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D.M.A. Music Performance, Minor in Historical Musicology – University of Arizona 2017

D.M.A. Document: Words as Music, Music as Text: Stuart Saunders Smith’s 

Works for Percussion and Spoken Word

M.M. Music Performance – The University of Tennessee - Knoxville  2012

B.M. Music Performance – Central Michigan University 2009

cum laude

Principal Percussion Teachers

Dr. Norman Weinberg, Professor of Percussion, University of Arizona

Dr. Andrew Bliss, Assistant Professor of Percussion, The University of Tennessee

Dr. Andrew Spencer, Professor of Percussion, Central Michigan University

Chris Wabich, Adjunct Professor of Music, University of Arizona

studies in Irish bodhran

Keith Brown, Senior Lecturer of Percussion, The University of Tennessee

studies in drumset



The University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ 2013-2015

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Courses Taught:

  • MUS 153 – Percussion Instruments Class: In addition to teaching this class, I selected the students’ required materials, oversaw written and applied assessments, and designed the curriculum.
  • MUS 182/282/382/482 – Applied Lessons

Ensemble Instruction:

  • Assistant Conductor of the University of Arizona Percussion Group
  • Artistic Director, Malleus Graduate Percussion Group: In this role, I oversaw all programming, publicity, and rehearsal schedules for the ensemble, which was made up of MM and DMA students. Major projects included a celebration of the music of Iannis Xenakis and a performance of Paul Lansky’s Threads.

Other Responsibilities:

Served on the percussion faculty jury panel for playing examinations each semester

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, TN 2009-2012

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Courses Taught:

  • MUPF 150/151 – Applied Lessons
  • MUED 230 – Class Percussion Methods: I served as the teaching assistant for this course, which encompassed both administrative duties and delivering lectures on the course material.

Ensemble Instruction: 

  • MUEN 310 – Percussion Ensemble: I was assistant conductor for this group, which included undergraduate and graduate students.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Wrote curricula for upper level lessons and orchestral percussion repertoire class
  • Oversaw transportation of equipment to concert venues on- and off-campus


Pusch Ridge Christian Academy – Tucson, AZ 2015-

Assistant Band Director/Percussion Specialist

Courses Taught:

  • Band Advanced – High School Wind Ensemble
  • Symphonic Band – 7th/8th Grade Band
  • Concert Band – 6th Grade Band
  • Grammar School Band – 5th Grade Band

Extracurricular Responsibilities:

  • High School Marching Band
  • Jazz Band
  • Marching Percussion Ensembles
  • High School Percussion Ensemble (founder)
  • Private Percussion Lessons

Major Accomplishments

  • Initiated and oversaw student participation in the 2017 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis
  • Initiated and oversaw student participation in the Arizona Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society State Days of Percussion
  • Registered the school as a Percussive Arts Society Member Organization


Tucson Symphony Women’s Association – Tucson, AZ 2015-

Percussion Instructor

Tucson Summer Music – Tucson, AZ 2014-2015

Percussion/Piano Instructor 

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy – Tucson, AZ 2013-2015

Percussion Instructor

Tucson Unified School District – Tucson, AZ 2012-2013

Percussion Instructor, Sam Hughes Elementary School

Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra – Knoxville, TN 2010-2012

Rehearsal Coach – Percussion 

Bearden High School – Knoxville, TN 2011

Marching Percussion Instructor

Central Michigan University Summer Music Camp – Mount Pleasant, MI 2009

Percussion Instructor

Croswell-Lexington High School – Croswell, MI 2005-2009

Percussion Instructor

Beal City Community Schools – Beal City, MI 2008-2009

Percussion Instructor

SELECTED ARTISTIC ACTIVITY – Performances and Masterclasses


The University of Virginia – Charlottesville, VA 

Invited by composer Matthew Burtner to perform his work Profiled from Atmospheres as 

part of Technosonics, a UVA concert series exploring music as it intersects with technology

The University of Nevada – Las Vegas, NV 

Invited to teach a masterclass and perform a recital as a guest artist


Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ 

Recital with the Weiss/Soflin Duo (saxophone/percussion), including the premieres of Matthew Burtner’s Profiled from Atmospheres and Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke’s Fantasia

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy – Tucson, AZ 

Performance of Gary Ziek’s Concerto for Percussion Solo accompanied by the Advanced Wind Ensemble

The University of Akron – Akron, OH 

Invited by Smith Publications to perform Christian Wolff’s “Exercise 26” and “Exercise 27” at a festival honoring the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Noble Snare

Arizona School for the Arts – Phoenix, AZ 

Recital with the Weiss/Soflin Duo

Benderly-Kendall Opera House – Patagonia, AZ 

Recital with the Weiss/Soflin Duo

Utah Valley University – Orem, UT 

Presentation – “The music of Stuart Saunders Smith”, Solo recital – “Music and/as Spoken Word”


