PAS Recent News

2023 Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

Dec 14, 2022, 09:27 AM by Percussive Arts Society
The Percussive Arts Society is pleased to announce the newest additions to the 2023 PAS Board of Directors and PAS Board of Advisors, which will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Board of Directors

The Percussive Arts Society is pleased to announce the newest members to the PAS Board of Directors, which was voted on unanimously earlier this month by the current PAS Board of Advisors.

“I am extremely excited that Dr. Megan Arns will serve as Secretary and Juels Thomas as first Vice-President on the Executive Committee, whereas Deb Birnbaum and Derek Moore will serve as new directors on the Board of Directors. Megan and Juels have a long history of service to PAS and will make fantastic additions to the current Executive Committee. Deb and Derek, although new to PAS, fill important voids on our Board of Directors,” said Joshua Simonds, PAS Executive Director. “In addition to the new board members, I want to publicly thank Dr. Chris Hanning, Sarah Hagan, and Gary Bolinger for their years of time and service to PAS as they rotate off.”

Megan Arns 2023

Megan Arns - Secretary

Dr. Megan Arns is a percussionist, ethnomusicologist, and educator with a diverse set of skills and a driven passion for her craft. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO where she has served as Director of Percussion Studies since 2014. Recent past faculty positions include Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan where she was also the Principal Timpanist of the Amman Symphony Orchestra. She is a section member of the New Hampshire Music Festival during the summers and has also performed with the St. Louis, Tallahassee, Sarasota, Missouri, Northwest Florida, Albany, Southern Tier and Macon Symphony Orchestras. 

Active as a contemporary chamber percussionist, Megan’s recent highlights include collaborative performances in Spain, France, India, Jordan, Costa Rica, Ghana, and the United States at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Millennium Park, Smithsonian Institution, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Megan regularly performs with two contemporary chamber groups: the [Switch~ Ensemble] – an electroacoustic ensemble based out of New York, and DRAX – a saxophone and percussion duo in residence at Mizzou. Through these groups, she has commissioned and premiered dozens of works with living composers.  

Megan received her D.M.A. in Percussion Performance & Literature and M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music. She was also awarded performance degrees from Florida State University (M.M.) and Truman State University (B.M.), where she was recognized as a Presser Scholar. Her primary teachers include Michael Burritt, John W. Parks IV, Michael Bump, Musekiwa Chingodza, Emmanuel Agbeli, and Nyoman Suadin. Megan endorses Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets, Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Black Swamp Percussion, Remo Drumheads, and Zildjian Cymbals. 

Juels Thomas 2023

Juels Thomas - First Vice-President

Juels Thomas has never lived in a house without a drumset. She thinks this is normal. Her father was a drummer and started teaching her to play at the age of five. From there, she went on to march snare all four years of high school, graduate with a BA in Professional Music Business from Berklee College of Music in Boston and is currently the Director of Marketing and Artist Relations for Drum Workshop, Inc., which includes DW Drums, DWe, Gretsch Drums, Latin Percussion, Pacific Drums & Percussion and Slingerland. Juels is involved in the marketing strategy, planning and budgeting for all DW brands as well as overseeing artist and industry relations globally. She also manages the company’s trade show presence, clinic tours, artist sessions and participation at music festivals all over the world. Juels has been an active Advisory Member of the Percussive Arts Society’s Drumset Committee since 2008 and currently serves on PAS’s Board of Directors.

Deb Birnbaum 2023

Deb Birnbaum - Director

Deb Birnbaum, MBA, is the Educational Affairs Innovations Director and Scholarly Concentrations Program Director at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She previously managed the successful reaccreditation of the School, the nation’s largest medical school. Deb likes to play big; is motivated by chaos and challenges, and is excited by transformative experiences that lead to a better future. Deb has had a dynamic career in education, health care, entrepreneurial and other complex organizations. She has extensive experience in directing programs, strategic planning and implementation, change leadership, project management, and communications and marketing. Prior to joining IU School of Medicine in 2015, she was at National Louis University in Chicago where she led implementation of the University’s five-year strategic plan; managed development of a new college and led (re)design of academic programs. Her initiatives demonstrated agility and continuous improvement, and strengthened the position of this 130-year-old institution, which was under serious pressures facing many schools. Deb’s other experiences include leading communications and outreach for a leading national nonprofit fighting childhood obesity, director of Public Relations for Anthem, Inc., and director of Marketing Communications for Sallie Mae.

