2021 Audition Information

Percussion auditions for all major ensembles (except jazz) will be held on September 12 at 2pm in percussion studio.  Please sign up for a time slot on the door of Shattuck 25 (Richeson office). Auditions for jazz groups will be Monday the 13th at 3:00. Please register for a time on my door and jazz board.

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 they are interested in participating in a large ensemble i.e. orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band and percussion ensemble. If you are interested in participating in any of the non-western percussion groups, just a meeting with me and demonstrating an ability to repeat rhythmic patterns will suffice for the audition.

New students who are majoring in music must 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 of the etudes in that book. Also 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. Students performing the strongest audition will be assigned the more significant parts in large ensembles.

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. Use this opportunity to play excerpts you have not performed in the past!


There will be a mandatory studio meeting for all percussion students studying with Professor Richeson and performing in the ensembles on September 12 at 5 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, 4 mutes that can be used on timpani or other drums and pocket size music dictionary.  Percussionists should also have an attaché case of some sort in which to carry 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 or Cooperman

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 or Cloyd Duff Model General-Bamboo
Staccato shaft-maple
Cartwheel soft-maple
Wood 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. 

First years 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 a variety of mallets in order to not borrow from colleagues. 


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
            Twelve Etudes by Delecluse
            Portraits in Rhythm by Cirone


            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. by Murray Houllif or Evelyn Glennie's Chorale
            4 Mallet Marimba Technique by Nancy Zeltsman

Drum Set

            The Art of Bop Drumming by John Riley


             Techniques of Playing Bass Drum, Cymbals and Accessories by Payson
             Guidebook to Conga Technique by Michael 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 member of the Percussive Arts Society by the end of their freshman 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)