Summer Percussion Academy Online

Students rehearsing at Percussion summer camp



Part of Summer Music Intensive Week!

Join Mason School of Music professors and guest faculty for a week of exciting clinics, masterclasses, and percussion ensembles. Masterclass topics include marimba, timpani, snare drum, orchestral percussion, world percussion, drum set, steel drums, accessory instruments, career development, preparing for auditions, and much more!



Ages:  13 – 18
Dates:  June 15 – 19, 2020
Times:  9:00 am – 4:30 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $425
Location:  Zoom (Details provided in Welcome Letter)


Daily Schedule

9:00 am – 9:30 am
Welcome and Warm-up
9:30 am – 10:30 am
10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Individual Work / Lunch / 1:1 Check-ins
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Special Topics and Presentations
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Guest Masterclasses & Presentations



  • Computer, tablet, or smart phone with internet access and audio/video capabilities
  • A practice pad, mallet instrument (i.e Bell Kit or more substantial option)


Register Now





Ben Tufts
Instructor: Ben Tufts
Read about Mr. Tufts

Ben Tufts is a Virginia-native artist-educator, recording and performing in the Washington, D.C. metro area and beyond for 20+ years. He maintains private studios at Contemporary Music Center in Chantilly, VA, and 7DrumCity in Washington, D.C. He has on faculty at the Franklin Band & Orchestra Camp for 10 years running, and has worked with the Marching Titans of TC Williams High School in Alexandria for four years. In his free time, he enjoys long-distance running and kayaking.





Aubrey Adams
Former Percussionist of U.S. Air Force Band
Read about Mr. Adams

Aubrey Adams retired with honors in November 2001 as principal percussionist and section leader for the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. after more than 21 years of service. Mr. Adams has performed in the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra.

He is currently a member of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and has performed as principal percussionist with the Washington Ballet. Mr. Adams has performed with the Washington Bach Consort, National Philharmonic, Fairfax Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, and numerous choral ensembles.

Mr. Adams has performed on many local and national TV and radio broadcasts. He may be heard on recordings of the U.S.A.F. Band and Orchestra, Capitol Winds, Warner Brothers, Meredith Publications, and Garwood Whaley’s’ Recital Duets For Snare Drum. At present, Mr. Adams can also be heard playing all 40 of the Percussive Arts Society International Rudiments at their web site:

Mr. Adams serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland and is a percussion instructor for the Royal Guard of Oman. He has taught at George Mason University and is in high demand as an instructor at schools throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. Mr. Adams adjudicates throughout the state of Virginia for solo/ensemble festivals and district band/orchestra auditions.

Mr. Adams is also active as a writer. His competition solos for snare drum are published by Pioneer Percussion Company; he has contributed articles for The Instrumentalist and Percussive Arts Society magazines. Mr. Adams has an active percussion rental business and is sponsored by the Vic Firth Company.

Jonathan Bisesi
Percussionist of U.S. Marine Band
Read about Mr. Bisesi

Jonathan Bisesi has held the position of Percussionist with the “Presidents Own” United States Marine Band since May 2004. He has been a featured soloist with the Marine Band on multiple occasions, most notably on the Filene Center stage at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and the “Presidents Own” 2011 National Concert Tour. In addition to this concert work, Mr. Bisesi follows the high honored mission of the “Presidents Own,” as he supports the musical events that take place for the President of the United States. Highlights have included the Funeral of President Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Inaugurations of 2005, 2009 and 2013, September 11th memorial events, and the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Other performance work through the Marine Band includes numerous chamber percussion performances, most notably at the 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Austin, Texas, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, Luzerne Music Center, University of Maryland Percussion Seminar, and The Manhattan School of Music, as well as countless master classes at universities and high schools across the nation. As a jazz performer, he has been featured on vibraphone with the Marine Band Big Band, Latin Ensemble and Jazz Combos, and as a conductor, he has conducted the Marine Band, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles.

Mr. Bisesi received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, as a student of Allen Otte, founder of the Percussion Group Cincinnati. He then completed a Master of Music degree at Boston University, as a student of Timothy Genis, Principal Timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a student, Mr. Bisesi was a fellow of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and The Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Upon completing his formal education, Mr. Bisesi was appointed to the Percussion Faculties at both Boston University and the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

As an active freelance musician, Mr. Bisesi has performed with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Ballet, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Kennedy Center Opera and Ballet Orchestras, The New World Symphony, The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, The Buffalo Philharmonic, and The International Festival Cervantino (The largest arts festival in Latin America) in Guanajuato, Mexico.


