Skip to main content


Percussion Ensemble


Percussion students in all degree programs receive:

  • weekly hour private lessons
  • weekly master class
  • weekly percussion ensemble
  • opportunities to assist in conducting and teaching

Course of Study

Instrumental Music Education and Music Therapy majors receive two semesters of comprehensive study in percussion methods and are able to perform and teach snare drum, marimba, timpani, drum set and hand drums. 


Percussion primaries may gain experience in community service, as well as paid positions, for drumming and percussion classes in area schools, churches and libraries, including Nazareth Neighborhood Arts Program, Taylor Elementary School, Pittsford Public Library, the Diocese of Rochester and for Homework Help at Nazareth College. Percussion primaries taking Percussion Methods assist in instruction for methods students. Upperclassmen in Percussion Ensemble are invited to prepare and conduct percussion literature for rehearsals and concerts. Students are invited to compose for the Nazareth College Percussion Ensemble where their compositions are performed and recorded.


In addition to performing in the Nazareth College Ensembles, percussion majors are afforded a multitude of performance opportunities on and off campus which may include jazz and rock groups in local clubs, playing for musicals in professional venues, performing with the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic, Women in Music Festival, George Eastman House Recital Series, Oratorio Society Orchestra and church services.  Students may audition to present an Honors Recital every year.  All undergraduate music majors are allowed to compete annually in the ‘Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra Annual Concerto/Aria Competition and the Nazareth College Wind Symphony Soloist Competition.  The Nazareth College Percussion Ensemble has recently performed at the International Percussion Rochester Festival, the Rochester Convention Center and the New York State School Music Association Conference.

Stay Inspired

Guest percussion artists are a regular feature on campus and provide one-on-one interaction with percussion primaries and  secondaries.  Recent guest artists include:  Gregg Bendian, drum set and improvisation; Ritsuko Matsumoto, marimba; Barbara Merjan, Broadway drummer; Kunihiko Komori, marimba; Ed Thigpen, jazz drumming great; Dave Mancini, drum set and composition; Gifford Howarth, marimba; samba workshop with Pink Martini; and Bill Cahn, percussion and improvisation. 
The Percussion Studio makes regular outings to attend concerts in the Rochester area including:  Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Bush Mango African Drum and Dance, Joe Locke, Evelyn Glennie, Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, Blue Man Group, Stomp and Blast!.


Closely connected with the community music scene, Nazareth College percussion students are able to make valuable connections for immediate and future employment as teachers and performers with Nazareth College alumni and professional musicians.  Recent percussion primary graduates have found positions after graduating in their degree program:

Jared Streiff (Music Education)

Timothy Sestrick (Performance)

  • Instructor of Music, Sunderman Conservatory 

Greg Best (Music Business)

  • Drum set artist, arranger, recording artist

Kyle Potter (Bachelor of Arts double major in Music and Psychology)

  • Performing percussionist, Syracuse NY. 
  • PhD. in School Psychology, Syracuse University

Nicole Sinsiscarco Williams (Music Education)

  • Director of Bands, Westmoreland High School 

Justin Passamonte (Bachelor of Arts)

Special Events

Ted Piltzecker residency: Ted Piltzecker worked with the Jazz Combo and Big Band and presented a masterclass for the Percussion Studio Recital: Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm, Wilmot Recital Hall
Percussion Ensemble Concert: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm, Wilmot Recital Hall

Percussion Faculty 

Kristen Shiner McGuire, M.M., Coordinator of Percussion Studies
Assistant Professor in Professional Practice
Director of the Nazareth College Percussion Ensemble

  • Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, percussionist
  • Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Marimba Band member
  • Principle Percussionist, Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic
  • Past NYS President Percussive Arts Society, Secretary for the Exec Committee, Board of Directors 
  • Composer for Kendor Music, Ludwig Music, Alfred Publishing, Media Press                         
  • Author, Mallet Percussion Workout, Alfred Publishing
  • Clinician for Mike Balter Mallets, Sabian Cymbals and Regal Tip Calato 
  • Solo and ensemble recording artist
Personal tools