School of Music > Academics > Studios & Areas of Study > Percussion
The DePaul University School of Music Percussion Department strives to instill in each student the fundamentals of technique and musicianship that are essential for a career in music, regardless of area of emphasis. Students in the percussion department have gone on to have varied career tracks such as performance, education, business, sound recording, and composition. Whether you are interested in orchestral percussion, new music, chamber music, or collegiate/K-12 teaching, we have a course of study that we can customize for you.
Under the direction of Michael Kozakis, the Percussion Ensemble performs a large variety of music expressly written for percussion. The ensemble is dedicated to performing a balance of historically important works and the latest contemporary works. The ensemble performs a fall, winter, and spring concert and performances at student recitals and various Days of Percussion and large conventions. Performances include a mix of works written for the small chamber group to the large percussion orchestra.
Click here to see a list of some recent pieces performed by the Percussion Ensemble.
Through audition, all percussionists at DePaul are assigned to large ensembles at the beginning of each school year. Students can be assigned to Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Opera, and the new music ensemble, 20+. Occasionally, due to repertoire requirements, students are assigned to more than one ensemble per quarter.
Students can request their lesson studio of choice each quarter to the percussion coordinator. While requests are rarely denied, this is ultimately a faculty decision based on teacher load, faculty discussion of the student’s progress, etc. Faculty highly encourage a reasonable continued length of study with the same teacher(s) to attain the concepts being taught properly.
The Percussion Department offers a total of 3 graduate (non-teaching) assistantships. Duties include instrument maintenance, lesson scheduling, and various other duties as needed in the department. Assistantships are renewable for the graduate’s second year. Stipends are available for these positions.
All 1st and 2nd-year students are assigned to a studio teacher for the whole year. Upon receiving an offer of admission, performance majors can make a request to the percussion coordinator if they strongly prefer a specific teacher. These requests are not guaranteed, but performance majors can request to know who they will study with before accepting their offer of admission.
Students majoring in other courses of study such as Music Education, Sound Recording, Performing Arts Management will be assigned a teacher before the beginning of the school year.
3rd and 4th-year students are given the option of choosing their teachers based on the method described above for graduate students.
In the past few years, we have had the opportunity to host masterclasses from some of the top performers in the percussion field:
The Percussion Department has 9 practice/rehearsal rooms and a studio size that strives to be between 18 and 22 students (including graduate students). All the equipment is well-maintained and updated on a regular basis. Of the 9 rooms, one is a two-story large percussion room (1000+ square feet) for lessons, studio classes, practice space, and percussion ensemble. There are 3 medium teaching/practice spaces (400-500 sf) with all of the main instruments available (timpani, 5 octave marimba, xylophone, glock, vibes, etc.). On the first floor, there are 5 smaller practice rooms with drum set, mallets, timpani, etc.
Highlights of our inventory include: