There are storied educators, and there are dynamic performers, and then there are those who are destined to be both. Always in search of new music and new ways to share it with others, Thomas Burritt is today's percussionist. He has received degrees from Ithaca College School of Music (BM – Education and Performance), Kent State University (MM), and Northwestern University (DMA). Active in the creation and performance of new music for percussion Burritt has built a reputation in chamber music, as a percussion soloist and a concert marimbist. He has performed regularly at the Leigh Howard Stevens International Marimba Seminar and was a featured faculty performer at the 2007 and 2009 Zeltsman Marimba Festival. In April 2004 Burritt performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as member of the Hammers and Sticks Ensemble. Later the same year the Hammers and Sticks Ensemble released a CD on the Innova label featuring works by Steven Mackey, Zhou Long, Alvin Singleton, Alex Shapiro, Joseph Harchanko and Belinda Reynolds.
As Percussion Soloist Burritt has been active performing percussion concertos by Maki Ishii, Steve Mackey, Joseph Schwantner, Michael Dougherty, David Maslanka, John Mackey, and James MacMillan. Burritt has recorded for guitarist Eric Johnson and recording artist David Byrne. Burritt's first solo CD recording: "All Times Identical - New American Music for Marimba" was released in November 2006. His 2nd solo marimba recording "Groundlines" is available in iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Rdio and Spotify. In August of 2015, Burritt released his latest recording via YouTube, featuring a video album of J. S. Bach's 5th Cello Suite performed on the Marimba. In 2009 and 2016, Burritt performed on two Grammy nominated recordings: "Conspirare in Concert" and "Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings", both distributed world wide on the harmonia mundi label. In the spring of 2012, Burritt was cited as being one of "The most influential Music Professors on Twitter". Follow @tburritt
He is currently Professor of Percussion and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and is a clinician/endorser for Majestic Percussion, Innovative Percussion, Zildjian, Remo, Beetle Percussion and Grover Pro Percussion.
Tony Edwards is currently the Principal Timpanist for the Austin Symphony Orchestra,Principal Percussionist for the Britt Music Festival, Assistant Principal Percussionist for the Austin Lyric Opera, and Principal Percussionist/ Timpanist for the Texas Philharmonic. From 1991-2003 he served as Co-Principal Percussionist for the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In addition he performs regularly with the San Antonio Symphony, Conspirare Orchestra, and Austin Chamber Music Center.
Tony received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Henderson State University, Master of Music in Percussion Performance degree from the University of Texas and a Professional Studies Cerfificate from Temple University. His recordings include Bartok's Sonata for “Two Pianos and Percussion” with the Southwestern University Chamber Soloist, “Music of Donald Grantham” with Voices of Change (Centaur Records, Inc.) His most recent recording includes the movie soundtrack to Spy Kids 2 (Dimension Motion Pictures). He can also be seen perfoming the movie “Waiting for Guffman” (Castle Rock Productions). Tony currently teaches at the Round Top Music Festival and is adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin. Tony is an endorser for Sabian Cymbals and Innovative Percussion.
Wayne Salzmann II
Wayne Salzmann II is an incredibly versatile and active drummer with nearly 20 years of experience. Born and raised in Neenah, Wisconsin, Salzmann was exposed to a wide variety of music at a young age. By the time he was sixteen, he was playing regular gigs, had won the DW/Zildjian drum solo competition, and was teaching drum lessons at a local music store. He earned a full-tuition music scholarship from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he received a student-research grant to travel to New York City and study with legendary drummers Bill Stewart, Joey Baron, Billy Martin, and Ari Hoenig. In 2008, Salzmann was awarded a teaching assistantship from the University of Texas, and moved to Austin to pursue a masters degree in music. While in Austin, he met Grammy winning Guitarist Eric Johnson, with whom he is currently touring and recording.
