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Press Release

2013-2014

 

August 22, 2013

 

Multi-talented music instructor adds percussion instruments to repertoire

JoshSeeing a need for percussion instruction at Cowley College, instrumental music director Josh Fleig is spending countless hours in the practice room this semester developing his skills as a percussionist.

“The percussion teacher we’ve had for the last few years was not able to make the drive to Ark City this semester,” Fleig said. “So I decided I would take on the task of teaching our applied percussion lessons myself.”

With the support of the Humanities Department Chair, Marlys Cervantes, and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Slade Griffiths, Fleig established private music study as a requirement for all of his band students a few years ago.

“In the Music Department we have a strong commitment to excellence. Several years ago I came to the conclusion that applied study was going to be an important part of that vision,” Fleig said. “If you’re going to play in the band, you’ve got to take a weekly private lesson.”

The diversity of the percussion section in particular ups the ante for any aspiring percussionist.

“As a percussionist you must be a multi-instrumentalist,” Fleig said. “There are at least a dozen instruments you need to be familiar with. As band director I decided this would be a great opportunity to learn more about how to play these instruments.”

Paul Peterson, who served as a percussion instructor at the College for several years, had a scheduling conflict and was not going to be available to continue at the school this semester. Thus, Fleig contacted Luc Brust, whom he met as an undergraduate student at Wichita State University, to help him with his studies. Brust is currently working on his Doctorate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Fleig spent eight hours with Brust studying percussion and has spent numerous hours studying percussion online.
“It has been a fantastic experience,” Fleig said. “I have learned a tremendous amount in a short period of time. I have made a commitment to learn as much as I can and now feel equipped to at least get my students started.”

Fleig utilizes woodwind specialist Jason Whitmore to teach most of the school’s woodwind lessons, while Brandon Hollis teaches some brass, woodwind, and piano lessons.

Along with teaching percussion, Fleig also instructs all music theory courses and teaches applied brass and guitar.