Mike TruesdellMike Truesdell, '07

Mike Truesdell (b. 1984) is a freelance percussionist residing in New York City. Mike’s endeavors as a solo and chamber musician have brought him throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In October 2009, he received acclaim in The New York Times for his performance of Tan Dun’s Silk Road in New York’s Alice Tully Hall, saying “Michael Truesdell…played with sensitivity and dexterity.”

Recently Mike was awarded 2nd prize, out of 95 initial candidates, at the TROMP International Percussion Competition in Eindhoven, Netherlands and became the first American to win a prize at any of the TROMP Competitions. After performing the world premiere of Michael Torke’s Mojave for marimba and full orchestra, Mike embarked on a performing tour which took him throughout the Netherlands, including a performance at the acclaimed Concertgebouw. Post-competition performances included a duo performance with composer Nico Muhly and full-length concert Emmanuel Sejourné and the other two TROMP laureates in 2011.

In the summer of 2009, Mike was featured as Associate Faculty, as well as co-producer of the ZMF New Music double-disc release by Bridge Records, Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba (IMM), working alongside some of the most celebrated and influential marimbists and composers today. He continued on faculty, including a master class titled Making Music Your Own: The Music of Mark Applebaum in the summer of 2011. In 2010 he began working as Financial Assistant for the Zeltsman Marimba Festival. In 2010 he was elected to the Board of Trustees as Treasurer.

In January 2008, he performed with the Lucerne Festival Academy chamber ensemble under the baton of the legendary Pierre Boulez and coaching by members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Mike then toured under Maestro Boulez to Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Carnegie Hall in New York. In November 2007, he was awarded 3rd prize in the Percussive Arts Society’s International Marimba Competition in Columbus, OH.

Active in non-western styles of music, Mike feels equally comfortable performing the traditional music of Africa, Brazil and Cuba. He has co-founded Spectrum Trio, a percussion trio dedicated to creating new works for percussion trio, based on a fusion of western contemporary classical and pop music with the music of the African diaspora. Spectrum Trio released their first album, Spectrum Trio, in May of 2009 to critical acclaim. In November 2009, Spectrum Trio performed numerous master classes at universities across the United States as well as featured performances at the 2009 Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention, University of Michigan, Juilliard Percussion Seminar and is on faculty at the Wildcat Percussion Camp in Verona, WI.

In addition to performing, Mike’s heart lies in teaching. In 2007, he founded the Savanna Oaks Percussion Ensemble in Verona, WI, and also maintains a private studio. In 2009, Mike created the Wildcat Percussion Camp, an annual, week-long percussive opportunity for students entering 7th-12th grades. In 2011, the nief-norf Summer Festival had its inaugural year, with Mike as Assistant Director, and Faculty at Furman University in North Carolina.

Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from Lawrence University in June 2007. At Lawrence, he was awarded the distinguished Trustee’s Scholarship, as well as the Fred Schroeder Prize in Wind/Percussion Performance. During his study at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Mike spent the fall of 2006 studying at the Conservatory van Amsterdam with Nick Woud (timpani, Concertgebouw Orchestra), and Victor Oskam. Mike’s teachers in the U.S. have included Vicki Peterson Jenks, Jamie V. Ryan, Dane Maxim Richeson, Daniel Druckman and Markus Rhoten. After completing his Master of Music degree in 2011 as a student of Dan Druckman and Markus Rhoten, he will continue his studies in the fall of 2011 as a candidate for the selective Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Juilliard School, studying under Gordon Gottlieb, Greg Zuber, and Markus Rhoten.

Mike is an owner and endorser of Marimba One marimbas and mallets and Black Swamp Percussion.

Greg BeyerGreg Beyer, '95

Gregory Beyer has given solo performances and masterclasses throughout the world. A “prodigiously talented percussionist” (Chicago Classical Review) Beyer is a contemporary music specialist with significant experience in orchestral, jazz and world music who combines the multiple disciplines of 21st Century percussion into a singular artistic voice.

Beyer co-founded the flute and percussion duo, DUE EAST, which has released two commercial recordings.  Its New Amsterdam Records CD/DVD, “Drawn Only Once”, was described as “spellbindingly beautiful” (Steve Smith, Time Out New York). He is also a member of the award winning Chicago based contemporary chamber music ensemble, Dal Niente.

