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Percussion Studio

Percussion Studio

Kurt Gartner, D.A.
Professor of Music
School of Music, Theatre and Dance
130 McCain Auditorium
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-6899 fax

KSU Percussion Faculty

Kurt Gartner

Gartner TrineKurt Gartner serves as Associate Director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and Professor of Percussion at Kansas State University. There, he teaches applied percussion and percussion methods. Also, he directs the Percussion Ensemble, Keyboard Percussion Quartets, and the Latin Jazz Ensemble. As a 2010-2011 Tilford Fellow, he coordinated an interdisciplinary study of Cuban arts. In the past, he was a Big 12 Faculty Fellow, collaborating with the percussion studio and jazz program at the University of Missouri. There, he provided instruction and performances in Afro-Cuban music and applications of technology in music. He has served as Special Assistant to the Provost and as Coordinator of the university's Peer Review of Teaching Program.

Gartner has performed professionally in orchestral, jazz, chamber, world, and commercial venues, and has performed on a showcase concert and presented additional clinics and performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is an educational consultant for Remo,Sabian,Vic Firth, and Etymotic Research.

Prior to his appointment at KSU, Gartner served as Associate Professor of Bands at Purdue University. In 2001, he completed his Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado. At UNC, he directed ensembles, taught jazz history, and was the Assistant Director of the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. Also, he received the Graduate Dean's Citation for Outstanding Dissertation for his research of the late percussion legend, Tito Puente. Gartner is a founding member and contributing composer of the Indiana-based Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band. He is the technology editor for the journal Percussive Notes.

Neil Dunn

Neil DunnNeil is the Production Coordinator and Instructor for K-State dance, teaching Rhythmic Notation, Composition I for Dancers, Dance and Technology, West African Music and Dance, and Dance Musician Training. Neil also teaches applied percussion lessons, West African drumming, and coaches percussion ensembles in the Kansas State Percussion Studio. Neil earned a Master of Music with Percussion Emphasis from the University of Arizona in 2002 and is Principal Timpanist for the Arizona Opera Company and the Topeka Symphony.

Neil has worked as a dance accompanist since 1994 and has performed with dance at ACDFA, PASIC, and Jazz Dance World Congress, in addition to international venues. Neil's current research involves the study of West African Social Dance and Music on traditional drums and the African xylophone. E-mail Neil Dunn

Jack Donovan

Jack Donovan has been appointed as the graduate assistant in percussion for the 2015-16 academic year.  Originally from MinneapJack Donovanolis, Minnesota, Jack has been a member of many concert bands, orchestras, marching bands and drum and bugle corps.  He received his B.M. from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in Percussion Performance under Dr. Jeff Crowell.  At UWEC he played with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band and Marching Band and was also a member of the UWEC Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and Phi Mu Alpha.  Outside of the University, Jack performed with the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra.  In 2012 and 2013, Jack marched with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps where he played bass drum. Before his summers with the Scouts, Jack marched with Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 for their Championship season.  He has also been a member of the Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline and the Minnesota Vikings Skol Line.  In the summer of 2014 Jack was a member of a percussion quartet from UWEC invited to perform and participate at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa.  Jack was also a member of the UWEC Percussion Ensemble for their performance at the 2014 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN.

Jack has taught at many different high school drumlines and marching bands in the Chippewa Valley area. He was the Percussion Caption Head and Battery Arranger at the Menomonie High School Indoor Drum Line in Menomonie, Wisconsin and for the Chippewa Falls High School Marching Cardinals in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He was also the Bass Technician for The Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps.

In addition to K-State music faculty, percussion students have numerous opportunities to work with clinicians and guest artists - in person and via video conference. Recent guest artists include:

  • Morris "Arnie" Lang, jury panelist via video conference
  • Julia Gaines, University of Missouri
  • Allan Molnar, Lehman College/CUNY
  • Tatsuya Nakatani, percussion improvisation
  • Jerry Tachoir, jazz vibraphone
  • Nathaniel Bartlett, marimba/technology
  • Steve Barnhart, University of Wyoming, jury panelist via video conference
  • Dr. Don Parker, Fayetteville State University, jury panelist via video conference
  • STOMP cast
  • Tijan Dorwana, African xylophone