RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Five Question Friday: Layne Mauldin

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jul 28, 2021

    Layne MauldinLayne Mauldin is an active educator and performer based in Greenville, South Carolina. She serves as Adjunct Percussion Instructor at Clemson University, where she teaches applied lessons in all areas of percussion and works with the percussion ensemble. She is also the Director of Percussion at Legacy Early College Elementary School in Greenville, where she teaches world percussion to second through fourth grades and directs the honors percussion ensemble. She actively composes pieces that her percussion ensemble performs and frequently collaborates with the string and choir directors at her school, providing her students with well-rounded experiences as performers. Additionally, she serves on faculty at DRUM Percussion Studio in Greenville, where she teaches private lessons and directs the Pre-Collegiate Percussion ensemble. 

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Layne Mauldin: My dream as a young girl was to go into the equine business as a jockey or horse trainer; I was an avid horsewoman growing up. In college, I also briefly considered going into law. There are several lawyers in my family, and I have always found that field interesting! 

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    LM: Easily my oddest job outside the industry is being a PE coach. My position at my elementary school was adjusted due to COVID restrictions and precautions this past school year, so I have had to learn how to teach physical education to my younger students. It has been a wild ride, but I have learned a lot that can be applied back to my percussion pedagogy. One of the most unique aspects of being a freelance artist is applying knowledge from seemingly random situations and/or gigs to teaching percussion and performing.

    R!S: What's one thing about you that your colleagues or students would unanimously proclaim?

    LM: I get really loud when I am excited about something! Whether it’s the student making a realization or me coming to my own revelation mid-teaching, it’s not uncommon to hear me all the way down the hall during my students’ lessons. With my new students, I always have to give a disclaimer that I may startle them the first time that I get loud.

    R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?

    LM: I gravitated towards drum set in middle school and never really looked back. I considered pursuing my master’s degree in jazz performance so that I could continue focusing on drumming, but that wasn’t the path I eventually took.

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    LK: I grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, just south of Charlotte. I grew up spending all of my spare time outdoors and/or in barns riding horses; I didn’t even consider picking up drumsticks until it was time for middle school band! I also had never had a formal private lesson in percussion until my freshman year as a college student.

  • Five Question Friday: Liz Kan

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jul 23, 2021

    Liz KanLiz Kan is the Percussion Instructor at Ashland University, Percussion Instructor at Shelby High School, Principal Percussionist of the Mansfield Symphony, and works for Freer Percussion. Additionally, she is an active freelancer, having performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Lansing Symphony, and Springfield Symphony. Liz has also performed and recorded with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on the Grammy nominated album Transatlantic. She has shared the stage with Keith Lockhart, JoAnn Falletta, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Louis Langrée, Itzhak Perlman, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sō Percussion, Rich Redmond, and Michael Burritt. Liz studied with Jerry Noble at Wright State University, earning a BM and MM in Percussion Performance. Liz has served as percussion TA at Brevard Music Center while performing in the faculty orchestra, and has served as president of the Ohio PAS Chapter. 

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Liz Kan: I have had many experiences that could have led to different career options, but I was always drawn to music and never considered any other career paths. 

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    LK: There haven’t been any gigs or jobs that could be classified as weird or odd, but I have had some very memorable musical experiences that were very special and stand out for me. I had the privilege to perform
    “Amériques” by Varèse with the Cincinnati Symphony. It was an arrangement that had 19 percussionists and 2 timpanists! During my time at WSU, I performed “Water” by Viñao and was coached by Bob Van Sice and Svet Stoyanov. 

    R!S: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

    LK:  One thing people don’t really know about me is I have met and performed for Tom Hanks! I was really pleased to find out he is very personable and kind! 

    R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?

    LK: My two favorite percussion instruments are the xylophone and tambourine. I love playing rags and I have always gravitated towards the xylophone. The tambourine is my favorite accessory because it’s an instrument I can hold and feel more connected to. There is such great repertoire with so many interesting techniques and sounds for the tambourine!

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    LK: I grew up in a rural town in northern Rhode Island and lived on a small family farm where we raise sheep. My favorite ewe, Figgy, still greets me when I visit home!

  • Five Question Friday: Miho Takekawa

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jul 16, 2021

    Miho TakekawaMiho Takekawa is originally from Tokyo, Japan and lives in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Percussion Performance at the University of Washington (UW). She was interim Professor of Percussion Studies at the UW in 2010 and currently teaches percussion private lessons and directs the Pacific Lutheran University’s (PLU) Percussion and Steel Bands. She also teaches mallet classes at Pierce College. Miho is a co-founder of the Miho & Diego Duo and TY Music Exchange in Japan, and she serves as the vice president of the Washington State PAS Chapter. 

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Miho Takekawa: I have keen interests of becoming an immigration lawyer, hand-made bead accessory artist, and concert pianist. 

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    MT: Fifteen years ago, I was hired by a rock band for a recording gig, and they asked me to play every single note on the vibraphone, but not with them at all. I believe that they made their own melodies using those notes that I played.

    R!S: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

    MT: Here are a few: I took French in college and failed. I can fall asleep while someone is playing the drum set in the same room.  I use soy sauce for every single dish that I make. I am an introvert. 

    R!S: What is your all-time favorite album and why?

    MT: Djabote (both the film and the album) by Doudou N’Diaye Rose. Music of Senegal changed my life. After being trained as a European classical musician for decades, Djabote opened my eyes and ears. The rhythmic complexity, musical phrasing from the drums, and pitch of each drum still sound beyond amazing to me. It is their orchestra, which I can listen to as I study or analyze as I wish, but most importantly I truly respect and appreciate the groove.  This film/album helped me get through many good and bad days!

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    MT: I was born and raised in Tokyo for 22 years and have now lived in Seattle for the past 24 years. While I was in middle school, I wrote a short essay about a plan to not use money, so people would not fight over basic living necessities. I really wanted to do everything on an “exchange” basis. I remember drawing cows for milk, farmers for vegetables, and fisherman for fish. And, I wrote that I could teach music in exchange for their food. You may say I was a dreamer!

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