31st Annual Concordia Percussion Day

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Join us on campus for our annual Percussion Day, featuring an incredible line up of guest artists (listed below), along with the Concordia College Percussion Ensemble and Marimba Choir.

2023 Artists

Gregg Bissonette

Gregg Bissonette is best known for his ability to play in a wide variety of styles. His credits range from the big band jazz of Maynard Ferguson to the hard rock of David Lee Roth to Britain’s loudest band, Spinal Tap. 

After growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Gregg received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). While at NTSU, he played for three years in the famed “One O’Clock Jazz Band.” After graduation, he joined the Maynard Ferguson Big Band which already featured his brother Matt on bass. The band toured the world and recorded the Live in San Francisco CD. Gregg later moved to Los Angeles and that has been his home ever since where he continues to record with other artists as well as for films and television.

Gregg has played with James Taylor, Joe Satriani, Gino Vannelli, Tania Maria, Brian Wilson, Robin Zander, Yarbrough & Peoples, Toto, Ray Charles, Don Henley, Electric Light Orchestra, Andy Summers, Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, & many others. One of his favorite gigs came about in 1985 when David Lee Roth left Van Halen and started his own band that included Gregg on drums. They recorded three albums together: Eat ‘Em and Smile, Skyscraper, and A Little Ain’t Enough, as well as toured the globe extensively.

During 2003 and 2005, Gregg had the “honor and thrill” of performing with his drumming hero Ringo Starr on promotional tours for the albums Ringo Rama and Choose Love. Since 2008, Gregg has been a member of Ringo’s “All Starr Band”, performing all across the United States as well as Europe and South America. In July 2010, Gregg was part of Ringo’s 70th birthday celebration including a surprise appearance by Paul McCartney.

Gregg played on Santana’s Grammy-winning album Supernatural, including the tune “El Farol” which was named “Best Pop Instrumental” at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

He also played on Larry Carlton’s and Steve Lukather’s CD No Substitutions, recorded live in Osaka, Japan, which won the Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Album” in 2002. 

Another highlight of Gregg’s career was being invited to perform at the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert and video. In 2006, he released the award-winning 2-disc DVD Musical Drumming in Different Styles (Hudson Music) and also has two other instructional videos, Private Lesson and Playing, Reading and Soloing With A Band. He has three solo CDs, Gregg Bissonette, Submarine, and Warning Will Robinson.

From Maynard Ferguson to Ringo Starr, from multi-platinum albums to world tours and a Grammy, Gregg Bissonette has seen his musical dreams come true.

Lisa Rogers

Lisa Rogers is a Professor of Percussion Studies at Texas Tech University, where she teaches applied studies as well as directs ensembles, including the Texas Tech Steel Drum Band “Apocalypso Now.” As an advocate of new literature for the vibraphone, Rogers released a CD of solo works titled “Paint Me a Sky” and has commissioned works including Concerto for Vibraphone by Nathan Daughtrey. She is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society and currently Executive Director of the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. Rogers also serves as Associate Research Editor for the Percussive Arts Society’s journal Percussive Notes and is Principal Timpanist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Rogers is endorsed by Vic Firth-Zildjian, Remo, and Tama-Bergerault.

Heartland Marimba Quartet

The Heartland Marimba Quartet (HMQ) was established in 2016 by acclaimed marimba soloist Matthew Coley and has done more than 140 concerts since its inception. The group seeks to give a platform to the music of American composers in its programming and continues to expand its repertoire with works from composers worldwide. Comprised of four distinctly creative forces (Ujjal Bhattacharyya, Matthew Coley, Marco Schirripa, and Hannah Weaver) HMQ exemplifies Heartland Marimba’s mission to develop and disseminate the classical marimba art form in both academic and community contexts.

In 2018, HMQ had the honor of being the ensemble in residence for the Society of Composers National Conference in Tacoma, Washington, and premiered works with the University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble, Gerard Morris, conductor. HMQ’s 2018-2019 season further highlighted works written for Heartland Marimba, including Alex Orfaly’s Fôr Marimbas, Steven Simpson’s Fluidity, Matthew Coley’s Turbulence, and The Principle of Vibration by Brett William Dietz. During the 2019-2020 season, they released an album titled VISION and collaborated with the Dubuque Arts Council on a two-week residency in twenty different schools. That season also saw the premiere of Coley's Rivers of Rage Concerto with the Millikin University Percussion Ensemble. In 2021, HMQ performed Coley's arrangements of Gottschalk's Grande Tarantelle and A Scott Joplin Ragtime Medley with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. They also performed those works with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Wind Ensemble in 2021 and Efrain Amaya's Marahuaka with the Minot Symphony Orchestra in 2022. HMQ will premiere Kevin Romanski's Concerto for Marimba Quartet and Orchestra with the National Composers Orchestra in 2023.

A unique feature of HMQ's regular performing engagements includes organizing marimba orchestra performances with students and communities. This kind of spectacle, ensembles ranging from 25-100 marimba players, is an important part of the history of classical marimba in America. HMQ has performed marimba orchestra concerts with the percussion students of Arizona State University and San Diego State University, and they were featured performers in 2021 for the International Marimba Orchestra in Kutztown, PA, and Indianapolis, IN.

Past Schedule of Events (2022)

8:30 a.m. — Registration
8:50 a.m. — Welcome/Opening Remarks
9 a.m.Percussion Chamber Ensemble Performances
9:30 a.m. — Guest Artist Clinic 1
10:45 a.m. — Guest Artist Clinic 2
Noon-1:30 p.m. — Lunch (on your own)
1:30 p.m. — Guest Artist Performance with Concordia Jazz Ensemble I
2 p.m. — Guest Artist Clinic 3
3 p.m. — Guest Artist Combined Clinic 4
4 p.m.Concordia Percussion Ensemble, Marimba Choir, and Viva Marimba concert featuring Guest Artists

Past Sponsors (2022)

Drum Workshop
Vic Firth
Latin Percussion
Ludwig Drums
Regal Tip
Remo
Yamaha
Zildjian Cymbals