Music blog

  • August 13, 2014

    Music Alumnus Appointed to Faculty at Mizzou

    Megan Arns recently jointed the School of Music faculty at the University of Missouri in August 2014 as Assistant Teaching Professor of Percussion. Megan is a candidate for a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance & Literature and a M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music and was awarded performance degrees from Florida State University and Truman State University, where she was recognized as a Presser Scholar. Active as a contemporary chamber musician, Megan’s recent highlights include collaborative performances in India, Jordan, Costa Rica, Ghana, and the United States at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Millennium Park, Smithsonian Institution, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. An advocate for the creation of new music, she has co-commissioned and premiered works by notable composers such as John Luther Adams, Alejandro Viñao, Halim El-Dahb, Steven Snowden, David Skidmore, Ivan Trevino and Brian Nozny.

    Bill Kalinkos


  • July 2, 2014

    Percussion News

    Undergraduate percussion students Nicole Ulmer and Andrew Brogan, and incoming freshman, Jensynn Casper, are out on the road this summer. Nicole is in the front ensemble with Phantom Regiment, Andrew on tenors with the Scouts (Madison), and Jensynn in the front ensemble with the Troopers. Best wishes to each!

    Dr. Michael Bump was recently named Chair of the Percussive Arts Society’s New Music/Research Committee. He will also serve as Host of the 2015 Percussive Arts Society International Convention “Focus Day” in San Antonio, Texas. The theme of the events will be titled, “Time In Motion: The Art of the Percussive Gesture.”

    The TSU Concert Percussion Ensemble I recently performed as a featured guest ensemble at the 2015 Missouri Music Educators Association Annual Conference in Osage Beach, MO.

    Dr. Michael Bump served as guest artist-clinician for the 2015 Percussive Arts Society, Iowa Chapter, annual “Day of Percussion” at Graceland University.

    The TSU Steel Band, aka “Truman Steel,” was recently featured in the March issue of “Rural Missouri” magazine. The magazine has a statewide readership of over 500,000. You can read the article here:

    Dr. Michael Bump and Truman Steel were recently featured in an interview with Jackie Yoo on TMN’s “Yoo and Me Tonight.” You can view the interview here (begins 4:22):

    Alumnus Dr. Adam Groh recently accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Percussion at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA.

    Alumnus Megan Arns upon returning from her visiting artist-teacher position at the National Conservatory in Amman, Jordan, recently completed here graduate teaching assistantship in percussion at Eastman, receiving her ethnomusicology degree, and now ABD for her DMA in percussion performance.

    Alumnus Scott Quade is now head of digital media at Vic Firth Percussion, Boston, MA.

    Recent graduate Emily Pierson has accepted the position of Assistant Director/Percussion Instructor at Harrisonville HS. Congrats Emily!

  • June 16, 2014

    Saxophone Student Named 2014 Presser Scholar

    Joel Gordon, a music major from Kansas City, MO, has been named the Presser Scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is given to an outstanding music major at the end of his or her junior year. The Presser Foundation honored Gordon with this prestigious award this spring. Gordon is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in music education. He is the son of Jim and Marcia Gordon, and is a graduate of Park Hill High School.

    As a student at Park Hill, Gordon performed as principal alto saxophone with the 2010 Missouri All-State Band and as lead alto of the 2011 Missouri All-State Jazz Band. As a soloist, Gordon won the 2011 Northwinds Symphonic Band Concerto Competition. Gordon studies saxophone with Randall Smith, professor of music, and jazz improvisation and composition with Tim AuBuchon, assistant professor of music. He has received additional instruction from Bob Long of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and Rico Performing Artist José Zayas-Cabán. Gordon received first place in the 2011 Missouri Music Teachers Association-Woodwind Division and was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Naftzger Young Artist Competition.

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    Joel Gordon, left, accepts his Presser Scholar Award from Randall Smith, professor of music, during the Truman State University Music Department’s honors recital in April.

    While at Truman, Gordon has participated in Wind Symphony I and II, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, the Normal Saxophone Quartet and Jazz Combos. In Kansas City, he is the proud leader of the Trouble Clefs Big Band, a group committed to promoting and preserving the art form of jazz. In addition to his performance schedule, Gordon has maintained a strong academic and research record. He is a member of the Truman Leadership Scholar Program and acted as a mentor for sophomore-level music theory and aural skills. This summer Gordon is participating in the TruScholars Research Program. Under the direction of Marc Rice, professor of music, Gordon is researching the development of jazz education in Heartland America. He will also be attending Dave Leibman’s saxophone masterclass.

    Gordon’s professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, North American Saxophone Alliance and Missouri Music Educators Association. He also enjoys participating in the Presbyterian College Fellowship and Kirksville K-Life. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue graduate programs in education and jazz studies.

  • April 22, 2014

    Music Student to Present at MACRO Conference

    Chloe Bertschi, graduate music theory student, has been accepted to give a 30-minute presentation on her paper “The Three Personnages of Messiaen’s Instants Défunts” at this year’s MACRO conference, a national conference that will take place from June 27-28 in Madison, Wis.  MACRO, the Macro Analysis Creative Research Organization, is an organization whose primary goal is to promote musical understanding through a practical synthesis of analysis, pedagogy, performance, composition and informed listening.