Deb has an MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. Among her extensive community leadership is the MusicCrossroads Steering Committee; the Jewish Community Center of Greater Indianapolis Board of Directors; chair of the Drum Corps International World Championships steering committee; and Indiana University Kelley School of Business, where she served on the executive committee of the national Kelley Alumni Association board of directors and as Central Indiana chapter president. She’s received the Kelley School’s alumni leadership award and the Spirit of Philanthropy award, the Jewish Community’s Larner Leadership award, and is a Visit Indy Rose Award nominee. Deb loves life with her husband, Len; daughter, Emily; and sons, Ayrton and Fletcher. The Adventures of Deb and Len include live music, sports and theatre, travel and volunteering for Indy Jazz Fest.

Derek Moore 2023

Derek Moore - Director

Derek Moore has refined a uniquely collaborative style of creative leadership throughout a career that has elicited lifelong loyalty from colleagues and clients alike. Moreover, it has produced profitable, award winning and brand building interactive, direct, and relationship marketing work. Over his 25+ years as a marketing professional, Moore has honed a unique set of skills capable of addressing every communication challenge his clients face.

Experienced in brand advertising, yet equally expert in the highly measured and accountable arenas of direct and interactive marketing, Moore has increased both brand value and direct revenue by strategically integrating the two disciplines to the benefit of each. During Leo Burnett USA’s heyday, Moore led the agency’s direct, promotional, and interactive marketing creative group with extraordinary success. His partial client list included Allstate Insurance, Walt Disney World, Dewar’s, Hallmark, Kellogg’s, Kraft, McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble, and United Airlines.

Moore left Burnett to lead the creative transformation at CM Partners, a suburban Chicago agency. He would help take the shop from near extinction to an international award winner and object of a multi-million dollar bidding war. True North/FCB would ultimately acquire CM Partners and bring Moore in as the global agency’s managing director for the Chicago-based division of FCBi, its integrated marketing arm overseeing a team nearly 150 strong, focused on the confluence of brand, direct and interactive marketing. He eventually opened his own integrated marketing agency, Vero. Five years later Moore was asked to help drive the establishment of direct marketing, CRM services and to lead the creative group at The Marketing Store. He accepted this challenge as well, successfully acquiring new clients and growing agency revenues. He was then recruited by Engauge to improve the quality of the creative work and strengthen client relationships. Some of the clients Moore served at these shops included Best Buy, BlueCross BlueShield, Coca-Cola, DeVry University, Dyson, Gatorade, G.E Capital, Kraft, John Deere, Logitech, and McDonald’s.

Throughout his professional career, Moore has sought opportunities to use his gifts, talents, and experiences to serve nonprofits. Consequently, he has provided strategic marketing expertise and design services for Every Tribe Every Nation, Bernie’s Book Bank, Christ Church Lake Forest, Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Bluff as well as Ethnographic Media, and Trinity International University. Currently he is the Chief Creative Steward of Freadom, LLC,. In addition, as time and resources permit, he serves small and medium sized companies, nonprofits and start-ups by providing brand strategy and marketing expertise as Kick-Start Collective, a virtual brand, marketing and communications consultation and execution practice. Moore has also desired to serve his industry, both seasoned professionals and aspiring students. He has been a contributing editor to DM News, authored a chapter on branding for The IMC Handbook. From time to time, Moore has also made time to guest lecture in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University’s Medill School and at Trinity International University.

Board of Advisors

The Percussive Arts Society is also pleased to announce the newest members to the PAS Board of Advisors. The following members were voted on earlier this year by PAS members and will serve a three-year term.

“It is an honor to work with the 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 five new members, as well as three members elected to a second term, to the Board of Advisors, as they support and help guide our efforts to serve our current and future members."

Andrea Venet

Andrea Venet - First Term

Dr. Andrea Venet is a percussion artist, soloist, educator, and composer specializing in contemporary and classical genres who is currently Associate Professor of Percussion and co-directs the UNF NuMIX ensemble. An international soloist, chamber musician, and clinician, Andrea maintains an active schedule; select appointments include the WASBE & Àgora Actual Festivals (Spain), Steve Weiss Mallet Festival (Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia), Kyoto City University University of Arts, PASIC, Eastman School of Music, Celebrate Marimba Festival, and with the PMR Brass Band (SK, Canada). A passionate educator, her areas of research and creative activity include composition, pedagogy, improvisation, marimba and voice, and historically informed Baroque performance practice techniques for playing Bach on marimba. Andrea is commissioned regularly; her works have been performed and premiered at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, as well as by Grammy-Award winning Third Coast Percussion. Venet’s compositions and arrangements are published with KPP, Tapspace, and self-published (DrGlockenAV Publications), in addition to articles published with Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene.

