The West Virginia University School of Music will once again host its annual Percussion Camp this year at the Creative Arts Center from June 16-20. The popular weeklong event is for young percussionists, ages 14 to 21.

Students may register right up until the beginning of camp, which will include daily workshops and clinics, solo performances by guest artists, public percussion ensemble performances and much more.

“The students who attend this year’s Percussion Camp will be able to learn from and perform with some incredible guest artists,” said George Willis, the founder and director of the camp and also director of the Percussion Program at WVU.

“The camp will educate every level of percussionist and all of the students will perform in a percussion ensemble that will present a public concert at the end of the week,” he said. “The students who attend Percussion Camps 2014 will remember this week for the rest of their lives.”

Among the guest artists for Percussion Camp 2014 will be WVU music alumnus Kevin Zackiewicz, who is currently director of bands at Parkside High School in Salisbury, Maryland. Kevin attended WVU as a double major in music education and percussion performance. During his time at WVU, he performed in virtually every WVU major ensemble, including four years in the WVU Drumline. In 2004, he served as the WVU Drumline Section Leader and in 2005 he served as percussion instructor of the WVU Marching Band. He performed marimba concertos at the 2004 World Music Concert and also the 2006 Percussion Ensemble Concert at WVU. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2005 and continued studies for his master’s degree in percussion performance at WVU, graduating in 2007. Kevin has received numerous awards during his tenure at Parkside High School, including the Maryland Music Educator Association’s Outstanding New Music Teacher of the Year award.

Another guest artist will be WVU music alumnus Travis Nestor, who is assistant band director and head of percussion for the award-winning North Hardin High School, in Radcliff, Kentucky. Originally from Clarksburg, Travis received his bachelor’s degree in music education from WVU in 2012 and graduated with his master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Louisville in May 2014. During his college years, he studied with well-known marching percussion teachers Shane Gwaltney and Tom Aungst while marching with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009 and the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010 and 2012. Travis is a Vic Firth Education Artist and is in his second year as quad technician for the Winter Guard International’s world-class Tate’s Creek Indoor Ensemble.

Kris Grant, who is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in percussion at WVU, will also teach at Percussion Camp 2014. He holds a Master of Music degree in percussion performance from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Music Education (with performance honors) from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has appeared as a marimba soloist at numerous concerts, clinics, and camps. As a steel drummer, he has performed in Sweden, Germany and Israel for festivals and concerts as part of Delaware Steel. This ensemble is very active, also performing concerts and clinics in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Professor George Willis has been the director of the WVU Percussion Program since 2004. He performs and presents master classes and workshops throughout the country. He is very active in The Willis Duo, performing at universities and high schools throughout the year. He has toured the United States, Europe and Asia with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and continues to be very active with other groups in the region. He holds performance degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and Temple University and has recorded with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Registration for Percussion Camp is $370 and housing is $238, which includes all meals. The fees will be paid upon checking into camp. Students will be staying at Lincoln Hall, a residence hall located on the Evansdale Campus that is only a short PRT ride or walk from the Creative Arts Center.

For more information about Percussion Camp 2014, please visit the WVU School of Music website at, call 304-293-5274, or email

Online registration is available through WVU Continuing Education at:

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CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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