Dr. Ming-Hui Kuo is an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Percussion Ensemble Director at DePauw University. Kuo spent 10 years as a performing intern with the internationally known Ju Percussion Group, performing in over 600 concerts and music-related activities in Taiwan, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Macao, Spain, Hungary, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Kuo is an active clinician and chamber ensemble performer, having presented or performed at events including the PAS Kentucky Day of Percussion, IPA Clinic Day, and IMEA All-State Percussion. A recent student survey called Kuo “a fantastic teacher and performer.”
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Ming-Hui Kuo: Being a musician has always been my goal ever since I started my percussion lessons, although I had several areas of interest beside playing music before I went to high school. If I was not a percussionist, I might go to the police academy, I might be a hair designer, I might be a singer…
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?
MHK: My gigs are very normal: teaching in the university, giving clinics, and performing at music festivals. If I had to provide one example of an odd job, it would be during a year of my absence from being a musician in the year 2000. I took an office job at an English as Second Language Center. During that year, I knew that it was not going to be my personal career path. Then, I joined back with Ju Percussion Group, committed to being a professional percussionist, and haven’t changed my mind since.
R!S: What's one thing about you that your colleagues or students would unanimously proclaim?
MHK: I am student focused, have great enthusiasm for teaching music, and a love for performing. Here is the quote from one of my colleagues, Dr. Craig Paré: “You uniquely combine the talents of an exceptional, world-class artist with those of a mentoring teacher who cares deeply about her students and their progress as musicians.”
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
MHK: I love many percussion instruments. If I have to choose one as my favorite percussion instrument that would be the marimba. I love how it sounds and the many possibilities for making music on this beautiful instrument.
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
MHK: I grew up in Hsinchu, Taiwan. My mom told me that when I was four years old, I was fascinated by the piano when we would pass by a music store during shopping. I went in there and didn’t want to leave. So my mom signed me up for my first group music lesson.