Percussion Performance
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Percussion Performance

Our philosophy regarding percussion education is to be as all-inclusive as possible. To that end, our students typically study solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire, as well as improvisation, drum-set, and percussion instruments from other cultures (particularly from Africa, the Middle East, Cuba, Brazil, and Trinidad). We routinely hire guest teachers with focused areas of expertise in order to compliment our more traditional offerings. As a result, Hartt percussion alumni have been very successful in finding a variety of jobs throughout the country.

With an average enrollment of about 15 students, the Hartt percussion program fosters a healthy exchange of ideas and perspectives among the students and allows for personalized attention from the percussion faculty. The teaching/learning experience extends beyond the boundaries of applied lessons, as the Hartt percussion faculty employs an "open door" policy with the students--we are here to serve you.

The Hartt percussion program enjoys a rich tradition of excellence and diversity dating back more than fifty years, distinguishing The Hartt School as having one of the first percussion programs and percussion ensembles in the country. Founded and directed by Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame member Alexander Lepak from 1947-91, the Hartt percussion program has been directed by Benjamin Toth since 1992.

Students interested in learning more about the Hartt percussion program are encouraged to contact Professor Toth at (860) 768-5253, or btoth@hartford.edu.

Applied Percussion Lessons

Weekly private study, emphasizing a comprehensive percussion education. Lessons are designed to meet the student's individual needs, initially developing a strong musical and technical foundation on a variety of percussion instruments. Upper-level students may elect to focus on orchestral, chamber, or solo repertoire.

The Hartt percussion program enjoys a rich tradition of excellence and diversity dating back more than fifty years, distinguishing The Hartt School as having one of the first percussion programs and percussion ensembles in the country. Each semester the Hartt Percussion program typically employs one adjunct guest artist faculty member with a specialized area of expertise, e.g. African, Cuban and Haitian, Brazilian, or Middle Eastern and Indian percussion, or jazz vibraphone and improvisation. In addition to their weekly study with Professor Toth, Hartt percussion students may also register for weekly lessons and master classes with the guest artist faculty member in residence.

Percussion Ensemble

Large and small ensembles perform standard percussion ensemble repertoire, as well as contemporary literature and premiere performances. The ensemble also explores various world music traditions. In addition, the Hartt Steelband presents concerts each spring.

Graduate Percussion Group

Emphasis on advanced percussion trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet repertoire. Professor Toth performs with the group for select projects.

Orchestral Repertoire/Percussion Literature Survey

In addition to the study, preparation, and performance of orchestral repertoire for all percussion instruments, the course outlines the history and literature of the Percussion Ensemble as an art form.

Weekly Master Classes/Performance Classes

Presented by the percussion faculty; often involve student participation and interaction. Guest performers/clinicians are invited each semester.

FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

Two teaching studios: These studios house the percussion faculty's extensive instrument, mallet, and music collection -- all of which are used as a resource for the Hartt percussion students.

Seven percussion practice rooms: Housing a large inventory of well-maintained percussion instruments.

Personal practice rooms: In addition to the rooms mentioned above, each percussion student is assigned a secure, personal practice room to be shared with one or two other percussionists.