Teachers and alumni will perform at the percussion convention


Published: November 11, 2022 |
Author: Kol Gibson |
Category: Arts

The SUU Music Department is proud to announce another success for Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of Percussion, as she has been invited to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana . Dr. Vartan will perform with the Heartland Marimba Quartet alongside one of his former students, Jordan Nielsen.

Heartland Marimba began in 2014 as a six-day summer festival with performances and workshops at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. After the success of their first year, the festival continued to grow until 2016, Dr. Vartan hosted a 10-day Heartland Marimba Festival on the campus of Southern Utah University. Several of his students participated in workshops and performances with the group, but Jordan Nielsen caught their attention.

“Heartland loved him when they met him in 2016, and they work with him often,” says Lynn. “It’s super cool that SUU is hosting the festival, my connection to the band, and now that Jordan is playing with them regularly, it’s all come full circle. Teacher and student will come together again in such a great event!jordan-nielsen.png

A native of Richfield, Utah, Nielsen began studying at SUU in 2014. After graduating in 2019, Jordan earned a full assistantship in percussion at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is now one of the artists of the Heartland Marimba Ensemble and is Director of Education and Outreach for the Missouri Symphony.

“My time with Dr. V has been an experience for which I am continually grateful. The moment I started studying with her, she not only taught me how to be a better percussionist, but also what it takes to be a true professional in the field,” Nielsen shares. “His courses instilled in me a desire for excellence and lifelong learning. Not a week goes by that I don’t reflect on a lesson she taught me.

“One of the great gifts we have to give our students can sometimes happen beyond or after the classroom,” says Dr. Vartan. “I truly believe in the power of sharing and connecting. It’s such a joy to be able to uplift students with the chance to interact with my professional network. Watching Jordan and others seize the day and reach their full potential is truly amazing and creates opportunities for even more great stories and a greater legacy in the future!

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) is the largest percussion event in the world and brings together thousands of percussionists from around the world. The Heartland Marimba Quartet (HMQ) concert taking place during the convention will feature the current Quartet, eight artists from the Heartland Marimba Ensemble, and will once again welcome HMQ founding members and conductors as well as former collaborators and guest artists.

“We’re going back to 2015 and presenting a concert for our drumming community that I think shows the breadth of our mission and activities,” shares an HBQ spokesperson. “This is our chance to knock their socks off by giving them a bit of everything. We’ll be using eight marimbas, a vibraphone, two xylophones, a glockenspiel, crotales and other small percussion instruments to perform pieces from the all of our work, including a track that will be released on an album in 2023.”

The University is proud to have outstanding faculty and alumni who perform internationally and showcase the lifelong learning opportunities made possible at Southern Utah University. For more information on the SUU Music Department and its instrumental area of ​​study, please visit www.suu.edu/pva/music.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University includes 41 academic programs, including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, film, music and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the areas of arts administration (MFA, MA), Music Education (MME), and Music Technology (MM). Over 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 College majors. CPVA presents more than 100 performances, lectures, presentations and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information on the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit www.suu.edu/pva.

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College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact information:

Kol Gibson
(435) 865-8667
[email protected]


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