Of primary importance to him is his project, ARCOMUSICAL – an endeavor that involves ethno-musicological research about, and the composition and commission of new works for, the berimbau - am Afro-Brazilian musical bow instrument. Festival appearances include multiple iterations of PASIC and SEAMUS, CrossDrumming (Warsaw), RICMA (Buenos Aires), Beijing Modern Music, The Stone (NYC), and multiple performances in São Paulo and Bahia, Brazil. His berimbau sextet, “Bau House,” has premiered five new works in as many years and has performed at PASIC 2009. His own compositions, Bahian Counterpoint (2002) and Vou-me embora (2006) have garnered multiple performances, prizes and positive reviews.

Beyer is a founding member of the flute/percussion duo, DUE EAST, a group that has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil and China. The duo is dedicated to the advancement of virtuosic contemporary music for flute and percussion, and it won first prize in the 2008 National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition. DUE EAST’s first recording, Simultaneous Worlds, is available on Albany Records. Their second release, drawn only once, is available on New Amsterdam Records.

Beyer is a member of the Chicago-based new music ensemble, Dal Niente. Additional chamber music activities include performances and/or recordings with Third Coast Percussion, Sō Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, Present Music, CUBE, ICE, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, NewBand, Sequitur, and the S.E.M. Ensemble.

An Associate Professor of Percussion at Northern Illinois University, Greg Beyer directs the Percussion Ensemble (performed at PASIC in 2009), New Music Ensemble, and Latin Jazz Ensemble. He endorses Bosphorus cymbals, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams percussion instruments, and Evans Drumheads.

Beyer is currently serving as President of the Illinois Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

Dan ReifsteckDan Reifsteck, '14

"I knew when I decided to attend Lawrence that it was rare to find an undergraduate program that would let me perform a diverse collection of music at such a high quality. I didn't know, however, that when this was combined with a liberal arts education, I would have the resources and potential to be anything I wanted to be.  It was through my four years of classes, lessons with Dane Richeson, a trip to India, and many unforgettable ensemble experiences that I was able to begin figuring out what that was."

Dan Reifsteck is a freelance performer and educator in the Fox Valley area.  He currently teaches private percussion lessons through the Lawrence Academy of Music and has started his own Drumming Ensemble for middle school and high school students. A founder of the contemporary chamber quartet, Slipstream, Dan is an active commissioner and performer of new music. Slipstream is preparing for a five state tour performing at different universities and concert halls throughout the Midwest in the spring. Dan also loves performing in the singer songwriter group Riverbug, Appleton salsa band Salsa Manzana, and many other solo and group projects throughout the area.

Andrew GreenAndrew Green, '11

Andrew Green is a versatile drummer, percussionist, and music educator, specializing in drum set, classical percussion, and world percussion. His main project is a collaborative indie jazz trio called Twin Talk, with saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi and bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst. Twin Talk were featured performers at the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival and regularly tour around the US. Andrew’s other projects include orchestral folk group Jonas Friddle & the Majority, grand prizewinner of the 2012 John Lennon Songwriting Award, and samba percussion group Bloco Maximo. 

Encouraged by his family, Andrew began his musical studies at age twelve in his hometown of Washington, D.C. After high school, he attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for a year of post-graduate music study. Andrew continued his education at the Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, completing his Bachelor of Music in Percussion in 2011. In addition to classical percussion, he studied jazz and world percussion with notable Lawrence faculty members Dane Richeson, Fred Sturm and Mark Urness. Also while at Lawrence, Andrew had the opportunity to perform with Bobby McFerrin in Fred Sturm’s Migrations Suite and record drums and percussion for the Radiohead Jazz Project (Sierra Music). In 2010, Andrew studied traditional Ghanaian music and dance at the Dagbe Cultural Center, in Ghana, West Africa. 