The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, TN 

Masterclass – “The Texted Percussion Music of Stuart Saunders Smith”, Guest solo performance for percussion studio recital

Zuzi! Dance Theatre – Tucson, AZ 

Performed Christos Hatzis’ Fertility Rites with dancers from the Ballet Conservatory Tucson

Arizona Senior Academy – Tucson, AZ 

Recital with the Weiss/Soflin Duo

Tempe Center for the Arts – Tempe, AZ 

Recital for Performance with a View Concert Series with the Weiss/Soflin Duo

Firecreek Coffee Company – Flagstaff, AZ 

Recital for Interference Series – “Transcending Language: The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith”

Christian Youth Theatre Orchestra – Tucson, AZ


St. Philip in the Hills –  Tucson, AZ 

Recital with Weiss/Soflin Duo, including world premiere of Derick Evans’ Nil Fosse Five

Maker House – Tucson, AZ 

Recital in collaboration with poet Tere Fowler Chapman for Church of Beethoven Concert Series

Tucson Repertory Orchestra – Tucson, AZ


Tucson Museum of Art – Tucson, AZ 

Solo recital – “The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith”

Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, AZ 

Solo recital/masterclass

CREATIVE ACTIVITY: Publications and Recordings

Percussive Notes (Upcoming) 

Article detailing experience at “The Noble Snare – Twenty-Five Years”

Four/Ten Media 2017 Recording of Matthew Burtner’s Profiled from Atmospheres

Arizona Public Media 2017

Interview with the Weiss/Soflin Duo for Arizona Spotlight Program

Society for American Music Bulletin 2015

Soflin, Elizabeth L. “Stefan Wolpe and the Avant-Garde Diaspora.” Review of Stefan Wolpe and the Avant Garde Diaspora, by Brigid Cohen. The Society for American Music Bulletin 41, No. 2 (Spring 2015): 24- 26. 



Metal Light by Paul Lansky

Percussion Solo, member of consortium led by the Percussive Arts Society

Sunlight hits parlor wall by Neal Warner

Duet for saxophone and percussion

Work in Progress by Adam Scott Neal 

Solo for percussion and spoken word


Profiled from Atmospheres by Matthew Burtner  

Headed a consortium for a new work for saxophone, percussion, and electronics, premiered as part of a guest recital at Arizona State University

Fantasia by Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke  

Duet for Marimba/Alto Saxophone, premiered as part of a guest recital at Arizona State University

Museum of Patterns by Brooks Frederickson 

Percussion Solo, member of consortium led by Jason Treuting


Easter in Bingham by Stuart Saunders Smith 

Duet for Speaking Vibraphonist/Offstage Alto Saxophone, premiered at the University of Arizona as part of lecture recital about the music of Stuart Saunders Smith


Nil Fosse Five by Derick Evans 

Duet for Vibraphone/Tenor Saxophone, premiered at St. Philip in the Hills Episcopal Church (Tucson, AZ) as part of the Tucson Friends of Music Summer Concert Series

Composition Machine No. 1 by Mark Applebaum 

Percussion Solo with indeterminate elements, member of consortium led by Dr. Terry Longshore


Edge of the Earth by Nicholas Powell 

Double Marimba Concerto, premiered at the University of Tennessee


Jungle Dance: That Girl Can Scat by Benjamin Laur 

Keyboard Percussion Trio, premiered in 2009 at Central Michigan University


Black Swamp Percussion – Performance Artist Endorsement

Mike Balter Mallets – Performance Artist Endorsement

Percussive Arts Society – Member since 2005

Society for American Music – Member 2014-2016

The Weiss/Soflin Duo – Established 2012


Stuart Saunders Smith Intensive – Sharon VT 2013

Performance Fellow

nief norf Summer Festival – Furman, SC 2012

Performance Fellow/Intern

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp – Twin Lakes, MI 2008

Staff Ensemble Member for Summer Arts Festival

Masterclasses and Additional Studies

Doug Smith – Utah Valley University 2015

Morris Palter – University of Alaska, Fairbanks 2014

David Skidmore –Third Coast Percussion 2014

James Campbell – University of Kentucky 2013

Casey Cangelosi – James Madison University 2013

Pedro Carneiro – International Percussion Soloist 2013

Keith Aleo – Interlochen Center for the Arts  2011

Eric Millstein – Lyric Opera of Chicago  2011

Doug Howard – Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2009

Mark Douglass – The University of Tennessee 2009

Bob Becker – NEXUS Percussion Group  2008

Svet Stoyonov – University of Miami 2008