UNCP Percussion Faculty

Dr. Joseph Van Hassel, Director of Percussion Studies

Dr. Joseph Van Hassel

Dr. Van Hassel personal website featuring recordings and videos

Joseph Van Hassel is a North Carolina-based percussionist specializing in orchestral and chamber music. Performance highlights include Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati MusicNow Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, and the Hindemith Center in Switzerland. He has performed with numerous orchestras and big bands throughout the Midwest and East coast, and on tour with the 2008 Juniper Chamber Music Festival. A versatile artist in many genres, Joseph has performed or recorded with the Percussion Group Cincinnati, Roland Vazquez, Bernard Woma, and the Ethos Percussion Group. He has worked with numerous composers in the performance of their music, including Steve Reich, Joseph Schwantner, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Elliot Cole, and John Corigliano. Active in the performance of new repertoire, Joseph has individually commissioned and premiered works by many composers, and is especially noted for his close working relationships with David Macbride, Stuart Saunders Smith, and Dan VanHassel. He can be heard on recordings for the Innova, Mode, Equilibrium, nobrow.sounds, and Ohio Percussion record labels, and his solo CD of percussion commissions is available on Soundset Recordings. He is published in Percussive Notes, and his composition Response (after Brün) for solo percussion and fixed electronics is published by Media Press.

An active educator, Joseph has presented master classes and given solo performances at numerous universities throughout the USA, including the Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California at Berkeley. He is on the percussion faculty at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and previously taught at Ohio University. Joseph is a member of the Percussive Arts Society’s New Music / Research Committee.

Joseph earned degrees from the Hartt School, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Ohio University. He endorses Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Black Swamp Percussion Products, Sabian Cymbals, and Remo Drumheads. For more information please visit his website:


Daniel Davis, Instructor of Drum Set


I am Dan Davis, drummer at large in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. area.  I was born July 7th, 1966 in Lexington, N.C....Barbecue capital of the world! I began playing drums around age 11 and continue to explore and enjoy my evolving musical journey.
At age 13, I began formal study with Massie Johnson at the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.  I was an active member of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony and the Lexington High School band program...receiving the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award my senior year. 
I also studied "informally" by learning songs off of records and playing in Rock & Roll bands with like-minded friends. Early influences include Ringo Starr, Phil Ehart, Charlie Watts, Jeff Porcaro, Stewart Copeland, Steve Gadd and Neil Peart. 
Upon finishing high school I attended  East Carolina University and graduated in 1989 with a bachelor's degree (B.M.) in music education/percussion.  While at E.C.U. I received the A.J. Fletcher scholarship as well as the Farmville Patrons scholarship. I was also fortunate to study percussion with both Harold Jones and Mark Ford as well as jazz with Dr. Paul Tardif.
During my junior year I was the M.T.N.A.-Wurlitzer (Music Teachers National Association) NATIONAL WINNER in the percussion division and was fortunate to perform Milhaud's "Concerto for Percussion" as part of a winners' recital in New York City. In 1988, I won the E.C.U. Concerto Competition...performing Paul Creston's "Concertino for Marimba"( 3rd mvt.) w/ the E.C.U. Symphony Orchestra...under the direction of Dr. Robert Hauss.  
Since 1990 I have performed on numerous occasions in Greenville and on the E.C.U campus....including many performances w/ Dr. Paul Tardif and his quartet as well as performances w/ Dr. Jon Wacker and the E.C.U. Percussion Ensemble.
Currently, I am lucky to perform with some of North Carolina's finest musicians in a variety of musical contexts: Emma Davis and Big Mama E and the Cool; The John Brown Quintet; Cyril Lance and the Outskirts of Infinity Collective Experience Arkestra; The Adrian Duke Band; The Orgaphonics featuring Kevin Van Sant and Mark Wells; The Scott Sawyer Trio; The Steve Anderson Trio; The Gregg Gelb Trio featuring Gary Brunotte and the Baron Tymas Trio w/ Damon Brown.