John Kilkenny
Mason School of Music Faculty
Read about Mr. Kilkenny

John Kilkenny is a leading performer, educator, and artistic leader who is successfully forging a 21st-century career in the performing arts.
Committed to the music of our time, Mr. Kilkenny appears regularly as a soloist and chamber musician with a wide range of ensembles. He has given the Washington, D.C. region premiere of the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Wind Symphony and has performed Michael Daugherty’s timpani concerto Raise the Roof, with orchestras and wind ensembles across the United States. A recent sampling of his chamber music collaborations including The Kennedy Center Juke Box Series, 21st Century Consort, The Washington Bach Consort, National Gallery New Music Ensemble, and the Verge Ensemble.

He has been privileged to share the stage with an eclectic array of renown artists, including Robert van Sice, She e Wu, John Tafoya, Chris Deviney, Jonathan Haas, clarinetist Chad burrow, cellist Joshua Roman, flutist Karen Johnson and pianists Garry Hammond, Carlos Rodriguez, Steven Beck, and Eric Huebner. In 2014 he participated in the Washington, D.C. premiere of John Luther Adam’s most recent large-scale work, “Sila: Breath of the World with the United States Air Force Band,” a co-commission with Lincoln Center. He was featured in a duo recital with cellist Tobias Werner on the 2016 Washingtonians on Wednesday recital series at the National Gallery of Art.

Appointed Artistic Director of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in 2018, Mr. Kilkenny is guiding this esteemed festival to new heights of artistic success. The 2019 season boasted significant increases in enrollment, earned revenue, and annual giving, as well as securing the first significant endowment gift in over a decade. This, in addition to website re-design, a new admission system, and a modernized administrative structure have led to a record-breaking season; 251 students from 31 states and 8 countries attended Sewanee in the summer of 2019. Mr. Kilkenny has developed new and expanded partnerships with other orchestral education programs and founded the first-ever National Advisory Board, a group of thought leaders who meet annually to offer overall strategic guidance for the Festival.

Hailed as a “particularly fine timpanist” by the Washington Post, Mr. Kilkenny has enjoyed an active career as a symphonic percussionist, appearing with the National Symphony, Washington National Opera and Ballet, American Symphony, Cathedral Choral Society, Washington Chorus, Choral Arts Society of Washington, and The Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra, to name a few.

Deeply committed to the future of classical music and a committed educator, Mr. Kilkenny is Director of Percussion Studies and Associate Director of Concert Bands at George Mason University. Recent and upcoming highlights include the 2018 College Music Society National Conference in Vancouver, two feature performances the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention the 2016 New York State Music Educators Conference, the 2014 Virginia Music Educators Conference, the 2011 Western International Band Conference, 2012 College Music Society Mid Atlantic Conference and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The group toured Costa Rica in 2015 and will make their debut in a concert tour of China in 2020. For many years he guided recruitment activities for the School of Music.

Recognized internationally as an engaging and thoughtful clinician, Mr. Kilkenny has enjoyed the unique opportunity to work with gifted young musicians at a wide range of institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School at Rice University, The University of Michigan, The Juilliard Pre-College, New York University, Interlochen School for the Arts, University of Tennessee, University of North Carolina, The National Institute of Music in San Jose Costa Rica, The University of Costa Rica, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. A long-standing relationship with The Music for All organization has seen John appear for many years as an evaluator and clinician for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival. In 2019 he served as the percussion clinician for the Honor Orchestra of America.

Mr. Kilkenny studied conducting with Anthony Maiello and began early percussion training with Jonathan Haas and William Richards. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Greg Zuber and Daniel Druckman. He completed a Master’s Degree at Temple University, where he studied with legendary percussionist Alan Abel. He is sponsored by Vic Firth Mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Percussion products, and is a proud Yamaha Performing Artist.

Allison Miller
Critically Acclaimed Percussionist, Composer, and Educator
Read about Ms. Miller

Allison Miller is an American, New York City-based drummer, composer, and teacher. She has recorded five albums as a bandleader: “5 AM Stroll,” “Boom Tic Boom,” “No Morphine-No Lilies,” “Live at Willisau,” and “Otis Was a Polar Bear,” as well as working as a session musician. Her work with bands has included forming the band Honey Ear Trio with Rene Hart and Erik Lawrence, Holler and Bam with Toshi Reagon, and her own band, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom. Ms. Miller has performed with songwriting vocalists Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, and Erin McKeown, and toured with avant-garde saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and organist Doctor Lonnie Smith and folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile.

The critically acclaimed percussionist and Yamaha clinician and her stellar band Boom Tic Boom has spent the last year touring on and performing her new Modlin Center for the Arts co-commissioned work, “In Our Veins: Rivers and Social Change. Rivers are the lifeline of America. In Our Veins: Rivers and Social Change” is a multimedia suite for chamber jazz ensemble and tap dancer centered around five American rivers (Susquehanna, Delaware, James, Hudson, Schuylkill) and the social and environmental changes they inspired. Ms. Miller will discuss her process for composing “In Our Veins,” as well as some jazz drum set fundamentals, for her clinic at the Summer Percussion Intensive.