  • April 17, 2014

    Graduate Clarinet Student Receives Award

    Luis Viquez, Master of Arts in Music student, has been named a recipient of the 2014 Robert Fountain Memorial Award from the Macro Analysis Creative Research Organization.  The $1000 honorarium is presented by MACRO to an outstanding music major in the area of performance, in memory of the University of Wisconsin’s Dr. Robert Fountain, an internationally recognized musician, instructor and conductor.  MACRO is an international music organization dedicated to the promotion of musical understanding through a practical synthesis of analysis, performance, pedagogy, composition and informed listening.  Luis is from Costa Rica completing a double major in clarinet performance and conducting.

  • March 24, 2014

    Alumnus Returns for a Guest Recital

    Dr. Scott Piper, an alumnus and renowned tenor, will return to Truman March 29 to posthumously honor a former professor whom he greatly admired. Years ago on the Truman campus, a special friendship developed between English professor and poet Jim Thomas and a young Piper, who is the son of faculty members Fontaine Piper and Vera Piper. Although Piper would go on to carve out a distinguished career in music, he always delighted in Thomas and his craft. Thomas was a faculty member at the University for 30 years and retired in 1994. He passed away in 2009. A scholarship in his honor is available through the Truman State University Foundation.

    At 8 p.m. March 29 in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall, Piper, now an assistant professor of music at the University of Michigan, will commemorate his friendship with a special concert to benefit the Jim Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. The concert will feature newly commissioned musical settings of Thomas’s poems from the acclaimed collection “Brief Tracks,” compiled and edited by Truman English professor Joe Benevento. Featured composers will be Stephen Yarbrough and Truman’s own Warren Gooch. Nancy Hueber will accompany Piper on the piano. Tickets for this event are $10 and can be purchased online through All seating is reserved. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 660.785.4417 or

  • March 19, 2014

    Student Wins Prestigious Music Competition

    Andrew Robson, a senior Music Performance major, recently won the National Career Awards Competition sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of the NSAL (National Society of Arts and Letters).  The NSAL was founded in 1944 as a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to discovering and encouraging talented young artists.  Robson will now compete at the National Competition in Charleston, WV, in May 2014.  He is a flute student of Dr. Julianna Moore at Truman.

  • March 3, 2014

    Trumpet Professor Guest Artist at FSU

    Dr. Gregory Jones, Truman’s trumpet professor, recently completed a visit to the Florida State University where he presented a master class, performed a work for trumpet and piano by Greek composer Babis Kanas, and adjudicated the Bryan Goff Solo Trumpet Competition. Pictured are (l-r) Dr. Jones, Bryan Goff, Emeritus Professor of Trumpet, FSU, and Dr. Christopher Moore, the current FSU trumpet professor.

    Goff, Moore, Jones

  • February 24, 2014

    Guest Artists to Perform Piano Duet

    Dr. Paola Savvidou and Dr. Jonathan Kuuskoski, music faculty members at the University of Missouri, will perform together as New Muse Piano Duo in a concert entitled “De-Construction.”  The free concert will begin at 2 p.m. March 1 in the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall.  New Muse Piano Duo, an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing new music, will be appearing this season at various locations in the Midwest as well as Greece, Cyprus and Norway.  Following their concert, Savvidou will present a workshop at 3:30 p.m. entitled “Practicing With Awareness.” Following her presentation, at 4:30 p.m., Kuuskowski will present “Career Envisioning Workshop.”  These events will take place in Ophelia Parrish 2115.  They are also free and open to the public.

  • February 17, 2014

    Music Alumnus Returns for Concert

    The Department of Music welcomes Truman alumnus percussion artist Dr. Adam Groh to campus for a guest solo recital at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall.  A 2008 graduate, Groh went on to complete his graduate degrees at Florida State University and the University of Texas-Austin where he served both universities as a graduate research teaching assistant. He currently is on the faculty at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where he serves as assistant professor of music/percussion.

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    Adam Groh

    Groh has performed with the Des Moines, Round Rock, Victoria, Tallahassee and Chautauqua symphony orchestras, as well as at the Ringling International Arts Festival. He has presented clinics at the The Midwest Clinic, the Texas Music Educators’ Association Convention and the Iowa State Day of Percussion. Groh has also performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada, Fast Forward Austin, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the 2011 Electric LaTex Festival of new electroacoustic music, and was a featured performer with the Denkyem Percussion Group in the “Promising Artists of the 21st Century” festival hosted by the North American Cultural Center in Costa Rica.  In addition to his Feb. 17 concert, Groh will present a performance master class to percussion students from 12:30-2:20 p.m. Feb. 18 in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall. His visit is sponsored by the Truman Percussion Society and Pearl/Adams Percussion, Inc. For more information, contact Michael Bump, at 660.785.4052 or

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