Mason Summer Percussion Academy

Students rehearsing at Percussion summer camp

Part of Summer Music Intensive Week

Join the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band Percussionist Jonathan Bisesi for a week of exciting clinics, master classes, and percussion ensemble coached by Mason Percussion faculty and special visiting artist Dinesh Joseph, percussionist/assistant timpani with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Master class topics include solo marimba, timpani, snare drum, orchestral percussion, world percussion, drum set, steel drums, accessory instruments, career development, college audition prep, mallet wrapping/maintenance and much more! All participants will perform in the workshop percussion ensemble final concert, as well as ample performance opportunities during the week.



Ages:  13 – 18 years
Dates:  July 31 – Aug 4, 2017
Times:  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Tuition:  $425 (optional room & board add $640 – see below)
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building


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Aftercare is available until 6:00 pm for $90/week for commuter students.
Add it to your cart after registering for this program but before checkout.


Students have the option to stay in on-campus housing and experience a week of campus life, with special evening activities included, while gaining new friendships with other like-minded artistic students. Added cost = $640
Learn More & Register

Whether you live near or far, here’s your chance to experience university life at Mason! Students ages 13-18 can enjoy on-campus housing accommodations and meals, along with special evening activities. Students are fully supervised all week, with both male and female RA’s in housing. Rooms are double occupancy (linens and wi-fi included), and 3 meals a day are provided. Check in is Sunday, July 30th between 3:00 – 5:00 pm, and students will check out Friday morning and be ready to depart immediately after the conclusion of the program in the afternoon. Dinner is included on check-in day (Sunday), and breakfast and lunch are included on the last day (Friday).

To register, you MUST add both the instructional camp AND the Summer Residential program to your cart during checkout.

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IMPORTANT: No refunds can be given for the Summer Residential option after April 1, 2017.


SUMMER 2017 FACULTY & GUEST ARTISTS: (subject to change)

JonathanBisesi_headshot Instructor: Jonathan Bisesi
Read about Mr. Bisesi

Jonathan Bisesi has held the position of Percussionist with the “Presidents Own” United States Marine Band since May 2004. He has been a featured soloist with the Marine Band on multiple occasions, most notably on the Filene Center stage at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in 2011 &2016, and the “Presidents Own” 2011 National Concert Tour. In addition to this concert work, Mr. Bisesi follows the high honored mission of the “Presidents Own,” as he supports the musical events that take place for the President of the United States. Highlights have included the Funeral of President Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Inaugurations of 2005, 2009 and 2013, September 11th memorial events, and the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

Other performance work through the Marine Band includes numerous chamber percussion performances, most notably at the 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Austin, Texas, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, Luzerne Music Center, University of Maryland Percussion Seminar, and The Manhattan School of Music, as well as countless master classes at universities and high schools across the nation. As a jazz performer he has been featured on vibraphone with the Marine Band Big Band, Latin Ensemble and Jazz Combos, and as a conductor, he has conducted the Marine Band, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles.

Mr. Bisesi received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, as a student of Allen Otte, founder of the Percussion Group Cincinnati. He then completed a Masters of Music degree at Boston University, as a student of Timothy Genis, Principal Timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a student, Mr. Bisesi was a fellow of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and The Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Upon completing his formal education, Mr. Bisesi was appointed to the Percussion Faculties at both Boston University and the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Mr. Bisesi was on Percussion Faculty at the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College from 2013-2016 and is currently on the Percussion Faculty at George Mason University School of Music, a position he has held since 2015.

As an active freelance musician, Mr. Bisesi has performed with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Ballet, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Kennedy Center Opera and Ballet Orchestras, The New World Symphony, The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, The Buffalo Philharmonic, and The International Festival Cervantino (The largest arts festival in Latin America) in Guanajuato, Mexico.


John Kilkenny Percussion Lessons Instructor:  John Kilkenny
Read about Mr. Kilkenny

