2017 Audition Information

Percussion auditions for all major ensembles (except jazz) will be held on September 10 at 2:00pm. Please sign up for a time slot of the door of Shattuck 25 (Richeson office).

New students who are not majoring in music should prepare an etude that best demonstrates their technical level in all principle areas of percussion performance - snare, mallet keyboard, and timpani if possible.  

New students who are majoring in music should prepare an etude in all principle areas of percussion performance (snare, mallet keyboard, and timpani).  Here is a list of repertoire that the percussion major could consider, but other etudes or excerpts will be accepted: 

  • snare drum - #12 from Portraits of Rhythm by Cirone,
  • keyboard percussion – Allegro moderato (to letter D) from Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor pages 94-95 in the Modern School for Xylo, Marimba, Vibraphone by Goldenberg or any movement from a Bach sonata for violin, flute, cello, etc.
  • timpani - demonstrate tuning and perform etude of your choice. 

There will also be sight-reading in each of these areas.  In addition, be prepared to demonstrate techniques on assorted percussion accessories such as tambourine, triangle, and cymbals.  You can use prepared orchestral excerpts, if you like.

Returning students need to prepare either etudes or orchestral excerpts that demonstrate their level of ability on concert snare drum, mallet keyboards, timpani, and preferable one or two accessory instruments, i.e., tambourine, crash cymbals.

Explanation of jazz audition procedures is located at: http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/Aud_Exams/fall_jazz_auditions.shtml. These will be for drum set and auxiliary percussion positions.

There will be a mandatory studio meeting for all percussion students studying with Professor Richeson (term 1 Miller, term 2 Olson) and performing in the ensembles on September 10 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 27.   Please bring calendars and course schedules.  Read this paragraph again!

All percussion majors should own their own metronome, practice pad, assortment of snare drum sticks, keyboard percussion mallets (i.e. xylophone, bells, vibes, marimba), timpani mallets (four pairs:  wood, general, staccato, legato), triangle beaters and clips, A-440 tuning fork, dictionary of percussion terms, and pocket size music dictionary. Percussionists should also have an attaché case of some sort in which to carry your mallets and music.  Following is a list of manufacturers and mallet types to choose from though there are many other types from which to choose:

  Company Type
Snare Drum Vic Firth General or Graham Jones #1 Persimmon
Drum Set Vic Firth P. Erskine
Brushes Real Tip Telescopic
Combination Stick Vic Firth Swizzle G
Timpani Black Swamp of Cloyd General-Bamboo
  Duff Model Staccato shaft-maple
    Cartwheel soft-maple
Marimba Encore or Innovative Orange-medium 2pr. (rattan handles or birch)
    Teal medium hard
Vibes Malletech or Innovative D. Samuels
    Model #18
    2 pair or astrand
Xylophone Malletech or Innovative Orchestra series, brown rattan
Bells Malletech or Innovative Orchestra series-black or white head
Triangle beaters & clip Stoessel or Black Swamp Set and clip






















Steve Weiss Music and Percussion Source are good mail-order companies to order from.  Go to www.steveweissmusic.com or www.percussionsource.com for current prices and selections.

Freshmen may not be able to purchase all of these implements before school begins, but it is strongly advised purchases take place by the end of Term I.  All returning students are required to have the variety of mallets recommended by Professor Richeson.

Required method books for Term I:


Snare Drum

  • Developing Dexterity by M. Peters
  • The Snare Drum Roll by G. Olmstead
  • The All-American Drummer by Wilcoxon
  • Snare Drum in the Concert Hall by Payson
  • Twelve Etudes by Delecluse
  • Portraits in Rhythm by Cirone
  • Odd Rudimental Etudes by M. Peters


  • Modern School of Xylo, Vibes, and Bells by M. Goldenberg
  • Ideo Kinetics by G. Stout
  • Method of Movement by L. H. Stevens
  • Rhythmical Articulation by Bona
  • Vibraphone Technique by David Friedman
  • 26 Bach Chorales arr. Murray Houllif
  • 4 Mallet Marimba Technique by Nancy Zeltsman

Drum Set

  • Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer Vol. 1 by J. Chapin
  • The Art of Bop Drumming by John Riley
  • Drum Set Reading by Ron Fink


  • Techniques of Playing Bass Drum, Cymbals, and Accessories by Payson
  • ​Guidebook to Conga Technique by Mychael Spiro
  • Symphonic Repertoire for Keyboard Percussion by Jack Van Geem

All of the above, including timpani methods:
Modern Method for Timpani by Goodman or Exercises, Etudes and solos for the Timpani by Raynor Carroll
Twenty Studies for Timpani by Delecluse
AfroCuban Rhythms for Drum Set by Frank Malabe
Brazilian Rhythms for Drum Set by Duduka da Fonseca

All percussion majors must become members of the Percussive Arts Society by the end of their freshmen year.  Please come with the materials requested and be well prepared for auditions.  Any questions may be referred to Professor Richeson (dane.m.richeson@lawrence.edu).

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