Andrew is an active freelance musician and plays regularly with Jamie Breiwick’s Spirits Quartet, Katie Ernst’s Little Words, and groups led by Paul Dietrich, Dan Meinhardt, Corbin Andrick, Miles Comiskey, and many others. Andrew has performed in the US and around the world, including shows in Europe, Canada, at the Rochester Jazz Festival in New York, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Reed FlygtReed Flygt, '08

Reed Flygt is the Head Percussion Instructor at the Evanston Escola de Samba. Originally from Baraboo, Wisconsin, Reed is now enjoying life even more. Reed lives in Chicago where he is in his sixth year of teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Currently, he serves as a music instructor at Lane Tech College Prep High School. Reed attended the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, where he studied Instrumental Music Education and Percussion Performance with Dane Maxim Richeson. His further experience in African and Brazilian percussion comes from study with Nani Agbeli at the Dagbe Cultural Institute in Kopeyia, Ghana, (2008, 2010, 2012); ethnomusicologist Philip Galinsky in Rio de Janeiro (2010); and attendance at California Brazil Camp (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).  In addition to teaching Brazilian percussion at EEDS, Reed’s current music projects include playing drums with the bands Fatbook, Ragged Claws, and leading the Chicago-based professional samba group Bloco Maximo.  He would like to personally acknowledge all of his teachers.  More specifically Dr. Philip Galinsky and Samba New York, Dane Richeson, and Jorge Alabe.  Also Marcus Santos, Ailton Nunes, Jimmy Biala, Dudu Fuentes and many of the Chicago area musicians such as John Beard, Marcos Oliveira, Dill Costa, Heitor Garcia, Geraldo de Oliveira, Dedé Sampaio, Felipe Fraga, Will From Brazil, and Moacyr Marchini.

Felicia BehmFelicia Behm, '09

Felicia Behm is an innovative educator and percussionist based in the Denver-metro area.  She is the owner of Slap Happy Music Studio, a teaching studio based on an exploratory and holistic approach to education.  She performs across the front range and provides clinics to student groups throughout the year.

Felicia received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2009 from Lawrence University.  While there she studied classical percussion, West African drum and dance, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian drumming, with Dane Richeson, and Balinese gamelan with Sonja Downing and I Dewa Ketut Alit Adnyana.  She also studied conducting with Andrew Mast and education with Laura Sindberg, Carol Lenz, and Craig Gall.

She has performed with a variety of ensembles, including the Wyoming Symphony, Gamelan Tunas Mekar, and the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Orchestra, and Opera.  Felicia has also participated in the International Body Music Festival with Keith Terry and co-founded Lawrence University’s first body music ensemble with Stacey Stoltz (LU ’11).

Felicia served as a clinician for the Fox Valley Youth Symphony and as an instructor for the Lawrence Academy of Music.  She completed her student teaching in Kimberly, WI, taught English in Madrid, Spain, and was the band director at Lincoln High School in Lincoln, CA. Currently she teaches private lessons, youth and adult ensembles, and beginning band and orchestra in South Denver.  She owns and operates Slap Happy Music Studio, where she and other teachers work with students of all ages.  Felicia is an active member of the Sigma Alpha Iota Alumnae chapter and is the secretary for the Colorado Percussive Arts Society.

As a percussionist, Felicia has worked with many artists, including Michael Spiro, Nancy Zeltsman, Nani Agbeli, Keith Terry, Joe Locke, Jackeline Rago, Michael Burritt, Gordon Stout, I Made Lasmawan, Mestre Galego and Mestre Acordeon.
Felicia endorses Vic Firth and bdlpercussion.

Kristin OlsenKristin Olsen, '13

If I could go back and change one thing about my undergraduate experience it would be...nothing. I am so grateful for the amazing opportunities offered to me throughout my four years at Lawrence! To have a professor who can teach you how to play any percussion instrument, to be in a studio where you are valued and needed in every type of ensemble from chamber ensembles to Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and big band jazz, and to learn how to play many different non-Western styles of drumming is invaluable and unique to the LU percussion studio. After getting my Master’s degree at Indiana University, I would say without a doubt that I couldn’t have been prepared better for a graduate program and demanding musical world than by my experience and skills learned at Lawrence.

Kristin Olson is in her second year as a graduate student at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. She is pursuing a Masters of Music while working as an Associate Instructor in the Percussion Studio. She co-directs some large ensembles and teaches private lessons as part of her assistantship. She also performs in a number of ensembles, including the Latin Jazz Big Band, as well as in a number of local groups. She enjoys playing a wide variety of styles, including classical, Latin, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, funk, jazz, and hip hop. She received her Bachelors of Music from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. She has been teaching private students since her junior year of high school, working with students of all ages. She is excited to work with students of any level of experience.

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