John W. Parks IV, D.M.A.
The Florida State University College of Music
Tallahassee, Florida USA
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Percussion at Florida State
The Florida State University Percussion Studio is comprised of 24 percussion majors (Performance and Music Education) at the Doctoral, Master's and Undergraduate levels, and is capped at that number to provide maximal learning opportunities for our students.  Typically we have four graduate students in residence, all of whom are Graduate Teaching Assistants in charge of Instrument Storage, Applied Lessons/Percussion Methods class, FSU Percussion Ensemble/Chamber Ensemble coaching, and the Marching Chiefs Big 8 Drum Line.  We average 20 undergraduate majors, or roughly five new students a year, depending on matriculation.

Admission to our program is highly competitive at both the graduate and undergraduate levels (average of 40-50 graduate applicants and 35-45 undergraduates annually), and opportunities for performance with our nationally-acclaimed symphonic, jazz, and world music ensembles are open to all through auditions at the beginning of each semester.  Additional performance opportunities exist with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra through annual auditions, as well as other regional per-service orchestras.  Our Percussion Ensemble has been a winner of the PASIC 2007 and 2011 International Percussion Ensemble Competitions, resulting in showcase performances in Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN, and a select group of students accompanied Dr. Parks on his Carnegie Hall solo debut and East Coast tour in 2007.  Volume One and Volume Two: Not Far From Here, recorded by the FSU Percussion Ensemble, were released in 2009 and 2013, and their highly-anticipated new CD Volume Three: Ten Windows was released in August of 2015.

Numerous guest artists are on campus each year for lectures, master classes and solo performances; if you name someone famous in the percussion world, chances are we've had them at FSU.  

Graduates of our program hold full-time teaching positions at the University and Secondary levels, positions in Symphony Orchestras/Military Bands, and have been admitted to graduate programs at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music, The University of Michigan, Indiana University, Temple University, the University of Texas, The University of North Texas, and the University of Kentucky, as well as participated in prestigious music festivals such as Music Academy of the West, National Orchestral Institute, The Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as the Texas, Round Top, and Eastern Music Festivals.

We are fortunate to have incredible performance and rehearsal facilities that are truly second-to-none, as well as a ludicrous amount of top-end equipment and practice facilities.  You can read more about these on the Gear page.  The Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, Opperman Music Hall, Longmire, Dohnanyi, and Lindsey Recital Halls provide our students with world-class venues of every size and kind.  
The Florida State University College of Music   *   122 North Copeland Blvd.   *   Tallahassee, Florida  *  32306-1180   *   USA