July 8-11, 2021
PNW Percussion on the Rock
Did you know that the birth
of the percussion ensemble
is nearly 100 years old?
PNW Percussion on the Rock presents
“Crash” - Exploring the Early Years 1930’s-60’s
Join us for a four day workshop/festival focusing on the early years of this iconic genre. Held on beautiful Whidbey Island (affectionately known as "The Rock") northwest of Seattle, this one-of-a-kind experience is for percussionists, music educators, 20th century music enthusiasts and those simply eager to learn about “artful noise”. Uniquely designed as a two-fold experience, participants will explore classic percussion ensemble repertoire through both historical and performance contexts.
Hosted by the percussionists of Whidbey's Saratoga Orchestra and led by special guest faculty, Dr. Kathleen Kastner, noted percussion educator, scholar and historian, this new festival of old music promises to deliver a “whale of a time”.
NEW DATES and VENUE
Due to circumstances beyond our control and COVID-19 restrictions, the original dates and location has changed slightly.
In the unfortunate situation that the "in person" version of the workshop has to be cancelled,
all fees and deposits will be refunded or may be applied to a possible reimagined virtual workshop.
Health and safety are our utmost priority during this time.
** This event will comply with Washington State safety protocols**
Masks, Social Distancing, Good Hygiene, Proof of Vaccinations, etc.
We suggest you sign up for the PNWFMA mailing list for up-to-date information,
or please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions.
Repertoire in Performance
(subject to change depending on enrollment)
Johanna Beyer - Percussion Music IV
Amadeo Roldán - Ritmicas
Michael Colgrass - Unaccompanied Solos for Snare Drum
Carlos Chávez - Xochipilli
(w/members of Saratoga Orchestra)
Alan Hovhaness - October Mountain
Edgard Varèse - Ionisation
Repertoire in Historical Context
“Origins” - Stravinsky, Milhaud, Antheil & Bartok
“West Coast talks on the West Coast” - Cowell, Cage, Harrison & Partch
“America Rising” - Chávez, Colgrass & Hovhaness
Daily Festival Happenings:
Lectures, listening, score study & discussion sessions
Rehearsals of classic percussion ensemble and chamber music literature
Related Special Topic lectures: Ragtime Xylophone
Film and Video Presentations: Antheil & Partch
ACT “Afternoon Coffee Talks” panel discussions to include: pathways in music, freelancing, auditioning, & entrepreneurship
Drum circles at the Bunker Firepit
PPC (Positive Percussion Camaraderie)
Dr. Kathleen Kastner is professor of music at Wheaton College, (IL), where she teaches percussion, as well as twentieth century music history and world music. As Wheaton's first resident percussion teacher, she founded the Percussion Ensemble in the fall of 1972. She received her doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she studied with Thomas Siwe. Dr. Kastner has been involved in the Percussive Arts Society for many years, having previously served as a member of the Board of Directors, associate editor for research of Percussive Notes, chair of the Scholarly Research Committee, PAS historian, and Illinois State Chapter President. In 2012, she received the Percussive Arts Society Outstanding Service Award. Active as a solo and chamber musician during the first thirty years of her career, her most recent passion is percussion pedagogy, with her book, The Marimba: Teach It! published in 2012. Most recently, Dr. Kastner was named the 2017 Alumna of the Year for Distinguished Service to Alma Mater by the Wheaton College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
ERICA MONTGOMERY retired from the United States Air Force Band, Washington DC in 2018 where she served as Principal Timpanist. Prior to joining the USAF Band, she served as principal Timpanist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Illinois Symphony. An active freelance musician she has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Monarch Brass, Brass of the Potomac, Evansville Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.
Erica earned a B.M. performance degree from the University of Illinois where she was recipient of the prestigious Edgard Varèse Award and a Master of Music performance degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Erica is excited to now call Whidbey Island home, the perfect place to play drums, drink coffee, and explore nature. In her spare time she is always keeping an eye out for the elusive Sasquatch or our local Southern Resident Orcas.
BRANDON NELSON is Director of Bands at Oak Harbor High School on Whidbey Island and has built an award-winning program ranging from the marching band to the jazz band to wind ensembles. Brandon has served as principal percussionist for Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island since 2016. He earned his Masters degree in Music Performance from Portland State University and Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. A devoted educator, in 2018 Brandon was honored by School Band and Orchestra magazine as Washington's Director Who Makes a Difference.
Having worked as a band director and drumline coach in Oregon, Washington, and Texas, Brandon is passionate about training the next generation of musicians to clap on beats two and four. Outside of the classroom, he can be found performing on drumset, french horn, bassoon, voice, and as a conductor & adjudicator. Additionally, life has gotten even more fulfilling for Brandon and his partner Eva with the birth of their first child.
Nordic Hall, Coupeville
Whidbey Island, WA
An hour’s trip from downtown Seattle, Coupeville and Central Whidbey Island offer peaceful landscapes and opportunities for biking, hiking, kayaking, sailing, or just breathing in the fresh sea air and relaxing in locally owned and operated restaurants and inns. A wide variety of interests are met in exploring the Island County Historical Society Museum, Admiralty Lighthouse, Meerkerk Gardens, antique shops, art galleries, heritage farms, working studios, wineries, and farmers markets. Nordic Hall is located conveniently just a couple of miles from Coupeville along Highway 20.
Active Participant/Performer - $400
Auditor aka Casual Observer - $50/day
Auditors may register up to the the day of workshop
Evening Community Drum Circle - FREE!