He has performed with Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Joe Bonamassa, Bobby Mcferrin, Robben Ford, Albert Lee (Eric Clapton), Chris Potter (Steely Dan), Carlos Sosa (Jason Mraz), Kevin Lovejoy (John Mayer), Ephraim Owens (Sheryl Crow), Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), Joe Lally (Fugazi), John Jorgenson (Elton John), Oz Noy (Chris Botti), Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen), Red Young (Dolly Parton), Jake Langley (K.D. Lang), Bob Schneider, Sonny Landreth, Esperanza Spalding, Kat Edmondson, Suzanna Choffel, The Yellowjackets, Romero Lubambo, Andre Mehmari, Carmen Bradford, Gabriel Santiago Quintet, Tameca Jones, and The UT Faculty Jazz Quintet.
Salzmann has been featured on dozens of albums and music videos with a wide variety of artists in Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk, R&B, Soul, Singer-Songwriter, Brazilian, African, and Classical genres. He has also recorded for multiple commercial jingles, television shows and Hollywood film soundtracks. Salzmann has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Brazil, and he played drums for the 2011 Eric Johnson Up Close Tour and 2012 EJ World Tour. He has performed everywhere from club gigs to Carnegie Hall, to International Music Festivals, and Amphitheatre gigs supporting Steve Miller Band.
Wayne Salzmann II is known for his ability to fit into a wide variety of genres, and serve the musical styles while expressing his own unique voice from behind the drums. He also writes and arranges music for his own project called Wayne Salzmann's Groove Society. Salzmann currently holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in music, and is the drum-set Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been teaching privately for nearly 15 years, and has given master classes at Universities and Music Conservatories worldwide. He proudly endorses DW Drums, Pedals, and Hardware, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Puresound Snare Wires, and Pro-Mark Drumsticks, with whom he has a signature model drumstick.
Diana Loomer is an active percussionist and music educator. She is currently a doctoral candidate, pursuing a degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a M.M. from Indiana University and a B.M. from Appalachian State University in Percussion Performance. She has studied with teachers including Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, Rob Falvo, Craig Hetrick, and Braham Dembar.
Currently, Diana is teaching and performing in the Austin, TX area. In addition to private lessons, she is a Teaching Assistant at UT, and the director of the UT Steel Band, "The Pans of Texas". From 2012-2014, she was an Associate Instructor at Indiana University and taught the IU Steel Band. She was a front ensemble instructor for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016, and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017.
Diana has performing experience in many different areas of percussion. She has studied orchestral percussion with current and former members of the Austin Symphony, National Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony. She has performed with the Austin Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. She has an extensive background in world percussion, including areas such as steel pan, tabla, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African percussion. She travelled to Ghana in 2014 to study gyil and djembe with Bernard Woma, and is currently a member of the Austin Samba School and Inside Out Steel Band. She has performed multiple times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention including concerts with the PAS Marimba Orchestra, Indiana University Percussion Ensemble, and the University of Texas Percussion Ensemble and Wind Ensemble. Diana was the timpanist for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-2012, and has since developed a passion for "melodic timpani" playing. She is currently working to expand both the potential of the instrument, and the repertoire for this new field.
Kellen has a private percussion studio in the Leander Independent School District and is the Front Ensemble Coordinator for Leander High School in Leander, TX (6th place Bands of America Grand National Finalist, 2016). During his graduate degrees, he was a Teaching Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin and Ithaca College, as well as the Marching Band Music Advisor at Cornell University. Kellen has an extensive background in music education: teaching and writing music for a number of schools and competitive organizations across the country.
Kellen has been a member of many organizations including the Western Michigan University Drumline, Northcoast Academy Percussion Ensemble, and the Ithaca College Graduate Percussion Quartet. Notable performances include Ensemble X (Cornell and Ithaca College joint faculty ensemble, 2014), The University of Texas Wind Ensemble (PASIC, 2015), The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra (TMEA, 2016), The University of Texas Percussion Ensemble (PASIC, 2016), and The University of Texas New Music Ensemble (Soloist, 2018). Kellen specializes in all forms of percussion: keyboard percussion, snare drum, multiple percussion, world percussion, drumset, and electroacoustic percussion.