School of Music

Percussion Studio


About the Studio

The Tennessee Tech Percussion Studio, directed by Dr. Colin Hill, is devoted to providing each student with a comprehensive study of percussion performance, pedagogy, and literature. Our diverse curriculum aims to develop complete musicians who possess the necessary skills and experiences to thrive as professional performers and educators.

As they develop a strong passion and appreciation for the percussive arts, many of our students are recognized by national and international awards through their participation in competitions and summer programs. A large number of our graduates pursue graduate degrees at the nation’s top music schools and our alumni are employed as K-12 educators, university professors, and in-demand freelance percussionists.

Frequently Asked Questions:

As a percussion major, what instruments will I be studying?

Private lessons focus on marimba, snare drum, timpani, drum set, jazz vibraphone, and world percussion. The curriculum is designed to create multi-faceted percussionists who are well-rounded musicians.

What ensembles are available to percussion majors?
Percussion Ensemble, West African Drumming, Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphony Band, University Orchestra, Bryan Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, and Choir.

Do I have to audition to be in the ensembles listed above?
Yes. Ensemble auditions are conducted each semester and determine your placement into all large ensembles. Percussion ensemble is the one exception, however playing abilities will be assessed when individual parts are assigned.

What type of music does the percussion ensemble play?
The Tennessee Tech Percussion ensemble plays repertoire from a variety of periods and styles. The ensemble is dedicated to playing and commissioning new works by contemporary composers, while honoring historically important works that are significant to the heritage of our instrument(s).

How do I register for a percussion studio audition?
Please visit the School of Music Department audition page for information and complete the online audition form.

What do I need to prepare for a percussion studio audition?
Scales: All major scales (two octaves)
Prepared: One four-mallet marimba solo, one concert/orchestral snare solo, one rudimental snare solo, one timpani solo, and a demonstration of basic drum set styles (optional).
Sight Reading: Be prepared to sight-read on all instruments

Percussion Ensemble

The Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Colin Hill, plays a significant role in the percussion curriculum at Tennessee Tech. Dedicated to the performance of percussion repertoire from a variety of periods and styles, emphasis is placed on musical excellence and performance. Through the exploration of both chamber and large ensemble works, utilizing a wide range of instrumentation, students will develop the skills and techniques needed to achieve artistic excellence on a variety of percussion instruments.

As a strong advocate for the development of new contemporary percussion literature, this ensemble has commissioned and/or premiered works by Alejandro Vinao, Paul Lansky, Christopher Deane, Blake Tyson, Christopher Adler, John Psathas, D.J. Sparr, Leroy Osmon, and Ivan Trevino.

Recognized for their excellence, this ensemble has been invited to perform showcase concerts at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Tennessee Music Educator’s Association State Conference, and the Percussive Arts Society Tennessee Day of Percussion. The Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble has also recently performed concerts with artists such as Bob Becker, Steve Reich, Michael Burritt, and So Percussion.


The Tennessee Tech Drumline is comprised of both music majors and non-majors and is one of the most active ensembles on campus. Through performances with the Golden Eagle Marching Band at football games, parades, pep rallies, high school band competitions, and other philanthropic events, the Drumline performs for thousands of people annually and is highly active within the community.

Helpful Links

Percussive Arts Society
Percussive Arts Society Tennessee Chapter
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Schedule Your Visit

Contact Studio:
Dr. Colin J. Hill, Assistant Professor
Phone: 931-372-6082
Office: Bryan Fine Arts Building 315

Dr. Marco Shirripa, Adjunct Faculty
Phone: 931-372-3161