More information coming soon!
You will be redirected to
a separate registration site.
April 15 - Registration Opens
June 1 - Priority Registration / Scholarship Applications Due
June 15 - Balance of Tuition Due minus application fee
July 8-11 - PNW Percussion on the Rock
Who will be coming?
We hope a wide and diverse background of percussion enthusiasts will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. From college/university students and faculty to seasoned pros and rusty amateurs, there will be something for everyone.
Advanced High School percussion students with a path toward a music degree are also welcome to apply. Under 18 must be accompanied by parent.
How do you apply? - Go to REGISTRATION Button above.
1. Submit a 1 page resume or CV, plus
2. Submit a link to a representative short video performance, either as soloist or in a percussion ensemble setting, plus
3. A short intention paragraph on why you want to attend, educational experience and what you wish to gain or learn?
Please submit a short intention paragraph on why you want to attend, what you wish to gain or learn? Auditors will be allowed to observe all lectures and rehearsal sessions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday's culminating performance is charged separately.
Do you offer Scholarships?
Yes...we are anticipating having scholarships depending on the enrollment and attendee criteria.
Will I get to play?
Yes! Final decisions on repertoire and parts will be determined based on attendance numbers. Our goal is wanting to make this a meaningful and positive experience for you.
What will I play?
We will be performing classic percussion ensemble repertoire. Based on your skill level/interest you’ll be assigned parts in various pieces.
Will there be other performance options or feedback?
Yes, we will be studying & performing pieces from Michael Colgrass’ Unaccompanied Solos for Snare Drum. This is an option for each attendee to perform as a soloist, but is not mandatory.
What parts will I be assigned?
Once attendance is determined we will send out a questionnaire asking for specific requests re: repertoire, parts and elective opportunities.
Do I have to play?
No, auditing is a great way to absorb the experience and gain insight into this crazy genre.
Do I have to drink coffee at ACT?
Haha—No we will have tea, hot chocolate, water, etc.
Will you have door prizes?
Of course! Cool stuff that’s all you need to know!
What should I expect a day at “Crash” to be like?
We will start @ 10 am with lectures, listening and discussions of classic percussion ensemble repertoire. After we “geek out” a while listening and learning, we’ll follow-that with rehearsals of corresponding repertoire. Additionally, we’ll be joined by members of Whidbey's Saratoga Orchestra to make the chamber music experience even more enjoyable. Morning sessions will be primarily study and afternoon sessions primarily rehearsals and special topic discussions
Is housing included?
Unfortunately, due to Covid we are unable to offer housing.
There are a small number of rooms reserved at the Fort Casey Inn that will be an additional fee.
Several homestay accommodations (AirBnB, VRBO) may be found on Whidbey Island, however during the summer they do book quickly, so act now.
RV and tent camping may be available at Camp Casey
https://casey.spu.edu/ or phone: 866-661-6604
Fort Casey State Park camping is adjacent to Camp Casey
Many Hotel/Motel options are available in Coupeville (10 min. drive) and Oak Harbor (20 min. drive)
Any food included?
Meals will be on your own. The facility does have a kitchen if one wants to bring their lunch.
Restaurants are plentiful in Coupeville (2 min. drive) as well as a grocery store.
What are the options for commuting?
Seattle area commuters can be a walk on passenger from the Mukilteo ferry and may arrange to be picked up at the Clinton Ferry terminal and carpool to the site each day. NOTE: It is a 40 minute drive from the ferry terminal to Coupeville. SCHEDULE HERE
Port Townsend/Olympic Peninsula commuters can be a walk on passenger and arrange for a ride from the Coupeville Ferry terminal. SCHEDULE HERE
Island Transit is the FREE bus system on Whidbey Island operating Monday through Saturday. There is a bus from the Clinton Ferry that drops off in downtown Coupeville. We can make arrangements for picking up passengers.
Arriving by Air
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport (SEA) is the closest major airport to Whidbey Island with numerous options for most domestic and international routes. Whidbey SeaTac Airport Shuttle provides frequent service from SEA to all points on Whidbey Island.
Alaska and United airlines serve Everett's Paine Field (PAE) with direct service from many major western US cities.
Bellingham (BLI) and Vancouver B.C., Canada (YVR) may also be a viable option depending on your departure city.
Arriving by Car
If you are driving to Whidbey Island from points south, you can take the ferry from the Mukilteo terminal which is 24 miles north of downtown Seattle and just off I-5.
Ferry - Mukilteo to Clinton
The ferry from Mukilteo on the mainland will get you to Clinton on Whidbey Island. The ferry ride is about a twenty minute sailing and ferries leave approximately every 30 minutes. During the summer, the ferry can be quite busy and you may experience an extended wait time. Drive time from Clinton to Camp Casey is approximately 40 minutes. Carpools can be arranged each day if there is demand. Schedules here - https://wsdot.wa.gov/ferries
Ferry - Port Townsend to Coupeville (Keystone)
Drive time from the Coupeville Ferry to Camp Casey is approximately 5 minutes. Carpools from ferry terminal will be available. Schedules here -
Over the Bridge and through the Woods
If you are coming from points north of Whidbey Island, you can cross to the island on Highway 20 via Deception Pass Bridge which connects the north of Whidbey to the mainland. The views are spectacular!
For tourist information including accommodations on Whidbey Island, visit: http://whidbeycamanoislands.com/