John Kilkenny enjoys a unique career in the music world as a performer, educator and conductor. Hailed as a “particularly fine timpanist” by the Washington Post, John’s active performance schedule in the 2016-2017 season includes multiple performances of the Michael Daugherty Raise the Roof: Concerto for timpani and wind ensemble, solo and duet recitals, master classes, orchestral performances and multiple guest conducting engagements. In 2014 he participated in the Washington DC premiere of John Luther Adams most recent large scale work, Sila: Breath of the World with the United States Air Force Band ( a co-commission with Lincoln Center). Throughout his career, he has had the privilege to perform with a range of ensembles, including the National Symphony,Washington National Opera and Ballet, American Symphony, National Philharmonic, The Wolf Trap Center for the performing Arts Orchestra, 21st Century Consort, the Washington Bach Consort, National Gallery New Music Ensemble, Verge Ensemble, and many others.
Recent commissions and premieres include multiple works by Alejandro Vinao, a collection of 32 duets for keyboard percussion by Nathan Daughtrey and Brett Dietz, ensemble works by Stephen Gorbos, Donald McCullough, Peter Erskine, Peter Klatzow, Victor Provost, Avner Dorman, John Luther Adams, and Nico Muhly. He as been privileged to share the stage with an array of artists, including Robert van Sice, She e Wu, John Tafoya, Chris Deviney, Jonathan Haas, clarinetist Chad burrow, cellists Joshua Roman and Tobias Werner, flautist Karen Johnson and pianists Garry Hammond, Carlos Rodriguez, Steven Beck and Eric Huebner.

A committed educator, John is Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Director of Concert Bands at George Mason University. Under his leadership, “Mason Percussion” has become the leading university percussion program in the state of Virginia and a destination school for serious study of classical percussion. In 2011, John founded the Mason Percussion Group, an elite, audition based ensemble committed to commissioning and performing major works for percussion chamber music. Recent and upcoming highlights include collaborations with the Mason School of Dance, two feature performances the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (New Literature Showcase and Focus Day performance) the 2016 New York State Music Educators Conference, the 2014 Virginia Music Educators Conference, the 2011 Western International Band Conference, 2012 College Music Society Mid Atlantic Conference, the Sitar Arts Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Students from the program regularly appear at summer festivals (Aspen, Eastern, Sewanee, Hot Springs, Texas), world class DCI drum corps (The Cadets, Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard, Raiders) and participate actively in the artistic community of Washington DC.

John is founder and faculty advisor for the George Mason University’s International Teaching Scholars: Costa Rica The International Teaching Scholars (ITS) Costa Rica program is comprised of two key elements – community outreaching an performance. Students selected for participation have the opportunity to perform, teach and connect with their peers at the National Conservatory and in the SiNEM (System for National Music Education) programs in and around San Jose, Costa Rica. The ITS program also allows Mason students to learn real world entrepreneurial skills, participating fully in the conception, planning and implementation of a two week international tour. The program also presents participating students with the opportunity to see first hand how music education can build community, contribute to society and transform lives.

During the Summer months, John is Artist-Faculty of the internationally acclaimed Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where he teaches a select number of private students, coaches chamber music and performs with his faculty colleagues. He is deeply involved in the Music for All organization – first connecting with MFA as an ensemble director in 2003. For the past several years, he has served on the panel for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival and as a faculty member for the MFA Summer Symposium. He was founder and co-director of the University of Maryland Summer Percussion Workshop (2005-2007) and the Indiana University Percussion Academy (2008-2010). Since 2013 he has been the percussion advisor for the Northern Virginia Youth Winds. He is in demand as a guest conductor at regional and state music festivals and as a clinician for numerous colleges and universities across the country.

John studied conducting with Anthony Maiello and began early percussion training with Jonathan Haas and William RIchards. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Greg Zuber and Daniel Druckman. He completed a Masters Degree at Temple University, where he studied with legendary percussionist Alan Abel. He is sponsored by Vic Firth Mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Percussion products and is a proud Yamaha Performing Artist.


JoeMcCarthy_headshot Instructor: Joe McCarthy
Read about Mr. McCarthy

Joe McCarthy has led a diverse career as a drummer/percussionist, bandleader, producer and educator in a myriad of settings from symphony orchestra to bebop, big band, Afro-Cuban, theater and beyond. Joe is the founder, leader, producer and drummer of Afro Bop Alliance, winner of the 2008 Latin Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the Year, and nominated in the same category for the 51st Grammy Awards for the Heads-Up release “Afro Bop Alliance”, featuring Dave Samuels. Afro Bop has just released it’s fifth recording, “Angel Eyes”, on the Zoho Record label. Joe co-leads the Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band, with two releases on the Origin record label. Joe has recorded and or performed with Paquito D’ Rivera, Dave Samuels, Conrad Herwig, Slide Hampton, Eddie Daniels, Wayne Bergeron, Poncho Sanchez, Arturo O’ Farrill, Linda Oh, Oscar Stagnaro, Roland Vazquez, Samuel Torres and countless others. Joe is an in demand session player and has done extensive show work, including Sheryl Crow’s new musical adaptation of the movie “Diner”.

