Department of Music

Percussion Ensemble



Matthew Witten
DMA, Eastman School of Music

    Dr. Matthew Witten is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he received his DMA (2014), BM (2000) degrees, and the coveted Performer’s Certificate. In May 2001, Matt received an MM (2001) degree from Rowan University (NJ), where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra timpanist, Don Liuzzi. His teachers also include, Michael Burritt, John Beck, William Cahn, Gordon Stout and Dean Witten.

     Matt is on the faculty at Monroe Community College and is in his seventh year as the director of the University of Rochester's Percussion Ensemble and in the spring of 2015 he will also join the faculty of Alfred University. Matt has performed on Broadway for shows like Little Women, La Boheme (Baz Lurhmann version), The Light in the Piazza, Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. Notably, Matt completed a year tour of the US with the first national company of Little Women - The Musical, has worked with Ben Vareen, Rosie Odonnell and Randy Newman, and performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and with the Erie Philharmonic. Locally Matt has also performed with NAZ Theatre, The JCC Theatre, Geva Theatre and the Garth Fagan Dance Company.

     In March 2002, Matt performed Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion with the Rowan University Wind Ensemble at the Queens College (NYC) PAS Day of Percussion. He has been the first place winner of multiple competitions including the MTNA, The Crane School of Music New Music Competition, The Midland-Odessa Symphony Concerto Competition, the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, and the Aspen Music Festival Percussion Soloist Competition.

   As a proponent of contemporary music, Matt is a member of the JAM percussion duo and Fracas, a new music quartet consisting of percussion, guitar, saxophone and piano and has taken part in numerous commissions for solo and chamber music. In 2015 Matt will premiere Adam Silverman’s Marimba Concerto Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink with the Rowan University Wind Ensemble.