Last Five Years

Erik Schmidt, B.M. Performance, 2015 is a graduate assistant working on his Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Alex Cahen, B.M. Education, 2014 graduated from VCU in 2014 and continues to share his passion for percussion and the marching arts with the next generation of percussionists. A former member of Jersey Surf World Class Drum & Bugle Corps and The George Mason University Indoor Drumline for several seasons Alex taught both groups for the 2015 and 2016 competitive seasons as head cymbal technician. Alex served as a member of the educational staff for Powhatan High School Bands and Ensembles from 2011-2016 where he worked extensively with the indoor drumline as instructor and designer. Alex recently accepted a position as Percussion Director at Fairfax HS in Fairfax, Va. where he will work with the marching ensembles as well as instruct percussion ensemble classes. In his free time, he continues to play in a heavy metal band that was formed during his time at VCU and performs all over the state of Virginia and New England areas.

David Chung, B.M. Education 2014 was hired as Band Director at Nottoway High School in Crewe, VA. Under David’s leadership, NHS earned Superior and Excellent ratings. David has also performed as a member of The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, winning a DCI World Championship, and as a member of George Mason University’s Indoor Drumline. David recently accepted a position as Band Director at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Richmond, VA, and is currently the Front Ensemble Coordinator at Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps.

Matthew Nichols, B.M. Performance, 2014 received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s of Music degree at the University of Miami, where he studied with Svet Stoyanov and Matthew Strauss of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. While in Miami, Matt has performed with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the South Florida Orchestra, and the Florida Grand Opera. Matt was recently appointed Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Florida Atlantic University. He is planning to pursue doctoral work at the University of Miami, collaborating with the visual arts to create non-conventional glass instruments.

Justin McConchie, B.M. Performance, 2013 received his Master’s of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and is now a successful freelance musician in the Greensboro, NC area, regularly engaged as an extra percussionist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, North Carolina Brass Band, and the Piedmont Wind Symphony. Justin also teaches the Elon University drum line, and is on the Percussion and Drum Set faculty at the Music Academy of North Carolina.

Peter Soroka, B.M. Performance 2011, completed a Master’s degree in percussion performance at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Peter was awarded a teaching fellowship to teach undergraduate lessons, the freshman percussion ensemble, beginning steel band, and percussion methods. After graduating from UNT, Peter returned to Richmond to teach the percussion programs at Colonial Heights High School and the University of Richmond. Currently, Peter is pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in percussion performance as a Graduate Assistant at The Florida State University where he teaches undergraduate lessons and percussion techniques. Also, he is developing his skills as an audio engineer/producer by assisting Dr. John Parks at Garnet House Studios. Peter serves as a committee member on the University Committee and liaison for the Music Technology Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. His website is www.petersoroka.com