Department of Music

Percussion Ensemble—People

Director

Matthew Witten
DMA (in progress), Eastman School of Music
matthewawitten@yahoo.com

Matt Witten is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Bachelor of Music degree and the coveted Performer’s Certificate. In May 2001, Matt received a Master’s degree as a graduate assistant in percussion at Rowan University (NJ), where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra timpanist, Don Liuzzi. Matt is now studying with Eastman’s newly hired percussion professor, Mike Burritt, an acclaimed soloist. Recently, Matt has entered a contract of endorsement with Encore Mallets Inc. In August of 2006 Matt completed a year tour of the US with the first national company of “Little Women” the musical.

In March 2002, Matt was a featured faculty soloist in Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion with the Rowan University Wind Ensemble at the Queens College (NYC) Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion. In 2001, Matt was the first place national winner of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Soloist Competition, first place winner of the 9th Annual Crane School of Music’s New Music Festival Solo Competition, first place winner of the National Young Artists Competition sponsored by the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra, and winner of the Rowan University Orchestra Concerto Competition. Matt was also the second place winner of the South Orange (NJ) Symphony Orchestra 2000 Concerto Competition. In 1998, Matt was the percussion soloist competition winner at the Aspen Music Festival.

Professionally, Matt performed regularly in the pits of many Broadway shows, including “The Light in the Piazza”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Little Women”, “Dracula” and Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme on Broadway. Matt has also performed with Randy Newman (Philadelphia, PA), the New York based percussion group Pulse, the Ocean City (NJ) Pops, the Chatham Festival Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall (NY), Metropolitan Greek Chorale (NY), the Bridgeton (NJ) Symphony, the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony Orchestra, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony (NJ), the Bel Canto Opera Company (Philadelphia, PA), the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus and Orchestra (PA), Forestburg (NY) Playhouse, and Melanie Stewart Dance Theater in Philadelphia (PA).

Matt is also the other half of the JAM percussion duo with A.J. Lustig, a faculty member of Rowan University. His teachers include Ben Herman, Jonathan Haas, Tim Genis, Tom Gauger, Tom Stubbs, Doug Howard, Dean Witten, John Beck, Mike Burritt, Bill Cahn, Chip Ross and Rich Thompson. Matthew has also performed in a number of international master classes with renowned percussion and marimba artists Keiko Abe, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Robert Van Sice and Gordon Stout.