Percussion Department

John Tafoya

Chair, Percussion Department



The IU- Jacobs School of Music has a long history of excellence, featuring a world-class performance faculty comprised of soloists, orchestra members, chamber musicians and jazz artists.

The faculty also boasts music scholars, award-winning composers, NEA recipients, Pulitzer Prize winners and Jazz Masters. In addition to studying with a world-class percussion faculty, our percussion students enjoy a variety of performance opportunities including symphony (5), opera, and ballet orchestras: concert (3) and marching bands; percussion, steel pan and hand drumming ensembles; jazz big bands and combos.

Students in the BM, BME, MM, and DM programs are trained in
virtually every aspect of percussion performance including: orchestral
percussion, timpani, solo marimba, chamber percussion, drum set,
jazz vibes and world percussion. Percussion majors working toward the
BM or MM in Jazz Studies focus on and perfect their drum set and jazz
mallet skills and are also exposed to a variety of other areas in

Specific information in regard to AUDITIONS can be found at:

The IU percussion studio eventually rotates through all of the professors, thus covering all of the above areas. Music education is at the core of everything we do as a department, thereby preparing the students to teach as well.

The percussion department faculty studios, graduate assistant offices,
and dedicated percussion practice rooms now reside in the East Studio
Building. This brand new facility provides technologically and
acoustically superior teaching and practice facilities to rival any music
school or conservatory in the world.

I hope that our website will provide you with a glimpse into the exciting world of IU percussion. Please take a moment to get to know the faculty and the programs that we have to offer. Also be sure to view our wonderful facilities. Our FAQ page also contains a wealth of information in regard to our department.  I would also encourage you to check out the IU JSoM Percussion YouTube channel here for recent percussion performances. Live and on-demand video streaming of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music performances can be found here.

Please feel free to contact me at if you are in need of any further information. Better yet, come and visit us on campus and see us in action!

John Tafoya, Percussion Department Chairman