Dr. Darren Duerden is the Percussion Professor and Program Lead for the Music and Theatre Department at Brigham Young University – Hawaii. Darren earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from Florida State University and his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. He is President of the PAS Hawaii Chapter and has authored multiple articles for Percussive Notes. He is often affiliated with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and the Hawaii Opera Theater and has traveled and performed in many parts of the world with university and professional ensembles. This summer he is off to Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Darren Duerden: I would have continued to be a high school band director. Other than basic labor jobs as a youth, I have always wanted to be a music instructor. I was a band director after completing my bachelor’s degree, and graduate school gave me the credentials to focus on percussion as a career.
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?
DD: I am proud of the fact that BYU-Hawaii has the most diverse college student body per capita in the country. For an enrollment of 2,500 we have students from over 70 countries.
R!S: What's one thing about you that your students would unanimously proclaim?
DD: I think my students would unanimously proclaim that I really love working with them and am truly invested in their education.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
DD: My favorite percussion instrument has always been the drum set. I love learning and performing on all percussion instruments, but drum set is where I feel most at home.
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
DD: I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and my teenage rock band was named Desolation. Here we are in 1979 and 2019.