Drum Friends are the Best Friends!

Not sure what you’re doing Sunday evening, March 25, 2018 at 7pm?
You’re going to the University of Manitoba Percussion Ensemble Concert!

We’ve decided to invite a pile of guest artists to join us to celebrate our first full year in our beautiful new facilities in the Desautels Faculty of Music Tache Construction! Check out this amazing line up:

Mike Kemp–Principal Timpanist of the WSO will be featured in John Beck’s Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble. Mike is a great player and a great human being. Check out his bio here!

Cam Denby will be featured on the marimba in a performance of Ghanaia, this is an exciting and rhythmic work featuring a world percussion ensemble accompanying the marimba. It is a U of M Percussion Ensemble tradition to feature the graduating students in the percussion ensemble concert and I am looking forward to this performance as well as to hearing more from Cam in the future!

Kevin King is best known as Floyd the Clown when getting up to any type of antics but we are going to see his juggling skills in action during our Ballet for Basketballs! These novelty pieces are a great way to explore sound and choreography in percussion writing, plus they are just a TON of FUN!

The U of M Alumni Ensemble is back! We had a such a great time performing last year during “This is it” the farewell concert for the great hall, that we decided to “put the band back together again” for another performance. It has been so much fun working with former students, former classmates, and current colleagues and getting the chance to get together and play!

Alyssah Poiron is a third year student who will be performing a xylophone solo with the alumni ensemble! Instead of the traditional xylophone rag, she’ll be forming a xylophone jig entitled “the absent minded woman” a title which does not in any way apply to Alyssah!

You won’t want to miss this concert! We hope to see you there!

Admission is free–Silver Collection at the door.

Sunday March 25, 2018. 7pm. T-145 (Large Ensemble Room, main floor, Tache  New Construction) in the Desautels Faculty of Music

Prairie Percussion 2018!


Looking forward to another great year at the MBA PPW!

This summer’s workshop will be from August 7-10 and I can’t wait to see our returning participants and meet all the new drum friends who will be coming to join in on the Drum Fun!

I am so grateful to all of the participants, the guest artists, the wonderful educators, and dear friends who have all worked with me to make sure that this workshop has grown and developed and thrived, and now, in its 7th year, is part of the MBA family of summer programs. When I started this program I hoped that this workshop would help grow the percussion community in Manitoba and I am so honoured that so many people have given so much of their time and talents to help make that hope into a reality!

Registration is open for this year’s workshop. Click here for more information or to register.

We are back in the amazing facilities at the Desautels Faculty of Music and I am starting to work on the classes, guest artists, masterclasses and special events for this year’s workshop. Its going to be another great year of Drum Love!

University of Manitoba Percussion Ensemble Winter 2018

Its going to be a heck of a semester for the University of Manitoba Percussion Ensemble. We have several exciting performances coming up!

Come see the U of M Percussion Ensemble as we perform in the Commons at The Forks on Sunday January 28, 2018 at 1pm for a pop concert as part of the WSO New Music Festival. We will be premiering three pieces by U of M student composers. Fascinating and eclectic works by Anatol Rennie, Chris Love and Nolan Hildebrand.

My percussion students will be performing solo and small ensemble works for marimba as part of the Millennium Library Concert Series on March 1, 2018 at 12pm downtown at the Millennium Library. This is an exciting opportunity for these students to show off their skills on the marimba as part of this wonderful chamber music series.

Join us this spring for our final On-Campus concert featuring Mike Kemp (principal timpanist of the WSO), Cam Denby (graduating student) and the return of the U of M Alumni Percussion Ensemble. March 25, 2017 at 7pm. Made up of graduates from the past 30 years this ensemble formed last year to perform at the Great Hall Farewell concert and they had so much fun that we’ve decided to have another go at it!

This is it! (the last concert in the Great Hall!)


I am overjoyed to be saying good bye to the Great Hall (which, let’s be honest, is not that great…) and to be moving into our new facilities in the new construction attached to the Tache building, the new home of the Desautels Faculty of Music on the University of Manitoba Campus!

The percussion studio was moved over the Great Hall as a “temporary” storage and rehearsal space in 2004 and we can’t wait to get settled into our new home, but I also think its important to celebrate the achievements of the past, and to remember where we’ve come from.

The current students won’t remember the days when rehearsals were held in the Taché Auditorium (this was before my time) and equipment was carried in and out of there several times a week… I’ve heard a rumour that our old Deagan marimba enjoyed a trip down a short flight of stairs in those days…

From there we moved on to the joys of the annex, a former lab, turned percussion studio, with a drum set practice area in a retired walk-in freezer! Good Times!

…and now we are in the Great Hall Kitchen (yes, the back of a former cafeteria kitchen, though it was still a functioning kitchen when we first got there, talk about a great way to make friends…!) and this summer we will be moving to our new home. As Rachel and Monica would say “Its the End of an Era!”

To Celebrate, we are having a Dance Party! A lighthearted concert of classic (and sometimes hoaky) pop tunes.  I am so excited to be debuting the University of Manitoba Alumni Percussion Ensemble, made up of U of M percussion grades from 1982-2015! This group will play, along with the current U of M percussion ensemble and we will trade dance sets and reminisce and celebrate as we get ready to move forward into our next chapter!


The concert will be in the Great Hall at University College on March 24, 2017 at 7:30pm. You won’t want to miss this one!

Prairie Percussion Workshop 2016!

I can’t believe that this will be the 5th workshop, I know that people say it all of the time, but where does the time go?! I am so excited that this workshop has been able to grow and thrive as a resource for young musicians!



All students are given access and opportunities to develop their skills in all areas of percussion.



Students are grouped with their peers in small ensembles to develop their musical and technical abilities.



Students are given the opportunity to develop skills they can take back to their music programs.

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