Mason Summer Percussion Academy

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 ensemble. Masterclass topics include solo marimba, timpani, snare drum, orchestral percussion, world percussion, drum set, steel drums, accessory instruments, career development, college audition prep, mallet wrapping/maintenance and much more! All participants will perform in the workshop percussion ensemble final concert, as well as ample performance opportunities during the week.




Ages:  13-18 years
Dates:  June 17-21, 2019
Times:  9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (M-F)
Tuition:  $430 (optional room & board add $640 – see below)
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building


Register Now


Added Cost: $640

Whether you live near or far, students can add the “Summer Residential Option” and experience a week of campus life, with special evening activities included, while gaining new friendships with other like-minded artistic students. Students are fully supervised all week, with both male and female RA’s in housing. Rooms are double occupancy (linens and wi-fi included), and 3 meals a day are provided (dinner is included on Sunday, and breakfast and lunch are included on Friday). Check in is Sunday, June 16th, and students will check out Friday morning and be ready to depart immediately after the conclusion of the program on Friday afternoon.  After registering for Summer Percussion Academy (but before final checkout/ payment!), search for and add “Summer Residential Option” to your cart – or REGISTER HERE . IMPORTANT: No refunds can be given for the Summer Residential option after April 1, 2019.


An “Aftercare” option is available for this program from 4-6 pm for $90/week, located in Mason’s Performing Arts Building and staffed by the Academy’s Summer Staff. After registering for this program (but before final checkout/ payment!), search for “Aftercare”, choose the corresponding week, and add to your cart – or Register Here separately.



Matt Halligan, Percussion Lessons Director/ Instructor: Matt Halligan
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Read about Mr. Halligan

Dr. Matthew Halligan is a percussionist in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area who specializes in orchestral, marching, and contemporary percussion. He holds a Doctorate in Percussion Performance (D.M.A.) from George Mason University, a Masters of Music from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Bachelors of Music Education from University of the Cumberlands. Currently an Adjunct Faculty member at George Mason University, he has taught Applied Percussion Lessons, Percussion Methods courses, and is Assistant Director of the Percussion Ensemble. He is also a current faculty member of Northern Virginia Community College, where he teaches Applied Percussion. From 2008-2011, he was the Director of Marching Percussion and the Percussion Music Arranger for The University of Maryland Marching Band.

Dr. Halligan has performed in the Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia areas with a wide variety of professional orchestras and musical ensembles, including The American Festival Pops Orchestra, The Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Capital Wind Symphony, the Virginia Grand Military Band, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, the Music and Arts Orchestra at Providence Presbyterian Church, The National Concert Band of America, and Washington D.C.’s The IN series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. From 2005-2011, Dr. Halligan served as the front ensemble section leader and as a percussion music arranger with “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C.. In 2006, he was nominated for Marine Musician of the Year at Marine Barracks 8th and I.

Dr. Halligan proudly endorses Sabian Cymbals, Black Swamp Percussion, Innovative Percussion, and is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Joe McCarthy Percussion Lessons Instructor: Joe McCarthy
Read about Mr. McCarthy

Joe McCarthy has led a diverse career as drummer/percussionist, bandleader, producer and educator in a myriad of settings from symphony orchestra to bebop, big band, afro cuban, theater and beyond. Joe is the founder, leader, producer and drummer of Afro Bop Alliance, winner of the 2008 Latin Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the Year, and nominated in the same category for the 51st Grammy Awards for the Heads-Up release “Afro Bop Alliance”, featuring Dave Samuels. Afro Bop has just released it’s fifth recording, “Angel Eyes”, on the Zoho Record label. Joe co-leads the Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band, with two releases on the Origin record label. Joe has recorded and or performed with Paquito D’ Rivera, Dave Samuels, Conrad Herwig, Slide Hampton, Eddie Daniels, Wayne Bergeron, Poncho Sanchez, Arturo O’ Farrill, Linda Oh, Oscar Stagnaro, Roland Vazquez, Samuel Torres and countless others. Joe is an in demand session player and has done extensive show work, including Sheryl Crow’s new musical adaptation of the movie “Diner”.

Joe has just completed a 20 twenty year tour as Chief Petty Officer with The United States Naval Academy Band, where he served as principal percussionist with the wind ensemble and Chief in Charge/drummer of the Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, one of the Navy’s two premier big bands. Under Joe’s direction, the Next Wave commissioned and recorded new works by Jim McNeely, Vince Norman, Dave Samuels, Shawn Purcell and Dan Cavanagh.


Instructor: David Singhaus
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, David 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, David 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. David has also travelled 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, David has also worked as a percussion advisor/instructor for many school districts in the region, having experience working with students in grades 5-12.


Dakota Kaylor, Percussion Lessons Teaching Assistant: Dakota Kaylor, Mason School of Music Alum
Read about Mr. Kaylor

Enjoying a unique career, Dakota Kaylor is an active percussion educator and performer in the Northern Virginia area. He is the Assistant Director of the Vienna Jammers Percussion Ensemble, Staff Accompanist with the George Mason School of Dance, and runs an active private lesson studio in Vienna, Virginia.

This is Mr. Kaylor’s second full year as the Assistant Director of the Vienna Jammers Percussion Ensemble. He has taught percussion ensemble, concert percussion, and marching percussion at Centreville High School, McLean High School, South Lakes High School, and Fairfax High School. Since 2016, Mr. Kaylor has been a teaching assistant with the George Mason Summer Percussion Camp. For 3 years, he was a private lesson instructor with the Mason Community Arts Academy.

As a performer, Mr. Kaylor has performed in a variety of settings from symphony orchestra to musical theater, chamber musician, and rock band. He has performed with the Fairfax Symphony, Arlington Philharmonic, McLean Symphony Orchestra, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, and the Great Noise Ensemble. In addition, he has performed in venues such the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, Olney Theater, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, and Creative Cauldron. Mr. Kaylor has performed twice at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the 2017 Virginia Music Educators Association, and during the summer of 2017, he performed in a full staging of Igor Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat featuring narrator Rick Davis.




Thanks to our Mason School of Music Percussion department and summer program sponsors:

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To register by phone or request a paper registration form, please call the Academy office at 703-993-9889.



“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