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     The Percussion Scholarship Group    
|    Patricia Dash & Douglas Waddell, Directors

 

Welcome

On behalf of The Percussion Scholarship Group we would like to welcome you to our official website. Feel free to check out our gallery and keep up with our upcoming events. We appreciate all of your support and hope you continue to enjoy our music.

Created by Ryan Waddell  log in

 What is the application process for my child/student to apply for the Percussion Scholarship Program?

Each spring, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) sends Application Packets and email alerts to third and fourth grade teachers at elementary schools in Chicago, both public and private. Teachers are asked to nominate outstanding students. Teachers fill out a questionnaire, and distribute applications to the students they have nominated. Nominated students and their parents complete the application, which is then sent to the program’s directors.

If completed application materials from teachers and students are received by the printed deadline, the students and their families will then be invited to attend the Percussion Scholarship Groups spring recital at Symphony Center. Applicants must attend the recital. After hearing the performance and learning more about the experience of playing in the group, applicants are invited to sign up for a brief interview scheduled for the following weekend. At the interview, the program’s directors meet with each prospective student and their parents. They are given some simple rhythmic exercises which test for aptitude.

All applicants are notified as to whether or not they have been accepted for a provisional training period. Those accepted begin individual and group lessons during the summer months. A preliminary performance at the end of the summer allows the program’s directors to determine which students will continue and which will conclude their participation.

 How do I know if teachers at my school received Application Packets?

The CSO sends to a long list of schools, but it may not be comprehensive. If you would like to see if you your child/student’s school is included, please e-mail institute@cso.org. We will be happy to add schools to the list, as long as they are within Chicago city limits.

An application may be also downloaded from this site in April.

 Who is eligible to apply?

Students who are in the third or fourth grade attending a school in the Chicago city limits.

 If accepted into the program, what is the time commitment?

The Percussion Scholarship Group meets weekly on Saturdays (and sometimes on Sundays) year round, with the exception of weekends that coincide with major holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Additionally, students are asked to practice for a minimum of 45 minutes daily at their own homes, and practice time increases as student’s progress in the program.

 How long can my child/student participate in the program?

Students who are invited to continue after the provisional period are eligible to participate through the eighth grade, and select students are invited to continue through high school.

 How many new spots are there each season for new participants?

It varies year to year, based on the total number of current participants. There is room for approximate 5 to 10 new students (provisionally) each spring.

 Are there any costs associated with participation in the program?

No. The program allows participants to study with a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra percussion section free of charge. Instruments are provided for home practice as well as for individual and group lessons.

 How often does the group perform?

The Percussion Scholarship Group performs several times each season at Symphony Center, and occasionally at other venues.

 My child/student has no prior musical experience. Will he/she still be considered for the program?

Yes. We look to teachers to help identify students who work well with others and have a great sense of responsibility and commitment. Equally importantly, for students to succeed in the program they must have extremely supportive, dependable parents and a strong sense of self-discipline. Prior musical training does not help – or hurt – an applicant’s chances of acceptance into the program.

 My child/student has been playing percussion for a few years now. Can he/she join?

If the child/student meets the eligibility requirement (in grade 3 or 4 at time of application, and attending a school within Chicago city limits), then they are welcome to apply. Students in higher grades are not eligible to join the program. As previously stated, prior musical training does not help – or hurt – an applicant’s chances of acceptance into the program.

 My family has summer vacation plans. If accepted into the program, can my child still participate?

This is determined on a case by case basis. It is worth applying for the program, and if accepted, parents should proactively communicate vacation time to the program’s directors. If the child will miss a substantial (2 or more) number of lessons, it can be detrimental to their development and ultimate success in the program.

 I’m interested in seeing the Percussion Scholarship Group perform. How can I find out about upcoming performances?

Information about upcoming performances can be found on this website: www.percussionscholars.com and on the CSO website, www.cso.org.

 

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Holiday Concert

December 18, 2016

7:00 PM

(2016)

Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Family Day

March 05, 2017

2:00 PM

(2017)

Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Spring Concert

June 04, 2017

7:00 PM

(2017)

Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Meet the Members

Our History

Launched in 1995 under the direction of CSO percussionist Patricia Dash and Douglas Waddell, percussionist with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Percussion Scholarship Program offers intensive, individual, weekly percussion instruction on a full scholarship basis. Participating students, all Chicago residents in grades three through twelve, are selected for the group through a rigorous application and personal interview process.

As an ensemble, the Percussion Scholarship Group has had numerous compositions arranged especially for them by nationally known artists. The group has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, performs twice annually at Symphony Center and has appeared at Macy's Day of Music, DePaul University, the Chicago Cultural Center, on WTTW, on WGN and WFMT radio, and as soloists with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as part of CSO Youth Concerts, the Kraft Family Matinee Series and Welcome Yule! Concerts.

About the Directors

Patricia
Dash

Patricia Dash was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti in 1986, when she was just twenty-four years old. Born in Rochester, New York, she began her percussion studies at the age of nine. She received a diploma with honors and a certificate of merit from the Eastman School of Music’s Preparatory Department in 1979, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from Eastman in 1983. Her teachers include John Beck, Ruth Cahn, Allen Otte, Richard Jenson, and Doug Howard. While in college, she performed as an extra with both the Rochester Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony orchestras. Dash came to Chicago from the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, where she held the position of principal percussionist. Since coming to Chicago, she has become an active chamber musician, performing with Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Chicago Pro Musica, the CSO Trombone Ensemble, the Ensemble Inter Contemporain of Paris, and in numerous Chicago Symphony chamber music concerts at Orchestra Hall. She has been soloist with Symphony of the Shores, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Palatine Band and DuPage Symphony.

Douglas Waddell

A member of the Grant Park Symphony and the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, Douglas Waddell is constantly in demand as Chicago’s most versatile and virtuosic percussionist. He has been timpanist with the renowned Music of the Baroque ensemble since 1983, and as a member of the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago has performed and recorded a wide variety of 20th century chamber works. Mr. Waddell has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Japan with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and can be heard all over the world on hundreds of television and radio commercial jingles. He has appeared as soloist with the Grant Park Symphony, Symphony of the Shores and the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago. A native of South Bend, Indiana, Mr. Waddell holds Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from DePaul University.

Thanks to everyone who participated this summer. These decisions are very subjective and difficult.

The following first year students have passed their tests and are required to attend Family day on August 21st, Sunday, at 3:00 PM in Buntrock Hall.

Fara
Isabel
Anthony
Mekhi
Jashan
Oscar