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John W. Parks IV
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation:
  • School / Univ. / Institution: The Florida State University College of Music
  • Country: United States

John W. Parks IV, Associate Professor of Percussion at The Florida State University, earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He holds two Master’s degrees from Northwestern University, one each in Percussion Performance and Jazz Pedagogy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Furman University. John has studied with Patricia Dash of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, John Beck of the Rochester Philharmonic, Michael Burritt, Paul Wertico, formerly of the Pat Metheny Group, and John Beckford. Parks is an artist/clinician for Pearl Corporation and Adams Musical Instruments, Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion, Grover Pro Percussion, and Remo.

Parks made his Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall in May of 2007, and has performed with diverse performing organizations ranging from the Eastman Wind Ensemble on their 2000 tour of Japan and Taiwan and the Schlossfestspiele Orchestra of Heidelberg, Germany to the Kansas City, Alabama, Key West, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras. Of his recent performances of the Schwantner Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, critic Stephen Hicken of the Tallahassee Democrat wrote: “In addition to his extraordinary playing, he has a commanding stage presence that won over the audience as well as the orchestra. He deserved the raucous and prolonged ovation he received from the large audience.” Parks also leads the award-winning FSU Percussion Ensemble, winners of the 2007 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition, and is a member of the PAS Board of Directors and Symphonic Committee. In addition, he currently serves as the Florida PAS President and Webmaster.

John has appeared as a performer/clinician at the 2009 Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference in Bangkok, on National Public Radio, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, NACWPI, and state MENC conventions, in addition to PAS Days of Percussion and guest artist residencies across the United States. He is an active scholar as well, having published articles in Percussive Notes and Zildjian, Pearl/Adams, and Innovative Percussion online educational resources. Parks’ first compact disc, Dusk: Percussion Music from the Heartland, consisting of brand-new commissioned percussion ensemble and solo works, was released in August of 2004, and he was nominated and selected as a winner of a university-wide FSU Teaching Award for the 2005-2006 school year.

Phrase Rhythm in Orchestral Literature and its Performance Ramifications
Effective Kinesthetic Memory: Making the Most of Your Practice Time
Analysis and Performance
Effective Practicing using Mental Calisthenics
Essential Styles and Motivic Development

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