Adam Groh is Assistant Professor of Percussion at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. He performs regularly with orchestras and as a soloist across the United States and abroad, including recent engagements at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, N.Y., the CMS National Conference in Louisville, Ky., and with orchestras in Des Moines, Iowa and Asheville, N.C. Adam also currently serves as the President of the North Carolina PAS Chapter. Adam holds a DMA in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and additional degrees from Florida State University and Truman State University.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Adam Groh: I would be the Pitmaster at my own BBQ restaurant—most likely a food truck. Just like playing music, I love the combination of art, science, process, and attention to detail that goes into providing a delicious meal for friends and family.
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?
AG: WCU is located just a few miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The area is known for incredible outdoor recreational activities like hiking, mountain biking, trout fishing, and white-water rafting. It’s a beautiful place to live and work!
R!S: What's one thing about you that your students would unanimously proclaim?
AG: They would tell you that I care about them as people, and that the most important thing is to create a community where everyone feels comfortable being themselves and enjoys spending time together. When the atmosphere is good, they can all achieve more! They’d probably also say something about “chops”!
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
AG: Anyone who has been around me knows that I claim to not have a favorite instrument, but I do have a leastfavorite: chimes. They’re awkward to play, difficult to move, and just kind of a pain. I don’t dislike their sound, just the logistics of playing them. But, if I have to pick a favorite, it is the snare drum; it will always have my heart.
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
AG: I grew up in St. Louis, Mo.. For eight years I had an iguana named Spike. As a kid, I played all kinds of sports, and I wasn’t as interested in music until high school. At different times I played baseball, basketball, soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse. I still love following sports!