Percussion Professor Receives Grants for Community Projects

Through grants from local arts organizations, percussion professor Dustin Woodard will engage with the community in two exciting summer projects.

Dustin Woodard, assistant professor of percussion at Houghton College

Engaging the Community Through Music

Thanks to a $1,500 grant from the Arts Council for Wyoming County, Woodard will teach percussion to students grades 5 through 12 at Letchworth Central School. His work with them this summer will culminate in a high school wind ensemble concert on June 13. Among other pieces, they will perform Benoit Chantry’s Two Marimba Reflections concerto, featuring Woodard as a soloist.

A $1,500 Tri-County Arts Council grant, meanwhile, allows Woodard to contribute to the newly created Fassett Greenspace in Wellsville, which features an installation of stainless-steel percussion instruments. On August 31, at a special gala opening, Woodard and other accompanists will use these instruments to debut an original theme Woodard has composed for the Fassett Greenspace.

“I couldn’t be more excited for these projects,” said Woodard. “I wanted to make sure my summer was filled with music making, teaching, and exploring new creative endeavors. With these grants, I am able to do that.”

An Accomplished Musician and Professor

In addition to teaching at Houghton, Woodard serves as a visiting percussion instructor at Alfred University. He is also the principal percussionist of the Southern Tier Symphony.

Woodard has been published in Percussive Notes, School Music News, and The Instrumentalist. He has presented at the New York State School Music Association Winter Research Conference and the New York State Band Directors Association Conference, as well as various high school clinics.

Woodard received his Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Northridge, in 2011. He earned a Master of Music degree from Houghton College in 2013.

Houghton College is a liberal arts institution that challenges students to academic excellence – in the context of a relevant Christian community – and empowers them to enrich the world. The college of 1,000 students is located in Western New York, just 65 miles from Rochester and Buffalo.