University of Memphis Percussion Ensemble Festival

April 17th

A live streamed event featuring high school solo and ensemble performances, clinics from our guest artists and Dr. Shaltis, and a special performance by the UM Percussion Group celebrating the 100th birthday of vibraphone!

Guest artists include Brian Nozny (McNeese State) and Ksenija Komljenovic (TAMU-Corpus Christi).

Registration is limited! Contact Dr. Shaltis for more information. The registration fee is $50/ ensemble and $20/ solo.


Brian Nozny

Brian Nozny (b. 1977) leads a diversified career as a percussionist, composer, and educator spanning a wide array of musical styles, including classical, jazz, world, and popular genres. As a percussionist, he has performed in an orchestral capacity with many orchestras throughout the country and currently serves as Principal Timpanist with Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Destin, FL). His excursions into chamber music have included collaborations with groups such as the Bravura Percussion Trio, the Copper Street Brass Quintet, the nief-norf project, the Brickhouse Jazz Combo, and currently as a member of JP3 (The John Psathas Percussion Project) and the BRN Duo with his wife, flutist Rachel Nozny.

As a composer, his original works and arrangements are regularly performed throughout the world. Notable ensembles and performers that have premiered Nozny’s compositions include Keith Aleo, the Caixa Trio, the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and NEXUS. Brian’s most recent commission, an original work for percussion octet, trick, was commissioned James Campbell and the Percussive Arts Society for the PAS Collegiate All-Star Percussion Ensemble and was premiered at PASIC 2019 in Indianapolis, IN. Brian’s compositions have been published by Bachovich Music Publications, Henmar Press, Innovative Percussion, Row-Loff Productions, and Tap Space Publications, and have been recorded on the Garnet House, Rattle Records, and Resonator Records labels.

Currently an Assistant Professor of Music at McNeese State University where he is the Director of Percussion Studies, Nozny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech, Master’s degrees in Composition and Performance from the University of Miami and the University of North Texas respectively, and his Doctoral degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Kentucky. His primary percussion teachers include James Campbell, John Willmarth, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Ed Smith, Ed Soph, and Ney Rosauro; his compositional training has benefited from study with Jon Nelson, Don Wilson, and Jon Polifrone.

Brian is proud to be endorsed by Evans Drumheads, Innovative Percussion, Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments, and SABIAN Cymbals.


Dr. Ksenija Komljenović (Belgrade, Serbia) is an award-winning percussionist, composer, and co-founder of the Balkan Percussion Duo and PNEUMA. Throughout her versatile career, she has studied, performed, and taught across Europe, the United States, and Asia. Ksenija is the first woman from Serbia with a Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Degree. She holds the Assistant Professor of Percussion position at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and serves as a host on the At Percussion Podcast.

Ksenija’s devotion to percussion is shaped through her advocacy for contemporary and chamber music, as well as intercultural collaboration. Her initiative resulted in several pioneering cultural-exchange projects between the U.S. and her home country, including the first drumline camp and contemporary percussion workshop in Serbia. As the artistic director of PNEUMA, a new percussion group, she strives to evolve the creative vision planted and shared among the performers during their studies under Svet Stoyanov and Matt Strauss at the Frost School of Music.

As a co-founder of the Balkan Percussion Duo, she won the Second Prize at the International Percussion Competition Luxembourg in 2018. In 2019, Ksenija was selected to be a co-principal for the World Percussion Group with whom she toured around England, Spain, and Portugal. Ksenija has performed and collaborated with some of the preeminent musicians of her time including James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight, Snow White and the Huntsman), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), The New York Voices, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Grusin, Martin Bresnick, Andy Akiho, Ben Folds, and Joan Tower.

Ksenija holds degrees from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Illinois State University, and the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Serbia. Her compositions and arrangements are published by Bachovich Music Publications. Ksenija is a Marimba One artist.

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