Alumni

Ben Finely

Ben Finely

Benjamin Finley is currently the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Percussion Studies at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Originally from Searcy, Arkansas, Benjamin earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, and Brannen Temple. Prior to his appointment at East Central University, he served on the faculty of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. In addition, Benjamin was the director of the marching percussion program at the University of Texas from 2003 to 2005, coordinating and teaching the drum line of the Longhorn Band.

Dr. Finley served as percussion caption head of the Delta Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps in 2000, and competed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention Snare Drum Individuals from 1999 to 2001. As an adjudicator/clinician/arranger, Benjamin has worked with several schools in the Austin/San Antonio area, as well as Texas State University, and has given clinics in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Idaho, and Missouri. Benjamin also holds a Masters of Music from the University of Central Arkansas, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University. His additional teachers include Blake Tyson, Phil Parker and Gilbert Baker.

As a concert artist, Benjamin is active in the creation and performance of new music for marimba and percussion, and in the presentation of solo concerts throughout the Midwest. Recently, Dr. Finley has worked with a consortium of percussion/marimba artists from across the United States in the commissioning of new works by Robert Morris, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Charles Wuorinen, and Halim El-Dabh.

As a composer, Finley has written three solo works for marimba: Evergreen, Ternion and Tree Line. His most recent compositions include Blade for solo percussion and Glacier for percussion ensemble. Benjamin Finley is an endorsing artist/educator for Pro Mark drum sticks and mallets, and his performance videos can be viewed at his YouTube channel.


Line Upon LineLine Upon Line

Formed in 2009 at the University of Texas at Austin, line upon line percussion has set out to expand their repertoire through the commission of new works. The group’s first disc, released in August 2011, contains four pieces written for the trio by Austin composers. In 2011, the trio was nominated for an Austin Critics’ Table Award for Best Classical Ensemble. October 2011 brought the premiere of their project with architects Emily Little and Norma Yancey, seeing times are not hidden, a site-specific work for three performers and custom chimes. line upon line percussion maintains educational and outreach roles with the Austin Chamber Music Center and has performed at various academic institutions around the country. The group has also performed at the Long Center, the Blanton Museum of Art, Fast Forward Austin and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top. line upon line percussion is Adam Bedell, Cullen Faulk and Matthew Teodori.


Thad AndersonThad Anderson

Thad Anderson is a member of the percussion faculty at The University of Central Florida. In addition to the percussion area, he also teaches courses in music composition and technology. Anderson is a versatile performer and pedagogue with interests that span contemporary music, historic percussion ensemble literature, design, conducting, and technology.

Active as a solo, orchestral, and chamber musician, some of Anderson’s performance credits include the Accidental Music Festival, Victoria Bach Festival, Austin Chamber Music Center, Round Top Festival-Institute, Syracuse Society for New Music, Make Music New York, Winter Park Bach Festival, Days of Percussion in Florida, Texas, Idaho, and Oklahoma, the Texas and Florida Music Educators Association convention, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Austin, Waco, and Brevard Symphony Orchestras, and as a guest soloist with Conspirare and the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. Anderson frequently presents clinics, lectures, and performances at high schools and universities across the country.

Anderson specializes in the creation and performance of new music through commissioning and collaborating with composers. Some of these projects have produced new works by Paul Lansky, Zack Browning, Jonathan Kolm, John Serry, Martin Bresnick, Halim El-Dabh, Travis Jeffords, as well as the Collide Festival and Series at UCF. Also active as a composer, Anderson wrote and recorded the soundtrack for the award winning documentary film Standard Deviation. Anderson self-publishes through +Two Media (www.plustwomedia.com).

Additionally, Anderson is highly active in the Percussive Arts Society community where he is currently President of the Florida chapter. Dr. Anderson completed his undergraduate work in Music Education at the University of Central Florida and received his Masters of Music and Doctorate of Music Arts in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. He has also served on the music faculty at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.

Thad Anderson plays Yamaha percussion instruments, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Remo drumheads.


adam

Adam Groh

Adam Groh, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is a percussionist with a diverse performing and teaching background.  He is an ardent supporter of new solo and chamber music for percussion, and has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Ian Dicke, Ethan Frederick Greene, Steven Snowden, Eli Fieldsteel, Christopher Cerrone, Brian Nozny, Chris Ozley, Martin Bresnick, John Serry, and Halim El-Dabh.  He has recently been invited to perform at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States Conference, Fast Forward Austin, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and the Electric LaTex Festival.  As an active chamber musician, Adam has performed alongside So Percussion, members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and with the Austin Chamber Music Center.  He was also a founding member and featured performer with the Denkyem Percussion Group in the “Promising Artists of the 21st Century” festival hosted by the North American Cultural Center, Costa Rica.

Adam has had articles published in Percussive Notes, the official research journal of the Percussive Arts Society and he is the author of the popular percussion blog “The State of Our Art.”

Adam is currently Assistant Professor of Percussion at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where he oversees all aspects of the percussion program.  Adam received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Percussion Performance at The University of Texas at Austin, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from The Florida State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Truman State University.  Adam’s primary teachers include: Dr. Thomas Burritt, Dr. John W. Parks IV, Dr. Michael Bump, and Will James of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Adam is a proud endorser of Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.


Andy

Andy Emerich

In January 2014 Andy joined the United States Army Field Band-Concert Band in Fort George G Mead Junction, Maryland.