UTRGV Marimba Festival

April 28-29, 2018

TSC Arts Center in Brownsville, Texas




Marimba Competition


Saturday, April 28  |  8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Open to middle school, high school, and college-aged students.

Competition Registration fee: $25.00



*Winners of the competition are announced at the evening concert (Patron Event).

Winners will be asked to perform again on Sunday April 29 in the winners showcase at 11 a.m.




Complete festival schedule coming soon.






Dr. Joe Moore III, DMA

Assistant Professor of Percussion

(956) 882-8244  Joe.Moore@utrgv.edu





Guest Artist Clinics and Concerts by:


Dr. Scott Herring

University of South Carolina


Solo Concert on Saturday, April 28  |  7 p.m.

To purchase your tickets, click here.


Marimba Clinic on Sunday, April 29  |  2 p.m.  |  Free




Novus Percutere

Dr. Justin Alexander, Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Luis Rivera, University of South Alabama


Clinic on Saturday, April 28  |  3 p.m.  |  Free

Concert on Sunday, April 29   |  1 p.m.  |  Free




Dr. Tom Nevill

Dean of Arts and Digital Media, Austin Community College


Presentation on "The Marimbas of Chiapas" followed by a performance with UTRGV Marimba Reyna del Valle

Sunday, April 29  |  11:30 a.m.  |  Free





Jeffrey Moore

Dean of Humanities, University of Central Florida


"The Gordon Peters Chamber Music Library for Marimba Ensemble"

assisted by the UTRGV Marimba Ensemble

Saturday, April 28  |  2 p.m.  |  Free




About UTRGV Marimba Festival Guest Artists and Clinicians


Dr. Scott Herring

Dr. Scott Herring currently holds the position of professor of percussion at the University of South Carolina. At USC, Herring directs the Percussion Ensemble and the Palmetto Pans Steel Band. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University and a Masters degree and Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University. While residing in Chicago, Herring performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was a member of the Northwestern University Graduate Percussion Quartet, which traveled to Germany and London for performances. Herring frequently appears as a guest artist with university percussion ensembles across the U.S. and has presented concerts and clinics at PASIC 1996, 2002, 2006 and 2011. In addition, the University of South Carolina Percussion Ensemble was selected as a winner of the 2012 International Percussion Ensemble Competition. Herring is an endorser of Malletech Instruments and mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion products and Remo Drumheads.


Herring also performs with USC saxophone professor, Clifford Leaman, as the RoseWind Duo. They have given numerous performances and clinics at universities across the country and have been invited to perform at many professional conferences, including the 2007 NASA Region 7 Conference in Greensboro, N.C., the 2007 South Carolina Music Teachers Association State Conference, the 2007 and 2010 International Navy Band Saxophone Symposium and the 2008 Biennial Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance. In May 2010, they also traveled to France and Spain for two weeks for a series of concerts and clinics, and in December 2010, they were featured artists at The First International Wind and Percussion Festival in Beijing, China. In August 2011, the duo traveled to Yantai, China for a series of clinics and concerts. Recently, RoseWind gave a featured concert at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland. The duo has also been invited to present a performance/clinic at PASIC 2012 in Austin, Texas. Their debut CD, Release, is available from Equilibrium Records.


Herring, in collaboration with Susan Powell and Joseph Krygier, also performs with the Shiraz Percussion Trio. The group is dedicated to performing contemporary works for percussion ensemble as well as music created by members of the group. The Shiraz Trio has performed at numerous universities, music festivals and Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion throughout the U.S.

Herring has formerly served as president of the Kansas Chapter of PAS, vice-president and president of the South Carolina chapter of PAS. In addition he has formerly hosted the Kansas and South Carolina Days of Percussion. Herring also served as a new music reviewer for Percussive Notes from 2002-2008, and currently serves as a member of the PAS Education Committee.




Novus Percutere


Dr. Justin Alexander

Justin Alexander is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches applied lessons, percussion methods and techniques, world musical styles, and directs the VCU Percussion Ensemble. A dynamic and versatile percussionist, Justin has performed throughout the United States and the world, with recent performances in Australia, Sweden, Costa Rica, and The Dominican Republic.


A dedicated chamber musician, Justin is co-founder of The AarK Duo, with flutist Tabatha Easley, and Novus Percutere, with percussionist Luis Rivera. Novus Percutere’s recent release, symmetry | reflection, focuses on percussion process music and the chamber works of the UK composer Steve Gisby. The AarK Duo has enjoyed several high-profile performances, including the College Music Society’s International Conference and the National Flute Association’s National Conference. They recently finished recording their debut CD, which features new compositions for flute and percussion by Valerie Coleman, Marco Alunno, Michael Burritt, and John Griffin, and will be released Fall 2016. Justin can also be heard as a guest soloist on the recently-released Volume 3 by The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and the upcoming John Psathas Percussion Project disc, Volume 1. Active in the orchestral world, Justin regularly performs with The Richmond Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, and will be principal percussionist for the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival Orchestra in Wintergreen, VA for the 2016 season. He is also a member of gamelan raga kusuma in Richmond. 

As a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Justin has published articles in Percussive Notes, the official research journal of the Percussive Arts Society, and currently serves on the University Pedagogy Committee. He presided as chair of the PAS University Committee from 2009-2012.


Justin holds the Doctor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from The Florida State University. His primary teachers include Dr. John W. Parks IV, Dr. Blake Tyson, and Prof. Leon Anderson. He is proudly endorsed by Pearl / Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Remo, Inc. 


