Percussion & Steel Band Faculty Biographies

2017 Percussion faculty is listed below and is subject to change.

Dan Moore

Dan Moore is professor of Percussion and director of theaward winning percussion program at The University of Iowa. Dr. Moore is an internationally known musician, composer, and educator; and a reasonably good cook. Dan has appeared on more than 30 professional recordings — 15 as a leader or co-leader. As half of the Britain Moore Duo, he performs throughout the US and has released four recordings. Formed in 1986 with Nashville percussionist and steel pan artist Mat Britain, the BMD was the first touring steel pan/marimba duo. Their music is heard and performed throughout the world. Dan Moore is a Yamaha international performing artist, a signature mallet artist for Innovative Percussion, and performing artist for Sabian Cymbals, Gon Bops Percussion, and Grover Pro Percussion. His music is published by Row-Loff Productions, Innovative Percussion, Alfred Publishing, and Cricket City Music and Media. At Birch Creek Dan leads the faculty ensemble and teaches marimba/vibes performance, improvisation, creativity, leadership, snare drum technique, ensemble performance, and musicianship.
Web site: www.dan-moore.com

 

Liam Teague

Renowned steelpan artist and composer, Liam Teague, is Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University where he is Co-Director of the Northern Illinois University Steel Band. Mr. Teague performs nationally and internationally and has appeared with ensembles and orchestras including the Czech National Symphony, Panama National Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band, TCL Group Skiffle Bunch and the BP Renegades Steel band. His teaching and performing have taken him to Europe, Asia, North and Central America, Australia, and the Caribbean. Liam has commissioned a number of significant compositions for the steelpan, and has numerous CDs to his credit. He is currently the arranger for the PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra in Trinidad and Tobago. At Birch Creek Liam is a featured performer in the faculty ensemble and is director of the Birch Creek Steel band. He teaches composition and arranging for steel band, history of steelpan, and steelpan technique. Web site: http://liamteague.com/

 

Yuko Asada

Birch Creek Faculty, Assistant Steelpan Director, Yuko AsadaAssistant Steel Band Director
Yuko Asada is a steelpan performer, director, builder, tuner, arranger, and transcriber. Originally from Japan, Yuko began playing piano at age four. She completed her undergraduate studies at West Virginia University and her Master’s Degree in Steelpan from Northern Illinois University specializing in steelpan building and tuning. She studied steelpan performance with Liam Teague. Ms. Asada is a member and co-founder of Pastiche Steel Ensemble, a diverse group of pannists hailing from different countries around the world. This ensemble transcends stereotypes surrounding the limitations of the steelpan while breaking boundaries of steelpan performance with original compositions, arrangements, and familiar music. At Birch Creek Yuko assists with the Birch Creek steelband, performs with the faculty ensemble, and teaches steelpan performance, arranging, and transcribing.

 

Anthony Di Sanza

Vicki Peterson Jenks Faculty Performer
Anthony Di Sanza, a recognized international performer and educator, has performed, presented master classes, and held residencies in North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 45 colleges, universities and conservatories, and has performed as soloist and chamber musician in some of the world’s most important concert halls. Anthony can be heard on over 15 internationally distributed recordings with various artists, including; Sole Nero-Piano and Percussion Duo, Mark Hetzler Chamber Ensemble, Linda Maxey with Galaxy Percussion and Keiko Abe and the Michigan Chamber Players. In a review of his 2011 solo recording, On the nature of…, All Music Guide writes; “Di Sanza dazzles not only in the assurance and polish of his playing but in his tremendous vitality and spontaneity.” Anthony recently recorded Michael Udow’s multiple percussion concerto Moon Shadows. Currently Professor of Percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Anthony is an endorser of Encore Mallets, Black Swamp Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Remo Drumheads, as well as an educational endorser of Pro-Mark Drumsticks. At Birch Creek Tony is a faculty performing artist, teaches a variety of world percussion styles, and directs small and large ensembles.

 

Vicki Peterson Jenks

Vicki Peterson Jenks Faculty Performer
Vicki Jenks is Director of Percussion with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. She serves on the board of directors for the American Red Cross, the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Foundation School of Music. She was named the 2011 Citizen of the Year for Waushara County, WI., and she was the recipient of the 2011 American Red Cross Clara Barton Honor Award. Vicki is an Artist Clinician for Yamaha, Sabian Cymbals, Mike Balter Mallets, and Vic Firth Sticks She is also recognized as a Yamaha Artist.At Birch Creek Vicki is a faculty ensemble performer, directs large and small ensembles, and teaches Yo-Chi (a mix of Tai Chi and Yoga).

 

Scott McConnell

Faculty Performer
Scott McConnell is an active Steelpan/percussion performer and educator in the Chicagoland area. He works with steelpan programs at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and William Hatch Elementary School. Scott is a co-founder of Pastiche Steel Ensemble as well
as the percussionist for Orange Star, an acoustic pop group in Chicago. Scott holds a Bachelors, Masters, and Performers’ Certificates in Percussion, Steelpan, and Recording Arts from Northern Illinois University.

