John Tafoya

John Tafoya was awarded the position of principal timpanist with the National Symphony Orchestra in July 1999. He has held previous principal timpani positions with the American Wind Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony (KY), the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN) and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya earned BM and MM degrees in percussion performance from Indiana University. While at I.U., Tafoya was the recipient of the prestigiouSemperformer's certificate, first prize winner of the 1985 National Society of Arts and Letters competition, and performed as solo timpanist with the Indiana University Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya'Sempercussion teachers at Indiana University were George Gaber and Gerald Carlyss. An active educator and sought after clinician, Mr. Tafoya has presented numerous master classes and clinics at universities across the United States. He has also been a featured clinician at the Virginia/D.C. Percussive Arts Society's Day of Percussion. He has published articles for The Band Director's Guide, the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Florida Percussive Arts Society Newsletter and Percussive Notes magazine. His informative and educational web site,, is accessed by thousands of percussion students and professional players each month. In November 2002, Tafoya will present a timpani clinic at the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention (PASIC) in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Tafoya has served on music department faculties at Indiana University, the University of Evansville, Kentucky Wesleyan College and at Florida International University. He is currently Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Maryland. During the 2000-2001 season, Mr. Tafoya performed Russell Peck's new timpani concerto, Harmonic Rhythm, with the Columbus Symphony (GA) Orchestra and the Allentown (PA) Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared as a timpani soloist with the Columbus Pro Music (Columbus, IN), the Evansville Chamber Orchestra and recently with the University of Maryland Brass ensemble. Tafoya's performance of Bartok's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion has aired on National Public Radio's Music from Indiana series. Other broadcasts include the St. Paul Sunday Morning radio program featuring the Summit Brass. Tafoya also participated in the 1987 Summit Brass compact disc release: All American Brass on the Pro Arte label and on the 1992 Arkay compact disc release of William Albright's Music for Organ and Harpsichord featuring organist Douglas Reed. He performed in the award-winning Florida Philharmonic Orchestra recording of Mahler's First Symphony under the direction of James Judd. Tafoya has also performed in orchestral recordings by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. March 2003