RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Five Question Friday: Andrew Richardson (University of Oklahoma)

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 23, 2020

    Andrew RichardsonAndrew Richardson serves as the Interim Director of Percussion Activities at the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, Andrew is a member of the Norman Philharmonic and is the Oklahoma PAS Chapter president. Andrew earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma as well as Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued? 

    Andrew Richardson: When I was a kid, someone told me I'd be a good ambassador. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as an adult I have become more interested in politics, so maybe that was a good insight. I've also always been keen on building and repairing drums/percussion; maybe I could have been a carpenter.

    R!S: What's one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?

    AR: Norman, Oklahoma has a nickname, "City of Festivals," because of the many events hosted here: Norman Music Festival, Jazz in June, Chocolate Festival, Earth Day Festival, Aviation Festival, Medieval Fair, and a National Weather Festival, just to name a few. Speaking of weather, Norman is home to the NOAA National Weather Center. OU also has two great museums: a natural history museum and an outstanding art museum.

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

    AR: I think they would all agree that I start each day with a positive attitude and am always excited to make music together.

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

    AR: Whenever I get asked this, I dodge it a bit because it's such a tough question. In college we used to talk about what we would choose if we could only play three instruments for the rest of our lives. I chose marimba, drum set, and steel pan—one mallet instrument, one drumstick instrument, one non-Western instrument.

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

    AR: My early childhood was in Fairfax, Virgina, and middle/high school was in Harrisonburg, Virgina. My parents moved to the United States from England, so I spent several summers there as a child visiting family.

  • Five Question Friday: Jovon Milford (Allen University)

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 16, 2020

    Jovon MilfordJovon Milford serves as Director of Percussion and Assistant Director of Bands at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Benedict College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a concentration in percussion. He later attended Ashford University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in education. His primary duties at Allen University consist of overseeing the percussion ensemble, applied percussion, and assisting with all other musical campus ensembles.  Jovon holds active professional memberships within the Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Racial Diversity Alliance, and the Percussive Arts Society. 

    Rhythm! Scene: What other jobs, music or otherwise, did you have prior to your current university position?

    Jovon Milford: Before I began teaching at Allen University, I taught elementary music. I’ve done a few years of teaching privately at a percussion studio as well, and I have also served as the director of percussion for various high schools. 

    R!S: What's one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?

    JM: South Carolina is known in this area for its subtropical beaches and marsh-like sea islands. Students who attend Allen University have the opportunity to see first-hand how eye catching the city and the university are, and they are able to experience the many different cultures and historical sites the city has to offer.

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

    JM: My students would most likely say that I take the art of teaching percussion very seriously and that I’m always creating additional ways to help students meet their fullest musical potential.

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

    JM: Marimba is my most favorite percussion instrument. I’ve selected this instrument because you’re able to create harmony. I also like the warm, unique sound that this instrument produces along with the many different capabilities it has to offer. 

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

    JM: I was raised in St. Stephen, South Carolina. As a child I developed a habit for beating and banging on surfaces.  This led me in the direction to want to play percussion instruments. When I was in elementary school, I attended a homecoming parade and saw the marching band perform; from that point I decided that’s what I wanted to be involved in musically.

  • Five Question Friday: Jacob Nissly (San Francisco Conservatory of Music)

    by Hillary Henry | Oct 07, 2020

    Jacob NisslyJacob Nissly is the Co-Chair of the percussion department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and teaches at the Aspen Music Festival. Nissly also serves as the Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony and previously was the Principal Percussionist of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and a fellow at the New World Symphony. In October 2019 Nissly premiered Adam Schoenberg’s percussion concerto “Losing Earth” with the San Francisco Symphony. Nissly holds a Bachelor of Music and Jazz Studies degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. 

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Jacob Nissly: I have been the Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony since 2013, a full-time job with three to four concerts of new repertoire each week.

    R!S: What's one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?

    JN: San Francisco is among the most diverse cities in the world, and that diversity includes a wealth of music and musicians. The San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, and SFJazz are all steps away from the Conservatory of Music.

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

    JN: I am related to Clair Omar Musser and have run five marathons.

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

    JN: In the orchestra I love to play the tambourine because it is such a distinct voice rhythmically and timbrally. 

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

    JN: I grew up in Grimes, Iowa, and studied with Woody Smith. I marched in the DCI Finals with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps when I was 15.

    Photo by Cody Pickens

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