Percussion Faculty

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Sae Hashimoto, Rhythm Class and Percussion

Junior Session

BM, The Juilliard School

MM, The Juilliard School

Joined LMC Faculty in 2021

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

What I love about being a percussionist is the wide range of music I get to perform, on instruments ranging from timpani, vibraphone to triangle, and even household objects! Some of my proudest moments in my career have been: performing with the New York Philharmonic, improvising with Laurie Anderson, and making my Carnegie Hall debut with a world premiere performing on a cheese grater (I'm not kidding.)


I started playing percussion in high school, and went on to study at the Juilliard School for my bachelor and master's. I am currently a freelance percussionist and educator based in the New York area. I have performed all over the world as an orchestral percussionist and timpanist, under the baton of renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Fabio Luisi, Alan Gilbert, and Christoph Eschenbach. I am a passionate advocate for contemporary music, and have been working closely with John Zorn, a pioneer of the NY avant-garde music. Another interest of mine is baroque music: I have performed with baroque music ensembles in New York of the highest caliber, and have enjoyed performing on my beautiful 19th century baroque timpani. 


Lastly -- I've always loved exploring improvisation and composition, and I recently had an opportunity to create an original album of improv-based music with two incredible musicians, Brian Marsella and Ikue Mori. The album is called "Archipelago X" -- and being released soon on Tzadik records. 


What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I am so excited to be teaching at LMC for the first time this summer. I have attended summer music camps when I was in high school, and they were some of the most formative, inspired moments that made me realize how much I love music. Some of the friends I made in these camps ended up being close friends and colleagues that I work with to this day! I am so looking forward to being totally immersed with music in the company of like-minded peers, this time from a teacher's side, and to be able to share my passion with the students. 


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

In addition to developing your fundamental technique and fluency on percussion instruments, I look forward to embodying how music can be a tool of self expression, and a way to get to know yourself-- as well as an adventure that will create lifelong friendships!


Don Johns, Rhythm Class and Percussion

Senior Session

BM, University of Maryland

MM, University of Maryland

DMA, Shenandoah Conservatory - in progress

Joined LMC Faculty in 2021

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

Don Johns is an in-demand percussion performer and educator in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. Mr. Johns is principal timpanist of the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, MD/Washington, DC. Additionally, he is the lead percussionist for Soulful Symphony (Columbia, MD). He also plays as an extra percussionist with the Richmond Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony (MD), Bay-Atlantic Symphony (NJ), and the American Festival Pops Orchestra (VA).  Additionally, Mr. Johns is a proud member of both the Gateways Festival Orchestra (Rochester, NY) and the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra (Charleston, SC) - two groundbreaking groups that spotlight professional black classical musicians. 

Along with orchestral work, Mr. Johns has played drum set and percussion for musical productions at the Kennedy Center (DC), Brooklyn Academy of Music (NY), Moore Theatre (Seattle, WA), Lincoln Theatre (DC), Atlas Theatre (DC), Signature Theatre (VA), Studio Theatre (DC), Onley Theatre (MD), and Toby’s Dinner Theatre (MD). He also plays drum set and timpani for several churches in the Washington, DC area.

Mr. Johns is the Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD. Mr. Johns is also the Percussion Director at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. His percussion ensemble was the featured high school percussion ensemble for the Percussive Arts Society’s 2017 Maryland/Delaware Day of Percussion. In addition, Mr. Johns was the percussion coach for the DC Youth Orchestra Program for thirteen years (2006-2019). From 2005-2015, Mr. Johns taught band and orchestra in both Prince George’s County Public Schools (2005-2011) and at KIPP DC (2011-2015).

He is endorsed as an Education Artist by Innovative Percussion sticks/mallets and Black Swamp Percussion. Mr. Johns also serves on the Education Committee for the Percussive Arts Society.  In 2018, Mr. Johns created an organization called the DMV Percussion Academy.  Its mission is to expose, engage, and enrich young people through all forms of percussive art. 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I'm excited to be a part of a community of creative, committed, and caring faculty and students.  I always enjoy being in environments where high artistic achievement and fun are well balanced.  Everyone is valued at LMC, and I look forward to being able to share my offerings with this already robust ecosystem of musicians. 

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

Campers will develop their rhythmic foundation, musical timing, and confidence working with me.  They will learn how these skills transfer into everyday life and will assist in cultivating success along their path to adulthood.  We will also have tons of fun in the process!


P.O. Box 39

203 Lake Tour Road

Lake Luzerne, NY 12846


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© 2019 by Luzerne Music Center

Luzerne Music Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the EIN 22-2765869