The St. Olaf Percussion Ensemble is open to all percussionists on campus. Rehearsals occur twice a week with a performance each semester. The literature performed utilizes different sizes of ensembles and ranges from classic percussion ensemble music to ethnic pieces that involve improvisation. Students interested in participating in this group need to contact the director, Dave Hagedorn.
St. Olaf College offers a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion, as well as the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music with percussion as the principal or secondary performing medium. Dr. David Hagedorn, Associate Professor of Music at St. Olaf, is responsible for teaching percussion lessons as well as many other classes and activities.
Percussion lessons at St. Olaf can be structured in a variety of ways. Typically, a semester is devoted to a certain area (timpani, snare drum, marimba, drum set, etc.). However, lessons are tailored for each student's needs and/or desires. Current students have interests ranging from classical performance, solo marimba playing, or drum set gigging. A sense of well-roundedness, in all areas of percussion, is generally practiced at St. Olaf.
Plenty of opportunities for percussion performance on campus exist, ranging from orchestral or band performance to modern percussion works. There is a weekly departmental recital for students to perform as a soloist or with ensembles. There are also a variety of ensembles that employ percussion such as the St. Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Philharmonia, Norseman Band, Valhalla Band, the Percussion Ensemble, and three jazz ensembles. Membership in these ensembles is determined by audition, but each is open to students of any major. A percussion techniques class is offered for music education majors. Percussionists also often find themselves performing new works for student composition classes.
Recommended Percussion Audition Repertoire