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Percussion Studio in Watson Hall

Percussionists perform here

Personalized instruction - Preparation for artistic and career success
Extensive performance opportunities

At UNCSA, percussionists perform. The intimate conservatory setting provides excellent performance opportunities for all students, under the direct supervision of artist-faculty member John R. Beck

The Best Student-to-Instrument Ratio in the Mid-Atlantic

As a conservatory, the school’s focus is on preparing students to begin their careers as performing artists; yet at the same time, the school actively involves the student with the practical aspects of earning a living as a musician. A combination of professional opportunities outside the school, along with specially designed courses within the curriculum, widens the scope of the student’s business experience and constitutes a more contemporary, market-sensitive approach to educating musicians.

The inventory of percussion equipment includes:

  • Marimbas - Yamaha 5.0 (2), Marimba One 5.0, Adams 5.0, Musser 4.5, Musser 4.3 (2), Musser 4.0 (2)
  • Xylophones - Yamaha, Malletech, Deagan, Musser (2)
  • Vibes – Yamaha, Musser (3)
  • Bells - Fall Creek (2), Malletech, Musser, Deagan
  • Chimes - Musser (2), Yamaha/Deagan
  • Timpani - Yamaha 9000 series, Yamaha 7000 series, Ludwig Ringer, Ludwig Universal, Premier
  • Concert Bass Drums - Ludwig (40”, 36”, 32”), Yamaha (28”) Ludwig (28”) all with calfskin or Renaissance heads.
  • Snare and Field Drums - Black Swamp-multi timbre 6.5x14 (2), 10x14, Yamaha 6.5 x14,
  • Ludwig 6.5 x14 (4), Ludwig piccolo (2), Slingerland 6.5 x14.
  • Cymbals (all cymbals hand-selected by John R. Beck) Zildjian K Constantinople (18”),
  • Classic Orchestral (17-20”) Sabian 18” Viennese.  A large selection of suspended cymbals from 15-18” plus splash and Chinese cymbals.
  • Yamaha Drum sets (2) with complete sets of Zildjian cymbals
  • Gretch Drum set with complete sets of Zildjian cymbals
  • Latin/Afro Cuban Percussion - Conga drums (6), Bongos (2), Timbales (3), Jembe, Dun Dun, Steel drums.

For more contemporary music, UNCSA owns two octaves of crotales and tuned gongs, 3.5 octaves of almglocken, eight tam tams, Chinese opera gongs, 18 graduated tom toms, and 7 roto toms, in addition to all the standard small hand percussion instruments.



The graduate percussion program at UNCSA enables students to refine technical skills and develop advanced interpretive techniques through the study and performance of significant works from the percussion literature. Areas of concentrated work include snare drum, keyboard instruments, timpani, and drum set, with a concentration on the student's particular area of interest. This program is designed to help percussionists focus on performance of specific styles of music and refine their skills for auditions and interviews.

Other features of the program include:


The undergraduate percussion program at UNCSA is a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide maximum performance opportunities for the students. Areas of concentrated study include snare drum, keyboard instruments, timpani and drum set. Students meet with faculty member John R. Beck several times each week for private lessons, master class, percussion ensemble, marimba band, and sectional coaching for the larger ensembles. Additional performance in Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, nu Ensemble, and informal student-organized ensembles offers percussionists the breadth of experience necessary for success in the music business.

In addition to the guidelines above, students working toward the Bachelor of Music in Percussion will be required to prepare and perform a recital program in their senior year.

High School

Areas of concentrated work include snare drum, keyboard instruments, timpani, and drum set. A senior recital is recommended, but not required for completion of the high school diploma. High school students have the opportunity to perform alongside college students in percussion ensemble, orchestra, and Wind Ensemble, at the discretion of the faculty.

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