The McMaster University Percussion Ensemble

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Auditions to be held remotely for Fall 2020

Note: Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, auditions will take place virtually.  This will include a sight reading component, as well as solo performing to the extent that is possible.  Given the exceptional nature of this term, videos illustrating excerpts of either solo (preferred) or ensemble playing may be used.   Please fill out the linked form to register your interest.

The Percussion Ensemble features a variety of music from around the world, including African inspired dance, transcriptions of classic works, and new literature for percussion.  We welcome percussionists with a variety of backgrounds interested in musical growth.  First-year piano students interested in gaining ensemble credits should contact Dr. Schutz ahead of time for assistance with audition preparation.

Although the Fall of 2020 brings unprecedented challenges for music-making, we are currently exploring options to work with other percussion instructors from across the country in a virtual network to explore remote learning opportunities.  We anticipate this semester to contain a mixture of virtual masterclasses/workshops, synchronous and asynchronous rehearsals, small virtual gatherings, music creation software training, and other non-traditional approaches exploring percussion in a time of physical distancing restrictions.

Watch this brief video to see excerpts from past concerts and learn about the director’s vision for the group!

The ensemble typically rehearses every Tuesday evening from 5:45 to 8:45, with members required to arrive by 5:30 to set up percussion equipment. We anticipate using this as our primary time for virtual rehearsals/ masterclasses/ guest lectures during Fall 2020.

If you have ensemble-specific questions please contact Dr. Schutz at  For audition related questions, please contact his assistant at

Additional information:  This year-long course (1GP3, 2GP3, 3GP3, 4GP3) carries 3 units of academic credit.  Students are strongly encouraged (although not required) to enrol to receive academic recognition for their work.