When you meet Matt, ask him… Has he read any interesting books lately? Does he prefer to sing karaoke in a group or solo? What is his favorite TV theme song?
Dr. MATTHEW McCLUNG is a percussionist with a diverse background. While growing up in the small town of Crystal Lake, Illinois, he performed with the McHenry County Youth Orchestra, the Elgin Youth Symphony, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Elgin Community College Steel Drum Band, the Alleluia Sound Choir, the Good Vibrations Handbell Choir, and many other ensembles. He then put music aside, in order to study engineering at the University of Cincinnati. After finishing his degree, he returned to music, receiving a Masters degree from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He went on to receive the first Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in percussion ever awarded by Rice University, while also playing three seasons with the Honolulu Symphony.
Matthew has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet Orchestra, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, the Hawaii Opera Theater, the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, OrchestraX, Symphony of Southeast Texas, and the symphony orchestras of Arkansas, Austin, Corpus Christi, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston, Kentucky, Lexington, Maui, San Antonio, and Victoria. He has performed extensively in America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Alisa Weilerstein, Mark Ford, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, the Tierkreis Percussion Ensemble, the So Percussion Group, the Meehan Perkins duo, the Houston Composers Alliance, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, the Contemporary Dance Theater of Cincinnati, the Music in Time series in Charleston, South Carolina, the Nova series in Salt Lake City, Utah, the CONTEXT series in Houston, Texas, the Syzygy series in Houston, Texas, Cinco de Brasso Quintet, Corpus Christi Brass Quintet, Terra Nova, Strike 3 Percussion, Elemental Percussion, and others. As a soloist, Matthew has played a concerto with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, been featured on the ChamberX concert series in Houston, on the NOVA series in Salt Lake City, Utah, on a concert with the Shepherd School Percussion Ensemble, and has recorded original pieces written for him by Andrew Hasenpflug, Michael Barnhart and Thomas Osborne. In 2001, Matthew recorded Arthur Gottshalk’s “Stations” for solo percussion and tape, as part of an ASCAP-funded project to commemorate the composer’s works.
In the spring of 2002, Matthew received a Presser Award, which funded his two-month trip to Ghana, West Africa, where he studied traditional drumming techniques with master drummers of the Ewe tribe, and gyil (African xylophone) techniques with Kakraba Lobi, who is considered one of the ultimate virtuosi of the instrument. Some other musical endeavors have included the premiere of a steel drum concerto with the Northern Kentucky Symphony, the national tour of a Broadway show (Footloose – The Musical), jazz vibraphone with the Rusty Burge Quartet, and timbales with the Cincinnati-based rock band “Ray’s Music Exchange.”
An award-winning teacher, Matthew has taught classes and private students at the college level for over 10 years, and given instruction to students as old as 50 and as young as 4. He serves as the percussion mentor for the Hot Springs Music Festival, where every year he works with young percussionists from the nation’s finest conservatories. He developed the education program for the percussion section of the Honolulu Symphony, which performs for public school students throughout the state of Hawaii. As a founding member of Strike 3 Percussion, Matthew has performed original and interactive musical programs for thousands of the young and young-at-heart. As a Brown Scholar, Matthew was also the founder and first teacher of the Mini-Maestros program, a music-and-movement class for young people given through the preparatory program of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University that has now educated hundreds of children. He is currently co-director of the Corpus Christi High School All-Stars, an ensemble of talented young percussionists from the coastal bend area. Matthew is an associate professor of music at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, the principal percussionist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the principal percussionist of the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra.
B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Cincinnati
M.M. in Percussion, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
D.M.A. in Percussion, Rice University
ROCO’s Seventh Season was “a fusion of cultures and generations.” The Season Opener featured Guest Conductor, Mei-Ann Chen, conducting Aaron Jay Kernis’s Too Hot Toccata, featuring percussionist, Matt McClung. Performed at The Church of St. John the Divine on October 22, 2011.