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

Dan Haddad

2014 Haddad

Dan Haddad has been appointed as the graduate assistant in percussion for the 2014-2015 academic year. He is originally from Seattle, WA where he received his B.A. and B.M. from the University of Washington in Percussion Performance and Music Education. His M.A. is from Florida Atlantic University, with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting and Music Education. While at the University of Washington Dan was a member of the marching band, wind ensemble and percussion ensemble in addition to playing with the Seattle Blue Thunder Drumline. While in Florida, he was a graduate assistant in charge of the drumline for the Fighting Owls Marching Band, in addition to being a conducting associate for the wind ensemble and symphonic band.  He also helped start and direct the FAU Percussion Ensemble.  After graduation, Dan spent seven years as the Director of Bands at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas Nevada where his groups traveled and performed at a high level throughout the western United States including a trip to the WGI World Championships in Dayton Ohio.

Dan is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Kansas Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association and is a Vic Firth Educational Team Member.

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