University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee Percussion Studies

Associate Professor of Percussion /// Director of Percussion Studies


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The Percussion Studies area at the University of Tennessee is devoted to producing multi-faceted percussionists who advance percussion performance, education, research, and appreciation. The unique curriculum holds students to a universal standard while offering them highly individual attention, allowing them to become complete musicians who can appreciate the percussive arts’ cultural diversity and historical background. The percussion studio works toward acting as a resource to the region and fosters learning in the university community by regularly hosting percussive events on campus. For more media-intensive information, please find our various pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The UT Percussion Studies area provides a focused program of study in solo, chamber, and large ensemble performance. The program is complimented with a full-scale jazz studies degree program and all of the curricular / ensemble offerings that come with it, as well as a variety of authentic world music performance outlets. All students have the opportunity to perform in the large ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, UT Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble.



Percussion Studio

The UT Percussion Studio typically contains approximately 24 students: 18 undergraduates and 6 graduate students. All students study privately with Andrew Bliss and also have opportunities to study under Keith Brown for drumset, vibraphone, and jazz instruction as well as graduate teaching assistants. Additionally lower-classmen enroll in group classes on accessory percussion and timpani, while upper-classmen and graduate students participate in a weekly orchestral repertoire class. Finally, all students have a minimum of 3 solo performances per semester via the studio solo classes, semester studio recital, and faculty juries or solo recitals.

University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble

The University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble, directed by Andrew Bliss, performs Gravity by Marc Mellits. Undergraduate & graduate performers include Nat Gallagher, Emory Hensley, Peter Naughton, Alexandrea Richard, & Christian Swafford.

Composed by: MARC MELLITS


Directed by: ANDREW BLISS @andybliss

Video/Audio by: EMORY HENSLEY Filmed in the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall.

Andrew Bliss and the University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble were invited to the 2015 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (San Antonio, TX) to present the New Literature Showcase Concert. This is live footage from their Thursday, November 12, 2015 performance in the Lila Cockrell Theatre.

The University of Tennessee Percussion Ensemble, directed by Andrew Bliss, performing Fishbones (2007) by Ondřej Adámek.

Composed by: ONDREJ ADAMEK


Performers include: Joshua Dreyer, Peter Naughton, Jordan McFarland, Emory Hensley, Wade Jenkins, & Lawrence Montgomery.

Directed by: ANDREW BLISS @andybliss