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Students Offered Two Opposing Methods at Timpani Workshop

Participants at a weeklong timpani workshop at Duquesne University will be given the unusual opportunity to explore two unique and contrasting approaches to all aspects of performing on the timpani.

The Washburgh Timpani Seminar—slated from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17, at the Mary Pappert School of Music—will feature nationally acclaimed timpanists Ed Stephan and Jauvon Gilliam.

Unlike other seminars, Stephan and Gilliam will present a comprehensive timpani workshop that will offer their “opposing” views on topics of repertoire, instrument setup and maintenance, stick choices and more. Session topics range from the selection of mallets and heads to technical development, such as rolling, articulating and muffling.

Participants will be able to work in both master-class and group settings with Stephan and Gilliam to determine which of their artistic styles best suits their individual needs. The timpani workshop will conclude on Friday with a mock audition titled So You Think You Can Play?, and prizes will be awarded to the winner and runner-up.

Stephan, who is chair of percussion at Duquesne University, was appointed principal timpanist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2010. He is widely recognized for his exciting and diverse timpani style. A Pittsburgh native, Stephan previously served as principal timpanist at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as well as at the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival.

Gillliam, who has been principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra since 2009, regularly performs as guest principal timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He also is timpanist of the All-Star Orchestra, which is a made-for-TV group comprised of principal musicians from across the United States. Gilliam has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and he is director of percussion studies and an artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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