Percussion Faculty

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Kevin Zetina, Rhythm Class and Percussion

Junior Session

BM, Eastman School of Music

MM, Yale University School of Music
MMA, Yale University School of Music

Joined LMC Faculty in 2022

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

I currently teach in Austin, TX at Wiley Middle School, Pearson Ranch Middle School, and Walsh Middle School totaling 45 weekly students. Most recently, I traveled with the Walsh  Middle School honor band to Chicago for their performance at the 75th annual Midwest Clinic. Walsh was one of only four middle schools in the country selected to perform. Prior to living in Austin I taught undergraduate students at Yale College as well as high school students at the Cheshire Academy, a private college preparatory school in Connecticut.

 

As a performer, I enjoy alternating between performing contemporary and orchestral repertoire. I have played in the Central Texas Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, the New Haven Chamber Orchestra, and the Norwalk Symphony and I am thankful to have played under conductors including Peter Oundjian, Carolyn Kuan, Jean Mari-Zeitouni, Ludovic Morlot, Neil Varon, and Brad Lubman. I’ve worked with numerous composers such as Bernhard Gander, Helmut Lachenmann, James Wood, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. In 2017, I performed Steve Reich’s Tehillim with members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Eighth Blackbird, as well as Reich’s Drumming with Russel Hartenberger, one of the original members of Steve Reich Ensemble. While at Yale, I founded a new music group, versicolor, which is a student-run ensemble that champions composers who would otherwise be underrepresented while simultaneously providing a space for contemporary music at Yale.

 

As a composer, my most recent projects include Coalescence (2021), which is a piece for mallet quartet & two pianos commissioned by Robert van Sice and the Yale Percussion Group with plans to premiere the piece in March 2022, and shepard tone(2020), a piece for vibraphone & piano which premiered in Spring 2021 at the Manhattan School of Music.

 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I am most excited for the opportunity to work with such hard-working students alongside an absolutely incredible faculty. I’m humbled to be able to offer the students better opportunities than I had at their age and I absolutely cannot wait to spend a month in such a gorgeous location.

 

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

Students will undoubtedly receive instruction from both a technical and a musical standpoint, but more so, they will learn how the two relate and how they can use the ideas on their own to become life-long learners. Students can also expect to learn how to listen and communicate through various musical settings such as solo, chamber, and orchestral playing. It is my hope that through the study of music, students will cultivate skills that can be of value beyond music.

Jeff Stern Headshot

Jeff Stern, Rhythm Class and Percussion

Senior Session

BM, University of Massachusetts

MM, Peabody Institute

Artist Diploma, Yale University School of Music

Joined LMC Faculty in 2022

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

Above all I count myself incredibly privileged to lead a life in making music. It is my favorite thing to do, and getting to engage in music every day with students, friends, and colleagues is a true gift. 

I currently teach at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where I work with 15 students ranging from undergraduates to doctoral candidates. I attended Peabody for my masters degree, so to be back there helping young players navigate a similar path to my own is humbling, inspiring, and deeply satisfying.

 

The cornerstone of my playing lies in chamber music. I direct and perform in icarus Quartet, a two piano/two percussion group as well as a nonprofit organization. One of our first performances together was in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with the composer of the piece we were playing in attendance. The depth of knowledge of the score we had built and the chemistry shared with the other three musicians combined to enable complete freedom in my playing and a rush like I had never felt before. That was a truly defining moment, confirming that I needed to commit my life in search of that sensation time and time again. iQ has been an invaluable vehicle in this pursuit, working with imaginative composers, educating students, and always aspiring for artistic excellence, winning the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles in 2019.

 

I’m also a member of The Percussion Collective, a flexible roster of Yale Percussion Group alumni and a group that means a great deal to me. We have been commissioning and performing some of the most joyous and profound percussion music ever written, including Garth Neustadter’s Seaborne, which we played for a live broadcast on WQXR’s Midday Masterpieces. In March 2022, I’ll rejoin the Collective for the last of its premiere run of concerto appearances in Chris Theofanidis’ Drum Circles with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Michael Francis.

 

I enjoy making music in a myriad of ways, whether playing my primary instruments, singing and playing guitar (both poorly), or dabbling in electronics and DAWs. I endorse Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets, the latter having sponsored many of my video recordings. icarus’ debut album will be added to these documentations of my work when it releases in June 2022 on Furious Artisans Records. 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I’m excited to get to know the community and embrace the culture and atmosphere. In my experience, these kinds of festivals are idyllic oases, escapes from normal life where musicians get to make really special art and unique personal memories shared among the specific people who comprise that summer’s cohort. I’m sure LMC will be the same kind of gathering, without any means to predict exactly what fond moments will linger in my mind during the rest of the year. And being in a beautiful location certainly doesn’t hurt…

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

I hope to offer a different take on the themes that students most likely concentrate on with their regular teachers and programs at home. Time is almost always at the center of the conversation (believing strongly in the trope “what do you call a percussionist with bad time?… unemployed), but I like to explore time in a wider sense than merely “in” or “out” – time has character. I also have an obsession with sound, and I hope to impart as much of that onto the students as possible in our time together. Lastly, I want to help them find how to make what they play fun, understanding the music as if they themselves wrote it, and communicating that enthusiasm through their playing.