Summer@Eastman 2020: Announcing the Eastman Percussion Festival

February 27, 2020

Ivan Trevino and Michael Burritt

Ivan Trevino (left) and Michael Burritt (right). Photographs courtesy Ivan Trevino.


by Ivan Trevino

Organizing a summer percussion festival at Eastman is something Michael Burritt and Ivan Trevino have been contemplating for years. The duo has shared many coffees, phone calls, and texts about what a potential festival would be like. So many summer percussion offerings already exist in the United States. How would their festival be different? What would their focus be, and what should students expect?

Here’s the vision Michael and Ivan came up with:

  • To cultivate a spirit of community and learning through masterclasses, chamber music experiences, in-depth group discussions, and performance opportunities.


  • To reflect the needs of 21st century music-making, focusing on technique and musicality, composing and creativity, and music business and entrepreneurship. 


  • To make the festival available to both high school and collegiate percussionists.


Often, summer percussion seminars and festivals are hyper-specific, focusing primarily on percussion technique and literature. Michael and Ivan have decided on a broader approach.

A day at the festival might look something like this: participate in a marimba masterclass, then have a discussion about composing and music publishing, followed by a rehearsal coached by guest faculty members, and close with an evening faculty recital. That’s the kind of well-rounded experience Michael and Ivan are envisioning.

Ivan Trevino and Michael Burritt

Michael Burritt and Ivan Trevino performing at a Kilbourn Hall concert, September 2019. Photograph by Michelle Martorell.

They’ve invited faculty members to help with these diverse objectives. Doug Perkins, Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet are world-class chambers musicians and ensemble leaders who will provide a wonderful perspective during student rehearsals. Drew Worden, Dean of Entrepreneurship at New England Conservatory, will add even more context on the music industry and where it is heading.

While chamber music and music business will be part of the festival experience, interaction with orchestral musicians is also on the agenda. Will James, Principal Percussionist of St. Louis Symphony, and Jason Haaheim, Principal Timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera, will be on faculty to give clinics and discuss their orchestral experience.

And of course, Michael and Ivan will present classes in marimba playing, composing, and more. It will truly be a broad and diverse experience. We hope you will join us at Eastman for what promises to be an enriching and memorable week!

Michael Burritt in rehearsal with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble

Michael Burritt in rehearsal with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. (Eastman Communications files)


The Eastman Percussion Festival will take place July 6-10, 2020. Registration is now open; the final registration deadline is May 15.

Ivan Trevino is an award-winning composer and percussionist. He received BM (2006) and MM (2010) degrees from Eastman, studying with John Beck and Michael Burritt.