Joe has been actively involved with education throughout his career. He has been teaching on the collegiate level since 1992, upon graduating from the University of North Texas with a Masters in Percussion Performance. Joe has held positions at Texas Wesleyan University and Delaware State University. He currently holds adjunct appointments at Georgetown University, George Mason University and Washington College. Active as a clinician, Joe has been a featured performer and clinician at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention PASIC, Jazz Educators Network International Convention JEN, numerous PAS Days of Percussion, MusicFest Canada, The National Jazz Workshop, George Mason Univerisity Summer Jazz and Percussion Seminars, The Jazz n Youth Exchange of Germany, and many others. Joe has been featured at many of the nations top collegiate music institutions and festivals, in addition to numerous high school jazz festivals as a guest soloist, clinician and adjudicator.

Joe is published by Alfred music with “Joe McCarthy’s Afro Cuban Big Band Play-Along Series”, which includes a book/CD play-along and Vol I-II DVDS. This series has received rave reviews worldwide and is part of the curriculum at The University of North Texas, University of Miami, Berklee School of Music, Humber College and many others. Joe has educational series featured on the websites of Vic Firth, Zildjian and Alfred Music. Joe has just completed a twenty year tour as Chief Petty Officer with The United States Naval Academy Band, where he served as principal percussionist with the wind ensemble and Chief in Charge/drummer of the Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, one of the Navy’s two premier big bands. Under Joe’s direction, the Next Wave commissioned and recorded new works by Jim McNeely, Vince Norman, Dave Samuels, Shawn Purcell and Dan Cavanagh.


Victor Provost, Percussion lessons Instructor: Victor Provost
Read about Mr. Provost

Victor Provost’s performances transcend the expectations of instrument and genre. With appearances at major venues throughout the world (including Shanghai Concert Hall, Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Kennedy Center) he has been meticulously solidifying his reputation as a master of the Steel Pan and crafting an improvisational voice and style to be reckoned with. Provost’s ability to extemporaneously weave through complex jazz harmony with accuracy and conviction, while being thoughtful and creative, often elicits the statement “I didn’t know a steel pan could do that”. He is one of a handful of pan players in the world who have incorporated the foundation of bebop into his playing, and arguably, the only one who has expounded on that vocabulary with a modern sensibility and style.

Born and raised on the island of St. John, Provost was first exposed to the steel pan at age 11, through Steel Unlimited II Youth Steel Orchestra, under the leadership of pan pioneer, Rudy Wells. It was with this group of extraordinary young musicians that Provost first cut his teeth on the world stage, traveling throughout the U.S., France, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany. The Orchestra eventually disbanded, but the experience planted the seed that prepared him to continue learning through several sessions with Wells and, in 2007, an intense year-long study with legendary Jazz Guru Charlie Banacos.

In 1998, Provost became the first steel pan soloist to be featured at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. The experience boosted both his confidence in the craft and his musical concept. Since his move to the United States in 1999, Provost has had recorded, toured, and performed with several award-winning groups (including the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Bop Alliance) and renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Samuels, Hugh Masakela, Nicolas Payton, Allison Hinds, Andy Narell, Terell Stafford, and Ron Blake, to name a few.

Along with a demanding performance schedule, Provost teaches private lessons, directs the George Mason University Steel Ensemble, and works with the Cultural Academy For Excellence, one of the premier steel pan music education programs in the eastern U.S.


Dinesh Joseph, Percussion classes Guest Artist: Dinesh Joseph, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Read about Mr. Joseph

Dinesh Joseph has been with the BPO since 2003. Prior to his tenure in Buffalo, he served as principal percussionist of the Youngstown (OH) Symphony, percussion and timpanist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and was a percussion fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He received a bachelor of music degree from the Juilliard School in 2002 and a master of music degree from Cleveland State University in 2004. Dinesh has also performed numerous times with the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and Buffalo Chamber Players. In addition to musical pursuits, he is an avid amateur photographer. Dinesh and his wife, Jeannine, also own their own company, Dragonfly Percussion, which designs, manufactures and sells specialty orchestral percussion products. They live on Buffalo’s West Side with their children, Eloise and Frank.


See Mason SummeYouTubeLogor Percussion Academy on our YouTube channel


Jonathan Bisesi Percussion Lessons Director: Jonathan Bisesi
Email questions to


Thanks to our Mason School of Music Percussion department and summer program sponsors:

Vic Firth LogoYamaha Logo
Remo Logo

 Dragonfly Percussion Logo

Zildjian Logo





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