Dr. Luis Rivera

Dr. Luis C. Rivera (b. 1983) serves as Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of South Alabama teaching applied lessons, the USA Percussion Ensemble, the Jaguar Drumline, the USA Steel Band, and the World Music Ensemble.  He is originally from Orlando, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida under the direction of Jeff Moore and Kirk Gay.  While at UCF, Dr. Rivera was a Presser Foundation Scholar and the winner of the UCF Music Department’s Performance Excellence Competition (2004).  He holds a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina, under the direction of Dr. Scott Herring and Jim Hall, where he was a graduate Teaching Assistant, director of the Palmetto Pans Steel Drum Ensemble, and winner of the USC Concerto Competition performing Emmanuel Séjourné’s, Concerto pour Vibraphone et Orchestre à Cordes.  In 2012 he received the Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Florida State University, studying under Dr. John W. Parks IV, where he was a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.  Dr. Rivera is a published composer/arranger through Alfred Music, Bachovich Publications, Tapspace Publications, self-publishes various classical arrangements, and has scholarly works published with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) journals Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene.  He also serves on the PAS Composition Committee.   

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Rivera is an active performer and educator across the United States.  He currently performs as a percussionist with the Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and Pensacola Symphony Orchestras.  Dr. Rivera is an active adjudicator in the Gulf Coast marching band and indoor drumline circuits for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and has served as a clinician at the Alabama Day of Percussion, Alabama Music Educators Association In-State Conference, and several universities around the nation.  He has been a featured recording artist on several albums released through Garnet House Productions including Adam Silverman: Percussion Music (2014), Firefish: The Music of Blake Tyson (2014), The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, Volume 1 (2010), Volume 2 (2013) and Volume 3: Ten Windows (2015), and The Gaia Theory (2012) released through Rattle Records in New Zealand.  His arrangements and compositions, including The Fairy GardenEvergreen, and Pascal’s Motor Rhythms, have also been included on various studio albums.  Dr. Rivera is also one half of a percussion duo with Dr. Justin Alexander called Novus Percutere, releasing their debut album symmetry | reflection through Synced Up Designs in 2015.  The duo is committed to commissioning new works for percussion as well as promoting contemporary music through master classes and recitals around the globe.

As part of the FSU Percussion Ensemble, Dr. Rivera performed on a national tour and showcase concert for the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis.  Two of the selections on the program were his arrangements of Maurice Ravel's, “The Fairy Garden” from The Mother Goose Suite, and The First Circle by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays (first arranged by Steve McDonald and Michael Kingan).  Since then Dr. Rivera has been a featured arranger or performer at PASIC from 2011 through 2014.  He also has taken the USA Percussion Ensemble to compete in the Concert Chamber Percussion Ensemble Competition at PASIC 2014 and 2015 where they earned Second Place in the Collegiate Division both years.  

Dr. Rivera was also involved with Drum Corps International for ten years.  He performed as a snare drummer with Magic of Orlando (2002-2003) and the Madison Scouts (2004), served as a snare drum technician with Carolina Crown (2005-2006), a snare drum technician and marching instructor with the Boston Crusaders (2007-2011), and as the Front Ensemble Coordinator and Supervisor for the 2013 Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.  Dr. Rivera is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, Grover Percussion, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.




Dr. Tom Nevill

Dr. Tom Nevill is the founding Dean of Arts and Digital Media at Austin Community College in Austin, TX.  This is a brand new division at the college that aligns programs in Art; Creative Writing; Dance; Drama; Jewelry; Game Design, Animation, & Motion Graphics; Music; Music Business, Technology & Performance; Professional Photography; Radio, Television, & Film; and Visual Communication.


Dr. Nevill was recently the Dean of Arts & Humanities at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and the Division Chair (Dean) of Business, Creative & Performing Arts at  Guilford Technical Community College | GTCC from June 2015 to February 2017 in Jamestown, North Carolina and was formerly at University of Texas at Brownsville from August 2004 to June 2013 where he was Associate Professor of Music / Director of Percussion Studies.

He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Nevill is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society and served as Chair of the PAS Scholarly Research Committee from 2007 to 2009.  He is an artist/clinician for Evans Drumheads, Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, SABIAN Cymbals and a member of the Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets Education Team.  He remains active throughout the United States and Mexico as a performer, clinician, educator and scholar.




Jeffrey Moore

Jeffrey M. Moore is the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and a Professor of Music (Percussion) at the University of Central Florida.  Prior to his role as Dean, he served as the founding Director of the School of Performing Arts and Chair of the Music Department.  Receiving his appointment to the music faculty in 1994, Professor Moore’s instructional duties include teaching applied percussion majors, the Percussion Ensemble, and the Marimba Band. 


Active in all facets of percussion, he has performed with several major symphony orchestras and is a frequent performer of chamber music. He also performs on drum set, and is an international clinician, lecturer, and soloist. He is a contributing author to the third edition of Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook and has published two method book and CD packages entitled Fundamental Drumstick Control and Drumstick Control with Alfred publications. He served as an Associate Editor of Percussive Notes and is currently on the Board of Advisors for the Percussive Arts Society.  In addition, he currently serves on the Boards of the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, the Orlando Philharmonic and A Gift for Music.


Jeff served as the Percussion Director of the internationally acclaimed Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and as Program Consultant/Percussion Arranger with several European, Japanese, Thai, and Indonesian drum corps and bands.


Jeff is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician, and endorses Paiste cymbal, sounds, and gongs. Professor Moore also endorses Salyers Percussion, Remo Drum Heads, and Latin Percussion.