Rebecca McDaniel is passionate about sharing music with others and about supporting the creativity of young musicians. She works as the Office Manager and Development Associate for the Grammy Award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion, and also performs regularly in the Chicagoland area. An active chamber percussionist, she frequently collaborates with interdisciplinary percussion collaborative Beyond This Point, and is a member of classical chamber ensemble 5th Wave Collective, for whom she also serves as Marketing Director.
Chicago percussionist Alex Monroe holds degrees in percussion performance from Northwestern University (M.M.) and Truman State University (B.M.). An advocate for contemporary art across mediums, Alex currently serves as the Grants Manager for the GRAMMY-winning new music sextet Eighth Blackbird and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival/Blair Thomas & Co. Alex is also a percussionist and on the Board of the Directors for the Chicago Composers Orchestra and previously held an Associate position with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where he performed dozens of public outreach concerts through the MusiCorps program.
dado is a visual/theater artist in Chicago. This year a good deal of her work can be seen at A Red Orchid Theatre. She prefers to explore the matrix of complications that ensue when ideas and form imbricate empathic epistemologies. dado has employed various objects and humans to make work that questions corporeality and the human condition. Is human nature? Are aliens nature?
Scott Westerman (Director): Credits include shows with The Artistic Home, the Barter Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company (Camp Shakespeare), Stage Left (Downstage Left), Northlight Theatre Academy, The Smithsonian Institution, American Theatre Company (Bridge), Impulse Theatre Company, the National High School Institute (Cherubs), the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), and Reverie Theatre Company.
Alex Wier is a percussion artist and music educator based in Chicago, Illinois. He has presented solo recitals and clinics at numerous universities around the United States. A strong advocate of new music, Alex has commissioned several percussion works and has performed regularly with many contemporary ensembles in addition to a number of professional orchestras. Alex teaches at Roosevelt University, Phoenix College, and Hinsdale Central High School. Alex earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University and holds a Masters degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelors degree from the University of Arizona. Alex is an endorser of Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets.
Nonoka Mizukami is a percussionist and educator based in Baltimore MD who is committed to performing contemporary music with living composers in various settings such as solo marimba, chamber, and orchestra in both Japan and the U.S., and who is also committed to growing music education for the next generation. By collaborating with living composers, visual artists, and film directors, she dedicates herself to experiencing new sounds, recording original compositions, and filming soundscape music.
As an active educator, Ms Mizukami teaches at Peabody Preparatory, where she directs the percussion department. She devotes her energy to music education in private lessons, chamber projects, and orchestral training, instructing young musicians in collaboration with students from other departments for collaborative multidisciplinary projects.
In addition to serving as director of percussion studies at the Peabody Preparatory, Nonoka is post-residency in the DMA program at the Peabody Institute, as well as being a member of Pique Collective and a timpanist in the Washington Chamber Orchestra. She holds a BM, GPD, and MM from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Robert van Sice.
arx duo is dedicated to the expansion of the percussion chamber music repertoire through the creation and presentation of new works, the educating and inspiring of young artists, and exciting performances inviting audiences to engage with new works and artists from all over the world. They have had premiere performances throughout the globe, conducted workshops on three continents, and worked with a variety of composers and artists to bring new creations to life for communities everywhere.
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo had given their Royal Albert Hall Debut in London with British Composer of the Year (2018) Dominic Murcott’s “Harmonic Canon”. They were also scheduled to have their Carnegie Hall Debut in April of 2020. Through the Pandemic, the group has continued to commission and workshop new pieces with composers, and engage with students and audiences across the globe. Honing their recording skills, they have released numerous videos and full online concerts, and are preparing to release their first album in the spring of 2022, through a residency with Jack Straw Artists in Seattle.
With a repertoire ranging from established masters to today’s newest compositional voices, arx duo has worked closely with composers such as Jonathan Bailey Holland, Ted Hearne, Steven Mackey, Juri Seo, and many more. They have worked with a performed with renowned chamber ensembles such as the Dover String Quartet, Aeolus String Quartet, Bergamot String Quartet, Amy Yang, Henry Kramer, The Percussion Collective – Robert van Sice, among many others.
As educators, arx duo has held guest positions at Peabody Conservatory, Michigan State University, and are currently faculty at Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summer Program. They’ve also given masterclasses to young musicians on three continents, including many locations in the states. Mari and Garrett have also given residencies (both in person and virtual) for the composition departments of Princeton, Boston Conservatory, and more in the coming seasons.
The name “arx duo” comes from the artists’ desire to forge new connections and artistic pathways or “arcs” within the genre, expanding the opportunities for their music to reach new audiences.
Mari and Garrett both proudly endorse Adams Instruments, Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets
Called “the ingenious percussionist Peter Ferry,” (Chicago Sun-Times) and “an artist of vision… presenting percussion in a stunning thoughtful way,” (Democrat and Chronicle) Peter Ferry is a young American percussion soloist re-imagining classical performances through innovative approaches to contemporary repertoire. Following his concerto debut at age 18, Ferry has championed the works of living composers, including Michael Daugherty who has praised Ferry as “one of the most promising and committed soloists of his generation.” A TEDx speaker, Ferry has collaborated with choreographer Nick Pupillo at Chicago’s Harris Theater and abroad to the European Museum of Modern Glass where he was nominated for the Coburg Prize. An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, Ferry graduated with the first ever John Beck Percussion Scholarship, an Arts Leadership Program certificate, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate recognizing “outstanding performing ability.”
Sean Connors is an Grammy-winning ensemble member and Technical Director of Third Coast Percussion, the Chicago-based and internationally renowned percussion quartet. He has performed with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Signal, and Metropolis Ensemble, and he was the percussionist for 2 summers with the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble. Sean is one part of the percussion duo Amphion, a project with co-founder and friend Peter Zlotnick. He also enjoys performing as a member of the newly formed Chicago Balinese Gamelan.
As an educator, Sean served for 2 years as Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, held positions on the faculty at Onondaga Community College and Roberts Wesleyan College, and taught elementary school and middle school music in the Chicago suburbs.
Sean holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.
Justin Peters is a Chicago-based musician and composer dedicated to using percussion as a vehicle for art, entertainment, and education. Through performance, experimentation, and collaboration, he blends and traverses multiple genres. In 2015, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance. There he received the Edgard Varèse Percussion Award. Following graduation, Justin returned to Chicago where he currently performs as a soloist and with various ensembles.