Music (Appleton, WI), Cleveland Institute of Music, Royal College of Music (London), Académie supérieure de musique (Strasbourg, France), Escola Superior de Música (Lisbon, Portugal) and more. She has performed or presented at 12 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, and at PAS chapter events in 17 states and Stockholm, Sweden, in addition to numerous other percussion festivals.
Nancy performs as a soloist and chamber musician – most often with violinist Sharan Leventhal as the duo Marimolin, or with marimbist Jack Van Geem. Performance venues have included the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Ravinia Festival, subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall (New York), Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), and Harmony Hall (Fukui, Japan).
Marimolin's first, self-titled CD (GM Recordings, produced by Gunther Schuller) received wide acclaim including being named “Classical CD of the Month” in CD Review magazine, and bestowed a perfect “10/10” rating (for performance/sound quality, March 1990). It was also nominated for a Grammy in the chamber music category. The duo’s third CD, Combo Platter (Catalyst/BMG, out of print) was named “Disc of the Month” in the June 1995 issue of CD Review. In addition to those CDs and three solo marimba CDs, Nancy recorded William Thomas McKinley’s marimba concerto with Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Her second CD with Jack Van Geem, American Gifts for Marimba Duo, was released in 2020 (Bridge Records).
Over 600 marimba-playing participants attended Zeltsman Marimba Festival events between 2001 and 2018. As Artistic Director, Nancy organized 14 two-week festivals at different venues across the U.S. and in Amsterdam, and performed and taught at ZMF On Tour events (short festivals) in China, Japan, Luxembourg and Boston. An offshoot project, ZMF New Music (coordinated with Shawn Michalek), funded by over 200 contributors, fostered 24 marimba solos published as Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba (C.F. Peters Corporation), and recorded by eight marimbists (Bridge Records double-CD).
Other contributions to the field include Nancy's method book, Four-Mallet Marimba Playing: A Musical Approach for All Levels (Hal Leonard Corporation), now in its 7th edition. She served four times as a member of the jury for the biennial Tromp Percussion Competition in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2010-2016). In 2019, she was a jury member for the International Artist Competition hosted by Southern California Marimba, and the Percussive Arts Society’s marimba composition contest. Zeltsman is a Pearl/Adams Artist who worked with Adams Musical Instruments to design the Alpha wood Z-frame endpieces of the Nancy Zeltsman Signature marimba (released in 2021). Her popular line of signature mallets is available from Encore Mallets.
Zeltsman graduated from New England Conservatory of Music with a BM in percussion performance (1982) where she studied with Vic Firth. Other teachers included Ian Finkel, Robert Ayers, Donald Marrs, Dave Samuels (jazz improvisation), and William Thomas McKinley (composition). Nancy lives in Boston, Massachusetts.