Percussion Department


Faculty News

IU Percussion Department's 2012-13 "Opening Night" Meeting

Opening Night Photo

Each year the IU JSOM Percussion Department presents an "opening night" meeting that includes performances by the percussion department faculty (Professors Bobo, Houghton, Spiro and Tafoya).  60 percussion majors attended our opening night meeting on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

The IU Jacobs School of Music Percussion Department enjoyed a significant presence at PASIC (the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention) - Nov. 9-12, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Kevin BoboProfessor Kevin Bobo was featured in a full-length concert, performing his own compositions written over the past 3 years.  This performance was met with a standing ovation from a very large audience of students, teachers, and professional percussionists.

John TafoyaProfessor John Tafoya presented a timpani clinic focusing on "the mysterious roll of the orchestral timpanist".  The clinic contained numerous musical examples and illustrated a variety of ways to perform rolls - probably the most technically challenging part of timpani playing.  Tafoya also unveiled a new line of professional timpani mallets produced by Grover Pro Percussion and his new book, "Beyond The Audition Screen", was on display through Hal Leonard Corporation.

Photo (left): Tafoya clinic (right) Arnie Lang (retired assistant timpanist/percussionist with the New York Philharmonic) congratulating John Tafoya.

Michael SpiroProfessor Michael Spiro presented a world percussion clinic/performance:  "It's Not a Waltz - Understanding the triplet feel in Afro-Centric music".  In addition to Michael's wonderful playing and comprehensive information this clinic also featured IU students in performance along with Mr. Spiro.

IU World Percussion EnsembleThe final day of the convention featured IU Jacobs School of Music percussion students in the IU World Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Michael Spiro.  This performance was mentioned as "one of the best World Music concerts ever presented at PASIC". The ensemble performed a continuous program that featured music from Cuba and Brazil.  This performance was reviewed on the drumchattr website:

Professor Steve Houghton, who is a Past-President of PAS, was instrumental in the assembling of the Rhythm! Discovery Center - a percussion museum located in downtown Indianapolis.  His tireless efforts in regard to his commitment and activities as President along with his current work on the Executive Committee have guaranteed an inspiring vision for the future of this institution.

More information on PAS and PASIC can be found at:

The IU Jacobs School of Music Summer Percussion Academy/Workshop was a terrific success!

IU Jacobs School of Music Summer Percussion group photo

IU percussion professors Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, and John Tafoya along with Joel Brainard, The Caixa Trio (Julie Davia, Julie Hill, and Amy Smith), Will James, Mark Latimer, and She-e Wu, presented informative masterclasses, clinics, and evening performances July 17-22, 2011.  More information and photos can be found on our official Facebook page here.

Professor Houghton

Professor Tafoya

Tafoya - IU Live

John Tafoya featured in IU Live E-newsletter!

Go to for more details.


Steve Houghton and John Tafoya in a performance of "Santorini"- a duet for drum set and timpani by Steve Houghton.

This piece was part of the IU Summer Percussion Academy/Workshop's Faculty Recital which took place Monday, July 19, 2010 in Auer Hall. Other performers included Kevin Bobo, John Kilkenny, Michael Spiro, and the Steve Houghton Jazz Trio.