Dave Hall 2023

Dave Hall - First Term

Dave Hall is Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas College of Music. Before his appointment at UNT, he was Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Under his direction, the University of Nebraska Percussion Ensemble was selected to perform a showcase concert at PASIC in both 2019 and 2016 as winners of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition.

He regularly performs as a keyboard and multi-percussion soloist, collaborative chamber musician (especially in contemporary classical settings), jazz drummer, timpanist, orchestral percussionist, steel pan player, and improviser – favoring an eclectic and omnivorous approach to percussion and the arts. In addition to regular engagements in the contiguous United States, he has performed abroad in Spain, Puerto Rico, Belgium, France, Italy, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Dave is an active composer, published by C. Alan Publications. His works for percussion have been commissioned, performed, and recorded around the world. He is an endorsing artist for Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams concert percussion, Remo drumheads, and is a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network.

Mark Wessels 2023

Mark Wessels - First Term

An internationally respected author and educator, Mark is currently the Director of Education for the Avedis Zildjian Company. As a publisher, his “Fresh Approach” method books are among the most successful in the world, with over 500,000 copies in print between the current titles. Over the past 25+ years, Mark has been instrumental in developing online educational content. In 1995 he founded one of the first websites devoted to percussion education ( Since 2001, he has worked to produce some of the most popular online percussion resources on, including Essential Rudiments, Percussion 101, Groove Essentials, DCI/WGI In-the-Lot and “Learn the Music” videos.

Matthew Lau

Matthew Lau - First Term

Hailed by the Aspen Times for his “soulful and technically impressive solo” at his vibraphone concerto debut at the Aspen Music Festival, percussionist Dr. Matthew Lau performs a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicate the meaning and essence of percussion music to its audience, from arrangement of Bach to avant-garde contemporary pieces by Donatoni, in high calibre performances with a whimsical twist. As a queer Asian percussionist, Dr. Lau challenge the convention narratives and work to change the traditional prescribed career path.

Matthew is the co-founder and artistic director of Hong Kong contemporary percussion group The Up:Strike Project, and is part of the duo Fisher/Lau Project Matthew enjoys an international teaching & performing career, 2019–2022 engagements include appearance in universities, festival and competitions in countries like USA, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, and Russia. Matthew obtained his DMA in percussion performance from Stony Brook University under Eduardo Leandro. Currently reside in Boston, Matthew was awarded the prestigious LAB Grant from the Boston Foundation for 2022–2023. Matthew also receives additional projects & touring grants from Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and is named Award for New Artist at the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards.

Dr. Lau is artist endorser of Marimba One, Black Swamp Percussion, Rustic Percussion, and Elite Mallets (Spain), where his signature mallets are manufactured. In his spare time he is an avid yoga practitioner and believe proper alignment can get rid of certain soreness in percussion playing. He is also a Level 1 Master Knitter from The Knitter’s Guild Association.

Michael Rosen 2023

Michael Rosen - First Term

Michael Rosen is as at home with symphonic literature as he is with contemporary music, having served as Principal Percussionist with the Milwaukee Symphony from 1966 to 1972. He has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Sunflower Music Festival and the Grand Teton Music Festival. As Professor of Percussion at Oberlin Conservatory of Music he teaches, conducts the Oberlin Percussion Group and is director of the Oberlin Percussion Institute.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Rosen was a student of Charles Owen, Cloyd Duff and Fred Hinger and received his Masters' of Music degree from the University of Illinois where he studied with Jack McKenzie. He has also taught at Kent State University and the Wisconsin College-Conservatory of Music. In 2014 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Percussive Arts Society and in the same year received the Ruth Strickland Gardner Professorship from the Conservatory.

He has been on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society, is a clinician for the Zildjian Cymbal Co., maintains a continuing column in Percussive Notes Magazine dealing with percussion terms in foreign languages and is a contributing editor of the magazine. He has also served as clinician for the OMEA, TBMA, TMEA, MENC, MBDC and NYSMA, Bands of America many state chapters of the PAS as well as the PAS International Convention several times. He has recorded for the Bayerische Rundfunk, Opus One, Albany, Lumina and CRI labels.

Mr. Rosen has concertized and taught extensively throughout the world including France, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Beijing, and Hong Kong and recently was one of the judges for the Geneva Competition in Switzerland.

In 2014 he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Percussive Arts Society and in 2019 was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

Lastly, the Percussive Arts Society is also pleased to welcome back the following PAS Board of Advisors members for their second three-year term.  These individuals were re-elected earlier this year by PAS members.

Maria Finkelmeier - Second Term

Maria Finkelmeier - 2023

Valerie D. Naranjo - Second Term

Valerie Naranjo - 2023

Marcus Santos - Second Term

Marcus Santos - 2023


Contact Us

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