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Capital's percussion enrollment usually varies between 18-24 majors, in all degrees.
The focus of our percussion majors varies from orchestral performance to hand drumming. Each student will ultimately excel in one or more areas, but the curriculum is designed to promote a broad-based experience in percussion. One distinction about our program is that we consider drum set to be one of the essential elements of fundamental percussion performance, along with mallet percussion, snare drum and timpani.
Each fall, students participate in a performance review, which helps the faculty determine the progress of students returning over the summer and affirms the performance level of new students. Concert ensemble assignments are made following this event. Jazz ensemble auditions are held during the first week of class.
We are blessed with a model percussion facility, featuring thirteen separate practice spaces dedicated to the percussion area. These spaces include a large percussion ensemble rehearsal room and a teaching studio, all separate from the percussion office. There are practice spaces dedicated to drum set, hand drumming, timpani and mallet percussion. There is also an electronic workstation. All practice rooms are open from 7:00am to 2:00am.
Each student receives the equivalent of a fifty-minute lesson each week. In the percussion area we will use a variety of experiences to achieve that goal. For example, freshmen will participate in a one-hour group lesson per week, along with a half-hour private lesson. This allows certain topics, e.g. basic timpani stroke, cymbal/accessory instruments, etc. to be delivered in an efficient way, allowing us to say the same thing to all students. The same method is employed for juniors in the program. In addition, two/three times a semester we engage in a percussion studio class, where all majors perform a solo, which is graded by the instructors and serves as the private lesson for that week. Fellow students and instructors make verbal comments about the performances. This allows all students the experience of performing in front of their peers and hearing a large quantity of literature in one setting. These sessions are generally held on Monday evenings, scheduled in advance and attendance is required, as they serve as a substitute for the private lesson for that week.
Our percussion ensembles have a long history of touring, performing in various venues. Our Jazz Percussion Ensemble has won numerous awards at regional and national collegiate jazz festivals, and some of our percussion ensembles have been honored with invitations to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in 1997, 1999 and 2005.
One of the tremendous features of Capital University is its proximity to the Columbus metropolitan area, a community of over 1.8 million people. Specifically for drummers and percussionists, this area features an unusually high number of outstanding performers (many of them Capital graduates), allowing young players a unique opportunity to "gauge" their skills. Those that have decided to leave Columbus have also met with great success.
Our graduates have achieved success in all facets of the music business, including performance, teaching, publishing, recording, arts management, manufacturing and the music products industry. Capital's faculty is a reflection of the opportunity for today's young musician to develop into a viable music professional.
Capital University is a private four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school located in the Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood of Bexley. Copyright © 2014 Capital University