The Queens College Percussion Program

Michael Lipsey, Director of Percussion

Program Information

Percussion Faculty
Percussion Audition Requirements
Percussion Classes


Check out our album.

Michael Lipsey

Michael Lipsey holds a BM from Queens College and a MM from Manhattan School of Music. He has performed with such prestigious ensembles as the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Music From China, S.E.M. Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Tan Dun, Newband and is a founding member of the Talujon Percussion Quartet. He has recorded for Sony Classical with the BBC Symphony, CRI Records, Albany Records, Mode Records and Nonesuch Records. He has performed at festivals around the world including the Library of Congress Music Series, LaJolla Chamber Music Society, Berlin Amercian Festival, Mexico City Percussion Festival, Taipei Percussion Festival, Taipei Red Lantern Festival, Okada Festival in Osaka and Tokyo, Moscow, Bang on a Can Marathon, Chautauqua Institute, Sonic Boom Festival and the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival. He has presented Master classes at the Julliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Purchase Conservatory of Music, CSU Sacramento, UC Davis, Oregon University at Eugene and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida.

He directs the Percussion and Nota Bene Contemporary Ensembles at Queens College. He is very interested in creating new works for hand drums. He is currently working on a project to commission and premiere works in this medium.

Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward performs regularly with such groups as the Argento Chamber Players, Albany Symphony, Talujon Percussion Quartet and Associated Solo Artists. He is also the co-founder and one of the principal players in the percussion trio TimeTable. Both as a performer and a conductor, Mr. Ward is active in performing and commissioning new works and has been cited by the New York Times as “a fine soloist”. Mr. Ward has received a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Duncan Patton and Chris Lamb. He has a Master’s degree from the State University at Stony Brook under the direction of Raymond DesRoches and is currently enrolled in the school’s DMA program. Mr. Ward was the recipient of the Ridley-Tree Fellowship at the Music Academy of the West in 1998, and in 1999 he participated in the Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. He returned the following year as a member of the 60th Anniversary TMC Alumni Concert. Recent performance highlights include a concert with Emmanuel Ax on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center and the American premiere of Phillipe Hurel’s percussion concerto at Merkin Hall. Through organizations such as the Learning Arts, Westchester Philharmonic, and Marquis Studios he works with elementary school children throughout New York City. He can be heard on the recording labels Argo, Newport Classics, Soundspell, and Albany Records.

David Cossin

David Cossin is a specialist in new and experimental music. He has worked across a broad spectrum of musical and artistic forms to incorporate new media with percussion.  

David Cossin has recorded and performed internationally with composers and ensembles including the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich and Musicians, Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Meredith Monk, Tan Dun, Cecil Taylor, Talujon Percussion Quartet, and the trio, Real Quiet. Numerous theater projects include collaborations with Blue Man Group, Mabou Mines, and director Peter Sellars. He was featured as the percussion soloist in Tan Dun’s Grammy and Oscar winning score to Ang Lee’s film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Cossin has performed as a soloist with orchestras through out the world including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra Radio France, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sao Paulo State Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Hong Kong Symphony, and the Singapore Symphony.

His ventures into other art forms include sonic installations, which have been presented in New York, Italy and Germany. He is also an active composer and has invented several new instruments, which expand the limits of traditional percussion. He is the curator for the Sound Res Festival, an experimental music festival in southern Italy.  

Vince Cherico

Drummer Vince Cherico is a musical chameleon who can be seen performing in many musical styles, especially Jazz, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music. From 1995 - 2006 he was the drummer for Ray Barretto’s “New World Spirit” Sextet where he developed his reputation as a first call drummer in the Latin Jazz genre. In 1998, Vince first performed with the original Caribbean Jazz Project, which began long musical relationships with Dave Samuels and Paquito D’Rivera. In 2004, Vince joined Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and continues to perform and tour with them in support of their Grammy Award CD, “Song For Chico”. Currently, Vince can also be seen performing and touring with the Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Chico O’Farrill Latin Jazz Big Band, Dave Samuels Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater Group and Paquito D’Rivera Quintet. Vince has recently performed and recorded with Claudia Acuna, Eric Alexander, Randy Brecker, Ray Bryant, The Manhattan Transfer, Meredith D’Ambrosio, Lila Downs, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Joe Lovano, James Moody, Eddie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz and Jessica Simpson. Vince, also an in demand educator, is on the faculty of Drummers Collective and Queens College's Jazz Master’s Program.

Percussion Audition Requirements

Prospective students should prepare a well-rounded solo performance. Listed below are specific instrumentation requirements:

Requirements for the undergraduate Bachelor of Music (Performance) Degree program:

  • Snare drum solo work and rudiments
  • A solo on a mallet instrument (usually Marimba) plus all scales
  • A Timpani solo and tuning exercises

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree program:

  • A snare drum solo
  • Two and four mallet solos
  • A Timpani solo

Requirements for the undergraduate BA or Music Education Degree program:

Candidates should prepare a snare solo that demonstrates proficient reading ability. A mallet and/or timpani solo is also expected.

Percussion Classes

The Queens College Music Program offers a wide variety of courses in Percussion. Students are required to take one of our major performance ensembles. The major performing ensembles include Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Students audition once a year for Orchestra. Audition requirements for the Orchestra are mailed out prior to each school year. The audition usually occurs a few days before the start of Fall classes.

The Percussion Ensemble is one of our finest ensembles. Students are expected to perform in 2 or 3 pieces each semester. This ensemble has very high performance standards. The ensemble also participates in outreach concerts, tours and other extra curricular performances. The ensemble has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Nashville, Students also get a chance to work with guest artists and other percussion faculty.

Percussion Repertory class is designed to introduce and examine percussion performance in a wide variety of areas. Each semester is dedicated to a different area of percussion. The different semesters may include orchestral studies, world percussion, timpani repertoire and solo repertoire. Students are expected to perform as part of their grade.

The Nota Bene Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of new music. Students work with other gifted performers from various instrumental groups. Knowledge of the Contemporary repertoire is not mandatory.

Students may also choose to study independently with one of our world class instructors. There is a fee for this instruction. The 3 instructors this year include Carlos Gomez (Afro-Cuban studies), River Guerguerian (hand percussion) and Matt Ward. Please see our faculty page for more information regarding these instructors. faculty page for more information regarding these instructors.


Michael Lipsey playing a water bowl.

Percussion Ensemble with Chou Wen-Chung.

Daniel Kennedy and Michael McCurdy Master Class at Queens College.

Ganesh Kumar with the QC Percussion Ensemble.

Evelyn Glennie with QC student Jon Singer.

Contact Us | Site Map

© Aaron Copland School of Music All rights reserved.