RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • People & Places — January 2024

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jan 22, 2024


    Rio January 2024 People and Places

    Percussion Group of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro School of Music (EM-UFRJ), under direction of Professor Dr. Pedro Sá, made a world premiere on last November 20th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Leopoldo Miguez Hall of the UFRJ School of Music. The piece was Tupinam, written e dedicated to Dr. Pedro Sá and the UFRJ Percussion Group by Mr. Stanley Leonard. Tupinam is a 21st century setting of the indigenous ancient Tupinamba. The music is divided into three parts, Introduction, Chants and Danza. Besides maracá (the Tupinamba, and most native American peoples, had rattles of various kinds that were used for spiritual purposes), the piece calls for caxixis, log drums, brake drums, vibraslap, suspended cymbals, triangle, chocalho, pandeiro, snare drum, field drum, timpani, tom toms, surdo, glockenpiel, vibraphone and marimba. Under the direction of its Director, Professor Dr. Pedro Sá, the members of the percussion group for this concert were: Johnny Rodrigues, Rafael de Oliveira, Cleyton Newman, Railson Marques and Nathan Medeiros, all students of the BA in Percussion at EM-UFRJ. (pic)



    The Polish Chapter Day of Percussion was held December 19, 2023 at the Music School in Bielsk Podlaski. Poland Chapter President Mariusz Mocarski presented workshops including PAS 40 International Drum Rudiments training. The Day closed with a concert performed by students from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music.


    Chicago College Of Performing Arts Orchestra And Faculty To Premiere New Double Percussion Concerto By Alum Tim Corpus

    Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Emanuele Andrizzi will premiere CCPA alum Tim Corpus’s new double concerto on February 5, 2024. This large-scale work for percussion features renowned percussionists and faculty members Ed Harrison (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Vadim Karpinos (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

    “This project has been an exciting homecoming for me. As an alum of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, I’m very excited to be back working with these amazing student musicians and these faculty members who taught me so much,” said Corpus.

    Mr. Corpus graduated from Roosevelt University in 2010 with a Bachelors of Music degree specializing in percussion performance. Ed Harrison is currently the Principal Timpanist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Vadim Karpinos is a percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    The new concerto, titled The Great Lake Concerto, will be premiered by the CCPA Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Emanuele Andrizzi on February 5, 2024 at Auditorium Theatre. 

    “Lake Michigan,” Corpus explains, “is such a critical part of the culture, history, and life of Chicago. Water surrounds Chicago, so I felt it was a fitting theme for a concerto that brings together members of so many Chicago institutions (Roosevelt University, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Auditorium Theatre).”

    Tim Corpus has been composing for live performances and film for over a decade with performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, and more. A graduate of Roosevelt University, he also received his master’s degree in music composition from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. His most recent album, “MMXX”, was GRAMMY-selected for the 2022 awards and hailed as “a striking disc” by critic Robert Hugill. In addition to the upcoming concerto, his original soundtrack for the multi-disciplinary work created by Katherine McClintic, “Ending the War on my Body”, was released in November 2023.

    For more information, head to

  • The Netherlands PAS Chapter's 10th Annual Day of Percussion

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jan 03, 2024

    The Netherlands PAS Chapter held it’s 10th Annual Day of Percussion October 22th in Sittard. The hugely successful day was Sponsored by PAS, RAWI Percussion, Beurskens Music Edition, PaBo Music and Percussion Advice Centre. Musical host for the Day of Percussion was Michel Mordant.

    Netherlands DOP

    Paul Bouten, Georgi Tsenov, Ruud Wiener, Michel Mordant, Hans Beurskens and Maikel Claessen

    Private lessons were given on drums, snare, mallets and timpani by Maikel Claessen, Ruud Wiener and Georgi Tsenov! Ruud Wiener also guested a Malletworkshop about Music Language and it’s creativity and Maikel Claessen hosted a ‘Play Along’ for all people. How nice is just playing percussion: results where fantastic!