Brian Nozny

Birch Creek World Percussion Faculty Member Dane Richeson Faculty Performer and Composer in Residence - Dr. Brian Nozny is in demand throughout the country as a performer, composer, and educator. His compositions are regularly programmed throughout the world, and have been featured on multiple international recordings.  As a performer he has worked in a number of diverse musical settings throughout the US, and presently performs as principal percussionist with the Northwest Florida Symphony, and as a member of the percussion group JP3 (The John Psathas Percussion Project).  Dr. Nozny currently resides in Troy, AL where he is on the music faculty of Troy University. At Birch Creek Brian is a faculty ensemble performer, teaches composition classes and lessons, directs large and small ensembles, and is a member of Nervous Rust (a percussion group dedicated to performing the music of emerging young composers).Web site: http://briannozny.com


Dane Richeson

Birch Creek World Percussion Faculty Member Dane RichesonFaculty Performer
Mr. Richeson is Professor of Music at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he has been Director of Percussion Studies since 1984. Under his direction, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble (LUPE´) has released two critically acclaimed recordings, and been awarded honors by the Wisconsin Music Educators Association and the Percussive Arts Society. Throughout the world he has been featured in such diverse roles as solo marimbist, contemporary chamber music percussionist, world percussion specialist, and jazz drummer. Mr. Richeson has performed on numerous recordings including works on Blue Note Records, Origin Records, Klavier, Accurate, Mark, Naxos, A-Records, CRI, Albany, Innova, and A-440. At Birch Creek Dane is a faculty ensemble performer, teaches drumset, world percussion, and ensemble performance.

Brad Stirtz

Brad StirtzFaculty Performer
Vibraphonist Brad Stirtz has gained a reputation as an outstanding professional mallet percussionist, both onstage and in the studio. Brad's music career has spanned the globe, with concerts in Uganda, Trinidad and throughout the U.S. He has performed or recorded with such jazz luminaries as Ed Thigpen, Patricia Barber, Jerry Goodman, Dan Haerle and Fareed Haque. He toured with the Janice Borla Group, and is featured on her recordings Lunar Octave and Agents of Change. A native of Minden, Nebraska, Brad earned his Master of Music degree in percussion performance at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. As a jazz/percussion educator, he has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory, Roosevelt University and North Illinois University, and is currently on faculty at North Central College. He recently received a second Master’s degree in Theology from Concordia University Chicago and now serves as Director of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Lombard, Illinois. He has been a member of the faculty at Birch Creek for over 20 years. At Birch Creek Brad is a faculty ensemble performer, directs small ensembles, and teaches improvisation, music theory, and musicianship. Web site: Brad Stirtz

 

Rodrigo Villanueva

Rodrigo Villanueva Faculty Performer
Drummer and composer Rodrigo Villanueva holds a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. As a composer, he has arranged and/or sequenced music for pop artists and has published several original compositions for jazz big band (ASCAP). As an educator Mr. Villanueva has taught drumset courses, clinics and workshops at many institutions in Mexico, Peru, Korea, Japan and the U.S. He is currently professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University where he teaches jazz drums, jazz arranging and directs the NIU Jazz Lab Band. Rodrigo performs regularly with his jazz trio and quartet, the Eddie Gomez Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, Ben Sidran Jazz Quartet and the Jan Wheaton Quartet. At Birch Creek Rodrigo is a faculty ensemble performer, and teaches drumset and percussion.Web site: http://www.rodrigovillanueva.com

 

Taylor Ambrosio Wood

Guest Composer - Taylor Ambrosio Wood is a composer, arranger, and sound designer who specializes in music for film and video gaming. She holds an M.M. in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games from Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain, and a B.M. in Percussion Performance from The Boston Conservatory of Music. Ms. Wood is currently a professor of Sound Design and Composition at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon. She recently completed work on a new video game titled Balthazar’s Dream. At Birch Creek Taylor will be working with students on their compositions and presenting a clinic on composing for film and gaming.Web site: http://marimbagirl.com

 

Mat Britain

Guest Artist - Mat Britain has pursued his love of percussion from the plains of Kansas to the island ofTrinidad. He has traveled numerous times to Trinidad and Tobago, and performed with the Amoco Renegades Steel Band at the prestigious Panorama Festival. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he directs the Vanderbilt University Steel Band program and leads his professional band Deep Grooves. Mat has shared the stage and/or recording studio with music industry veterans such as Grammy Award winning artists Lee Greenwood, Neal McCoy, Charlie Pride, and Louise Mandrell, as well as Nashville's newest stars the Warren Brothers, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Steve Azar. Mat has the musical distinction of being the first percussionist to grace the stage of the famous Grand Ole Opry with Latin percussion instruments such as congas, bongos, and timbales. He can also be found touring the country with the Britain/Moore Duo, a unique and creative percussion collaboration with long-time friend and marimba master Dan Moore. He is a proud endorser and clinician for Pearl Percussion, Zildjian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion mallets and sticks, and XL "Protector" cases.

 

Christine Augspurger

Guest Artist - Christine Augspurger is a percussionist, composer, electronic musician, and educator. She specializes in the exploration of the intersection between acoustic and electronic music in live performance. A native Iowan, Christine holds degrees from The University of Iowa and the Boston Conservatory and is currently completing the DMA in Percussion Performance at The University of Iowa. In 2014 Christine was a semi-finalist in the prestigious TROMP Percussion Competition in Eindhoven the Netherlands. She is currently involved in a collaborative recording project with composer and fellow percussionist Taylor Ambrosio Wood. She has studied with Dan Moore, Keith Aleo, and Nancy Zeltsman.