Endowments & Scholarships

Aronoff Percussion Scholarship

Widely recognized as one of the greatest drummers in rock 'n' roll, Kenny Aronoff has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. With a style of playing that combines power with finesse, he has been named the #1 Pop/Rock Drummer for five consecutive years by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Kenny joined his first band at age 10. At the time a self-taught drummer, he played in local rock 'n' roll bands throughout junior high and high school. At 16, he decided to focus on classical music, and began to study seriously with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He attended the University of Massachusetts and Indiana University, where, among other honors, he was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate of the School of Music. Before graduating from IU in 1976, he performed in the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals under such conductors as Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Seiji Ozawa. He studied percussion with Arthur Press, Peter Tanner, George Gaber, and Vic Firth.

In 1980 he joined the John Mellencamp band and simultaneously developed an enormously successful career as a studio musician. In 1996, Kenny parted with the Mellencamp band following the recording of "Mr. Happy Go Lucky." Since then, he has played in major tours with artists such as Bob Seger, Melissa Etheridge, and John Fogerty, and continues to be one of the top session drummers in the world. He has recorded with hundreds of artists, including Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Rolling Stones, and Celine Dion.

Kenny brings tremendous drive, enthusiasm and creativity to everything he does, whether it's recording, touring, leading drum clinics, teaching as an associate professor at Indiana University or producing his instructional videos and books. The Aronoff Percussion Scholarship was established in 1996 by Kenny and one of his former students, Mike St. John. It is awarded annually to a percussion student enrolled at the IU Jacobs School of Music.