    The opening concert was performed by percussion ensemble St. Ceacilia, featuring pieces by M. Mordant, W. van Norel and others! Foreign guest, Percussion ensemble School of Music Eschweiler, Germany played pieces from A. Dvorak, H. Zimmer, J. Offenbach, S. Joplin and others! The 10th Annual Day of Percussion was highlighted by an marimba duo evening concert given by Maikel Claessen and Georgi Tsenov!
  • PASIC Flash Jams – Short Bursts Of Rhythmic Fun In Community by Sandra Gruber

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Dec 15, 2023

    Sandra Gruber Flash Jam

    What is a flash jam? It’s a short burst of rhythmic community fun that happens daily at PASIC.

    Who is it for? Jams are for anyone attending PASIC who happens to be in front of the expo hall when instruments are provided for this purpose.

    Why do we hold these jams? Flash jams promote interactive drumming in the drum community.

    Why get involved? If you are like me, do it for the love of the activity and to build community.

    Ever since 2011, I have participated in the Interactive Drumming Committee (IDC) flash jams. The IDC has enabled and encouraged people of rhythmic passion to gather for the 10- to-15-minute impromptu jams using small percussion instruments, drums, audio outbursts and spontaneous movement in community space. The goals of the flash jams are to experientially engage the PASIC community, educate attendees about interactive drumming session, promote awareness of IDC sessions at the convention, promote the IDC, and give opportunity to gather for spontaneous fun.

    The Interactive Drumming Committee selects a facilitator who leads participants in self-expression, harmony, and fun body movements with various supplied instruments. At least one other person anchors the group by playing a pulse-based groove on a low drum. It can be a heartbeat rhythm, a single beat, or whatever serves to let participants know where to find the home rhythm to harmonize to. Another person serves as a greeter to help by handing out instruments to the crowd, encouraging engagement, and collecting instruments as people leave. One more person is recruited to serve as the social media person to take short videos and pictures and capture the magic of the moment.

    Because of my passion for flash jams, IDC Co-Chair John Yost, empowered me to serve as the organizer for 2023 flash jams.  My charge was to line up lead facilitator, bass drummer, greeter and media volunteers from among those already identified as attending PASIC 2023. These volunteers would assemble the instrument kit and facilitate the activity each day of the conference.

    In my years of attending PASIC, my first love has always been the interactive drumming in flash jams, late night circles, and the finale circle.  When I first attended, I looked forward to playing the bass drum as the heartbeat for the jam. It brought much joy to my mind, body, and soul to help the facilitator with the main beat. In 2022, I had the honor of leading my first jam while other participants played the bass drum. My heart was full of joy as we had a true crowd of players, thanks to the listing in the PASIC schedule (both in the social app and the hard copy). I was elated to have such a great turn out!

    As my colleague Richard "Farf " Farvour described: “The flash jam goal is to inject a little flash into the convention.” No one can remember the year they started, but it's been over 20 years since they burst onto the scene. I live for them every year.

    I started volunteering at PASIC with the logistics team, then moved to the registration desk to hand out badges. I have met some great staff members who allowed me to participate in the flash jams. Gradually, I became an honorary member of the IDC due to all my efforts in helping out with the flash jams. This year, I was welcomed as an official member. My passion for drum circle activity and facilitating groups is very strong. I urge you to get involved with interactive drumming and drum circles. The camaraderie is priceless. The hidden lessons from each facilitator and participant are enriching. As Arthur Hull would say, “to teach without teaching” is so much fun. “Like a sneaky vegetable, feed them the possibilities and eat up the fun.”

    Sandra GruberSandra Gruber worked with Bongo Boy Music School to facilitate community drum circles for health and wellness where she learned world percussion from Ed Gaus and Lisa Colleen. She loves to hold the heartbeat in the middle of the circle and to show others basic rhythms.  Her name literally means “helper of humanity,” and to be a facilitator, to make it easy for others to learn rhythms, is her passion. She is on the PAS Interactive Drumming Committee and is also a member of the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild. 

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