Shane Nickels
Instrumentalist at U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
Mason School of Music Faculty

Read about Mr. Nickels

Shane Nickels is a percussionist specializing in rudimental and orchestral percussion. Mr. Nickels currently serves in The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps as a snare drum instrumentalist and as Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University. Before winning the job with the fife and drum corps, Mr. Nickels also performed as a snare drummer in DCI and other professional groups including The Bluecoats, The Troopers, and the Kansas City Chiefs drumline. As an educator, Mr. Nickels was the battery instructor for The University of Kansas Marching Jayhawks for two years and has given numerous clinics to private studios, high schools, and colleges throughout the country.

In addition to rudimental percussion, Mr. Nickels is an orchestral percussionist, having performed with the Debut Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra. He was also a fellow at Music Academy of the West studying under Mike Werner and Ted Atkatz as well as playing at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Mr. Nickels received an undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Kansas under Kevin Bobo and Ji Hye Jung. Mr. Nickels then went on to receive an artist diploma at the University of Southern California under Jim Babor and Joe Pereira of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

David Singhaus
Academy Percussion Instructor
Read about Mr. Singhaus

David Singhaus is a first-year percussion graduate student at George Mason University, under the tutelage of Professor John Kilkenny, Victor Provost, and fellow percussion faculty. A graduate from The University of Akron, Mr. Singhaus has studied with the likes of Dr. Larry Snider, Matthew Dudack, Dr. Galen Karriker, as well as many other guest artists and clinicians who regularly visit the university. He has performed with all of the top ensembles at The University of Akron, and professionally with the Alliance Symphony, Chagrin Falls Studio Orchestra, and Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra. Because of the well-rounded philosophy of the percussion program at Akron, he has become efficient at performing and teaching many of the instruments within the percussion family, such as keyboard, concert, marching, and world percussion instruments originating from Brazil, Ghana, and many of the islands in the Caribbean.

As a pan artist, Mr. Singhaus has performed in many ensembles such as The University of Akron Steel Drum Band, the Pan Ramajay Advanced Steel Band at the Pan Ramajay Steel Pan Festival, and the CASYM Steel Orchestra, under the direction of Kendall Williams, for the Brooklyn Panorama Competition. Mr. Singhaus has also traveled to Trinidad and Tobago the past two years to perform with the Nutrien Silver Stars Steel Orchestra, under the direction of Liam Teague, for the Panorama National Steel Band Competition in the Large Band category. Along with being an active soloist and freelance musician throughout Northeast Ohio, Mr. Singhaus has also worked as a percussion advisor/instructor for many school districts in the region, having experience working with students in grades 5-12.


Tom Teasley
Receipient of the World Music Instrumentalist of the Year
Read about Mr. Teasley

Tom Teasley, described in the Washington Post as “a multi-instrumental genius,” maintains a unique career as a solo percussionist, composer, and collaborator. He is the 2016 Drummie Award winner for “World Percussionist of the Year by Drum! Magazine. Mr. Teasley is a 2010, 2011, and 2017 Helen Hayes Theatre Award recipient for outstanding sound design (nominations in 2012, 2014, 2015). Mr. Teasley tours frequently throughout the world performing and presenting clinics for the instrument companies he endorses including Yamaha, Vic Firth, Sabian, Remo, Gon Bops and others.

His educational book /DVD, An American Approach to World Percussion is published by Alfred Publishing. Tom is the 2012-2015 WAMA (Washington Area Music Award) World Music Instrumentalist of the year. A six-time recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes grant for performances in the Middle East, Mr. Teasley collaborated with indigenous musicians and gave historic performances by invitation of U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Samoa, Oman and Jerusalem. He has been an artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has collaborated with the National Symphony as both a soloist and composer. As an international collaborator he has performed by invitation in Europe, South America, New Zealand, Samoa, and Korea. Mr. Teasley earned the Artist-of-the-year award from Young Audiences of Virginia for his creative and educational presentations. His eight CDs have been greeted with international airplay and acclaim. He has been the subject of numerous feature articles in both Modern Drummer Downbeat and Drum! magazines.



“I really liked the material/subjects being talked about in the discussions.” – Mason Summer Percussion Academy 2018 Participant

See More Testimonials

“My favorite part was the steel pans, world percussion and making our mallets.” – Mason Summer Percussion Academy 2017 Participant

“I really enjoyed the [instructors] that came in and shared their knowledge.” – Mason Summer Percussion Academy 2017 Participant





Full Camp List