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Solo and Ensemble Video Contest 2014

The waiting is over - the judges have reviewed the entries, and the winners are...

Michael Van Wirt and Elizabeth Galvan,

for their performance of8 on 3 and 9 on 2 by Robert Marino


We're proud to present Michael and Elizabeth with a $200 Percussion Source gift card, with our congratulations!

Thanks again to all the players who submitted contest entries, and to our judges Nick Petrella and Eric Sooy!


8 on 3 and 9 on 2 by Robert Marino

Our Distinguished Judges

Eric Sooy is Founder and President of Black Swamp Percussion and has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 2001. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's degree in percussion performance and a Master's degree in ethnomusicology. Prior to joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, he was a member of the West Shore, Adrian, Ann Arbor, and Flint Symphonies. As a student of world percussion traditions, he traveled to Bali, Indonesia, in 1993 to study Balinese music and musical instrument construction. In 1994, he traveled to Ghana, West Africa, to study Ewe drumming and dancing. His Master's thesis, "Gamelan Instruments in Bali: Their History, Makers, and Creation," is published by the American Gamelan Institute.

Mr. Sooy has designed and built musical instruments his entire life, and founded Black Swamp Percussion 1995. The name of the company derives from the nickname that the Native Americans gave to the area of northwest Ohio region where he attended college. He resides in Zeeland, Michigan with his wife Julie and three children.

Nick Petrella is the Director of Education for Sabian Ltd., and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Percussion at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. As a performer he has commissioned and premiered over a dozen compositions and has many solo chamber music performances to his credit. Nick has played with several large ensembles including the Kansas City Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Michigan Opera. In 2002, he and pianist Diane Helfers Petrella formed the Petrella Ensemble, which has appeared throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe. In September 2008 he was the percussion coach for Xenakis' Pleiades at the 114th BBC Proms Festival in London's Royal Albert Hall. He received a DMA from the University of Iowa, an MM from the University of Michigan and a BSMusEd from Penn State University. Nick was on the faculty of Oakland University from 2002 to 2006 and was the Director of Percussion Studies at Texas Christian University from 1996 to 2001. In 1998, the TCU Percussion Ensemble performed as the first percussion ensemble invited to the Verbier Festival. In 1997 and 1998 he was the percussion coach for the World Youth Orchestra and in 1992 he developed the percussion pedagogy course at the RNCM in Manchester, England. As a marching percussion instructor and arranger, Nick worked with the TCU Marching Band from 1996-2001, the University of Iowa Marching Band from 1994-1996 and the University of Michigan Marching Band from 1990-1992.

Nick authored The Ultimate Guide to Cymbals w/DVD and The Multiple-Percussion Book w/CD. He holds twelve designs for sticks, mallets and percussion accessories and has been a consultant to many companies in the music products industry. He is an artist for Sabian, Pearl/Adams, Cooperman and Pro-Mark and appeared as a performer, clinician, teacher and adjudicator throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

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