Dr. Joseph Van Hassel, Director of Percussion Studies
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 compositions are published by Media Press and PerMus.
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 Yamaha Percussion, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Black Swamp Percussion Products, Sabian Cymbals, and Remo Drumheads. For more information please visit his website: josephvanhassel.com
Skip Walker, Drum Set Instructor
Skip Walker is a drummer, producer, recording artist, and educator. He is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (the world's foremost institute for the study of Jazz and modern American music) and he holds a Master of Sacred Music Degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a drummer he has performed or recorded with Jazz vocalist Veronica Nunn, Guitarist Joe Lindsay, Saxophonist Stephen Riley, and Grammy Award winner Israel Houghton. While keeping a busy performance schedule, Skip is also a respected educator - He is the proud co-owner of The Blue Violin Music Education Center, a performing arts center and recording studio located in historic downtown Fayetteville, NC that specializes in training children and adults in Jazz and Classical music. His first contemporary Jazz CD entitled "Funky Cafe" is available on iTunes and all other media outlets. His latest “Straight Ahead Jazz ”CD entitled “Jazz I Like” will be released in early 2017 and will feature Steeplechase Records Recording Artist/Saxophonist Stephen Riley and Jazz Organist Grant Osborne. Skip endorses Silverfox Percussion and "DC California" custom made drums. Visit Skip online at the Blue Violin Music Education Center (www.theblueviolin.com)