Percussion Department


2020 Audition Dates:  January 17-18, February 7-8, and March 6-7, 2020

IU World Percussion Ensemble Photo

Along with the application to the Jacobs School of Music, all applicants in percussion must submit a screening recording to the Office of Music Admissions.

Audition videos can now be submitted via DecisionDesk by no later than December 1, 2019. Information on this process can be found at:  Recordings will be reviewed by the entire Percussion Department faculty during the week after the deadline. We encourage you to apply as early as possible and cannot guarantee that recordings which arrive after the December 1 deadline will be heard by the committee or considered for advancement in the admission process. We encourage you to produce your recording well in advance of the deadline, because illness and emergency at the last moment could result in a late submission.

More information on these requirements can be found at the Jacobs School of Music Admissions and Financial Aid Web site. Specific percussion audition requirements can be found at:

Also please join us for our informative luncheons which occur on Fridays at 12 noon during our audition weekends. These luncheons provide an opportunity for prospective students and their parents to ask questions of the IU percussion faculty. A special performance is also presented at this time, featuring IU percussion students.

The IU School of Music provides students in the Percussion Department the opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of musical settings, including symphony, opera, and ballet orchestras; concert and marching bands; percussion, steel pan, and hand drumming ensembles; jazz bands and combos; and the new music ensemble. In addition students have a host of solo and chamber music opportunities.

Students in the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, or Doctor of Music degree programs in percussion performance work with faculty members who have had long career experiences with major symphony orchestras. The department trains percussionists in these programs to master the symphonic repertoire while preparing them for careers as orchestral musicians.

Percussion students working toward the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies study with a renowned jazz artist/faculty member. Students perfect their drum set skills for careers in studio, jazz, rock, and other related professional opportunities.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis on percussion study with a faculty member who is well known nationally as a percussion educator.

If any additional equipment (multiple percussion, piano, sound system, etc.) is needed please notify the chair of the department, Professor John Tafoya, at 812-855-4839 at least one week prior to the audition date. Candidates must bring their own sticks/mallets and are encouraged to bring small instruments.

Please note: If you plan to perform any work that includes "butt-ends" on timpani (Carter: March, etc.) please cover the end of your mallets with moleskin or something similar.