Youth Program (arriving 7th grade-Completed 12th grade)

Drumming and Community

Matt Dudack’s Found Sounds

The drum is a worldwide phenomenon, with every culture having their own version of percussion music.  Found Sounds will take the audience on a virtual journey to Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago to show how drumming is a part of life.  Alumni of the University of Akron Percussion Program, the musicians will have the participants create percussion music and learn about the historical and cultural context of drumming, especially that of the steel pan. All youth will engage in the different styles of drumming and have the opportunity to make music together.

Theme Speaker

Matt Dudack is Senior Lecturer in Music at The University of Akron School of Music Percussion Department and is the Artistic Director of the University of Akron Steel Drum Band.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the Hartt School and a master’s degree in percussion performance from The University of Akron.

Under his direction The University of Akron Steel Drum Band has received many accolades, including Grammy and Emmy award nominations, and has performed for such dignitaries as President Bill Clinton and (then candidate) Barack Obama.  “Live at EJ Thomas Hall,” a recording with guest artists David Rudder, Andy Narell, Ray Holman, Cliff Alexis, and Pan Ramajay was nominated for a Grammy award.  “A Kiss for Christmas,” and “By Request” bring updated steelpan recordings of holiday and island classics.  The University of Akron Steel Drum Band’s most recent project, “Hammer on Steel,” includes a documentary about the origins of the steelpan and a concert video.  Besides receiving eight Emmy award nominations, it has aired across the United States on various PBS stations.  The University of Akron Steel Drum Band continues to push the musical boundaries of the steelpan art form along with bringing in the best in the field as guests including Boogsie Sharpe, Ray Holman, David Rudder, Andy Narell, Relator, Robbie Greenidge, Earl Rodney, Liam Teague, and Cliff Alexis.

Besides his duties at The University of Akron, Matt is a member of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and is co-founder of the Akros Percussion Collective, a chamber group which performs contemporary music internationally.  He is also co-founder of the 7 Mile Isle Steelband, which is on the rosters of Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio and the Children’s Concert Society of Summit County.  Besides countless private bookings, 7 Mile Isle presents concerts and workshops educating students about the history and music of Trinidad and Tobago.

Matt is also on the faculties of Muskingum University, the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Canton Country Day School.  Matt is a frequent performer at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and has premiered new works for percussion by Ben Johnston, John Bergamo, Emmanuel Sejourne, and Stuart Saunders Smith.