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UCM Percussion

UCM Percussion is dedicated to excellence, from the many areas of percussion to music in general.

When you attend UCM, you will develop your artistic voice and teaching approaches through the study of percussion at the undergraduate and graduate levels within Western classical, “World,” Jazz and commercial, chamber, marching, large ensemble, and electronic practices. You can also engage in the many offerings of composition, arranging, and instrument building, including drum and mallet instruments.

Guest Artist Residency with the Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana, West Africa!

Saakumu Dance Troupe Performing

HONOR PERCUSSION SYMPOSIUM; Saturday, October 31 from 10am-12pm

We would like to invite all Missouri and regional high school music educators and percussion students to the Honor Percussion Symposium virtually over Zoom! This year the symposium will be a Ghanaian drumming class led by Eddie Green, Master Drummer of the Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana, West Africa. Eddie is preparing a prerecorded lesson that we will view together over Zoom; this lesson will only be viewable during the scheduled two-hour session. Eddie will also be on the Zoom call to give feedback in real time, answer questions, and provide further live demonstrations as our trans-continental internet connection with him allows. Access the Facebook event here.

Participants will need to provide their own hand drum. While a djembe is preferred, other types will also work well such as congas, Ewe drums, timbals, and many others. Floor toms, cajóns, tables, pillows, and chairs could also work well; essentially, whatever you have access to!

All interested participants should complete the very short form linked here. Mostly, this form just collects contact information so that we can send out the Zoom link once we get closer to the event. We very much hope that you will join us! Should be super fun.


Join us for the Saakumu Dance Troupe’s prerecorded guest artist recital! Their performance is being recorded specifically for this event and will only be viewable via the UCM Music YouTube channel during the concert hour. The YouTube stream link will be made available on the UCM Music calendar and the Facebook event page as we get closer to November. It will be a great show and we hope you will join us!

DANCE CLASS WITH ERICO ANSUADE; Saturday, Saturday, October 31 @ 2:00pm
167 Morrow, Student Rec Center University of Central Missouri; or virtually

Join us for a West African dance class with guest artist Erico Ansuade. Born in Ghana, West Africa, Eric made a name for himself at an early age dancing in traditional and contemporary styles. He has toured extensively through Europe and the US and currently teaches with the Slyboots School in New York state. Eric will join us via Zoom in 167 Morrow, where there is limited space for UCM students to dance in a socially distanced manner. Masks are required, and dancers must wear shoes or socks. Community members are welcome to join remotely via Zoom. Please email to sign up. Saakumu’s residency is funded by the Missouri Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the UCM African Performing Arts Fund; it is a part of the UCM Ovation Series.

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Percussion Studio

Marching Percussion


Feature Media




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Smith, Dr. Alex

Assistant Professor
HUD 116


Instrument Craft


“Reconnecting the Music-Making Experience Through Musician Efforts in Instrument Craft.” International Journal of Music Education (2018).

“Crafting New Musical Possibilities: A New Educational Area for Academic Music?” Perspectives of New Music 54 (2017).

“Reconnecting the Actors of the Music-Making Experience: Supporting Small-Scale Local Craftsmanship in the Academic Percussion Community.” Ecomusicology Review 4 (2016).

“New Musical Contexts for More Sustainably Made Marimbas.” Percussive Notes Online Research Edition 1 (2016).

“More Than a Marimba Bar.” UCLA Echo Blog (April 27, 2015).

Review of George Dor’s West African Drumming and Dance in North American Universities: an Ethnomusicological Perspective. The Journal of Musical Arts in Africa 13, no. 1-2, 95-98.


McClaflin, Ian

 Assistant Marching Percussion Coordinator


Ian McClaflin is the Assistant Coordinator of Marching Percussion at the University of Central Missouri. In addition to his duties at UCM, Ian is a DMA candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi where he studies with Dr. John Wooton. While at Southern Mississippi, Ian taught private lessons along with conducting and arranging for the percussion ensemble. Ian earned his MM in percussion performance from the University of Missouri, where he studied with Dr. Julia Gaines. While at Mizzou, he was a member of the MU New Music Ensemble and performed in numerous venues throughout the Midwest region.

Ian started his collegiate career at the University of Central Missouri studying with Dr. Michael Sekelsky. During his time at UCM, Ian won many competitions including the Mid-Missouri Percussive Arts Trophy in the marimba and percussion divisions, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention where he competed in the individual and ensemble multiple percussion divisions. While at Southern Mississippi, Ian won the concerto competition with his performance of Eric Ewazen's Marimba Concerto and performed the piece with the university symphonic band. He is a founding member of the amusement park Worlds of Fun's percussion ensemble The Grease Monkeys (Kansas City MO), percussion duo Division II, and plays with and arranges for the Kansas City Chief's "Rumble" Drumline.

Ian previously held appointments as Director of Percussion for the Sedalia 200 School District, and Associate Professor of Percussion for State Fair Community College. Along with maintaining a private percussion studio, Ian is an active performer, recording artist, and arranges percussion for many high schools throughout the Kansas City area. Ian has numerous works published by C-Alan publications for both solo percussion and percussion ensemble.


Prospective Students

Student and Alumni News

Student News

-Nicklas Bohannon (Sophomore): Composition Publication (2019), Groovae

-Michael Walling (Senior): 2nd Place (2019), MMPAT Collegiate Multi Percussion Division

-Alex Braud (Senior): 2nd Place (2018), MMPAT Collegiate Snare Division; Blue Lake Counselor (2016)

-Daniel Gardner (Junior): 2nd Place (2016), MMPAT Collegiate Marimba Division

-Alex Hastings (Senior): 3rd Place (2013), MMPAT Collegiate Marimba Division

-Michael Walling (Junior) and Alex Hastings: 2nd Place (2013), MMPAT Collegiate Duet Division

-Michael Walling (Junior): Madison Scouts Front Ensemble (2017)


Alumni News

-Michael Walling: Marching Band Graduate Assistant at University of Wisconsin, studying percussion performance

-Alex Braud: Graduate Assistant at Lamar University, studying percussion performance

-Dr. James Doyle: Assistant Professor of Music, Adams State University

-Carol Helble: Percussion Specialist, Lebanon High School, MO

-Kolby Koczanowski (BME 2015): Music Therapy Masters, University of Kansas; 1st Place (2015), MMPAT Collegiate Marimba Division

-Nathan Long: Assistant Director of Bands, ​Oak Grove High School

-Jim Lower: Drumset Artist, Broadway Jazz Orchestra

-Ian McClaflin (BME 2012): DMA Candidate at University of Southern Mississippi; 1st Place (2010-2012), MMPAT Collegiate Marching/Multi Percussion Division

-Marcus Neudigate (BME 2013): UCM Drumline Coordinator (2014-2016); 2nd Place (2012), MMPAT Collegiate Multi Percussion Division; 3rd Place (2012), MMPAT Collegiate Marimba Division

-Dr. Roger Schupp: Professor of Percussion, Bowling Green State University

-Dr. Doug Smith (BM and BME): Assistant Professor of Percussion, Utah Valley University; Tuscon Symphony Orchestra

-Adam Twenter: Director of Bands, Pleasant Hill High School, MO

-Danny Watring: Director of Bands (Retired), Grandview High School, MO

-Josh Williams: Engineer/Instructor​ BRC Audio Productions, K. C. MO

Concert Programs/Upcoming Events



Dr. Alex Smith
Assistant Professor
HUD 116


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