Artistic Director Of University Of Akron's Steel Drum Band
Artistic Director Of The University Of Akron's Steel Drum Band
Matt has been with the band since 1996 and has been artistic director since 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the Hartt School, and a master’s degree in performance from the University of Akron. His arrangements and original compositions have been featured both in performance and on the band’s recordings. Part of his duties at the University of Akron include teaching an arranging class for steel drums and private lessons.
In 2002, Matt traveled to Trinidad to get a first-hand look at the home of pan. While there, he was able to perform during Panorama with the Invaders Steelband as well as check out many of the other bands on the island. In 2010, Matt travelled again to T&T, as executive director for “Hammer on Steel,” a DVD and PBS broadcast which was nominated for 8 Emmy awards.
Matt is founder of “Found Sounds” which performs educational programs throughout the Northeast Ohio region. The group performs for schools through the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland) and the Children’s Concert Society of Summit County as well as countless private bookings.
Matt is a percussionist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and has worked with one of the Symphony’s outreach programs, the PATHS “Pandemonium” Steelband. He is also directs the steelband at the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron and is on the faculty of Canton Country Day School as a co-curricular arts teacher.
He is co-founder of Akros Percussion Collective, a group which performs new and experimental works for percussion. Akros has performed internationally at the “Blurred Edges” festival in Hamburg, Germany and in NYC as a part of So Percussion’s “Night of Awesome(ness).” Matt has premiered chamber works by Ben Johnston, Stuart Saunders Smith, John Bergamo, Emmanuel Sejourne, Robert Carl, and has performed at many Percussive Arts Society International Conventions