Percussion for the Non-Percussionist

VanderCook's percussion instructor Dr. Jim Yakas leads this hands-on course that addresses the common concerns for concert percussion, percussion ensembles and jazz bands. Concepts and techniques covered in the class will transfer effectively to all levels of teaching. No experience necessary!

Yakas,_Jim_headshot_2015_CROPDirector of Percussion Studies Dr. James Yakas joined VanderCook in 2015, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in percussion performance from the University of North Texas, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in music education. After earning his master’s degree in percussion performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, he spent 12 summers in the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, eventually becoming their percussion coordinator and arranger in 2003. Yakas has performed at festivals in Trinidad/Tobago and Seoul, South Korea. He studied Afro-Cuban drumming with Orlando Cotto, and accompanied ethnomusicologist Dr. Steven Friedson for tribal drumming studies in Ghana. Yakas endorses Yamaha Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads and World Percussion Instruments, and Sabian Cymbals. Currently he is vice president of the Illinois PAS chapter.
 
 
 
Keith_AleoKeith Aleo has a multifaceted career as an orchestral player, educator, and administrator. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Miami, Aleo has served on the percussion faculty of the Boston Conservatory, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Miami. He is also Director of Education and Orchestral Activities for the Zildjian Company.
 
Aleo has given master classes and workshops at numerous universities conventions, including the Percussive Arts Society, State and International Conventions; PAS Journees de la Percussion in Paris, France; the PAS Italian Percussion Festival in Fermo, Italy; and multiple music educator conferences.
 
Aleo’s playing credits include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the percussion section of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989-2003.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288