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Timpani Mallets

Walton: Partita for

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, Conductor

Bartok: Sonata for
Two Pianos and Percussion

Timpani Concerto No. 1


The Planets

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, Conductor

Appalachian Spring

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, Conductor

Piano Concerto No. 1
Conrad Tao
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, Conductor
October 11, 2013

Ferran Cruixent: Cyborg
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, Conductor
November 7, 2013

Indiana University
Percussion Ensemble
Youtube videos

Zildjian Score Magazine
John Tafoya

Arizona Musicfest

Archival recordings:
Robert Moody, Conductor


John Tafoya is Professor of Percussion at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He served as
chair of the IU Jacobs School of Music percussion department from 2008-2021. From 1999-2007 he
held the position of principal timpanist for the National Symphony Orchestra and has held previous
principal timpani positions with the American Wind Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the
Owensboro Symphony (KY), the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN) and the Florida Philharmonic
Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore
Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

John Tafoya earned BM and MM degrees in percussion performance from Indiana University. While at
I.U., Tafoya was the recipient of the prestigious performer's certificate, first prize winner of the 1985
National Society of Arts and Letters competition, and performed as solo timpanist with the Indiana
University Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya's percussion teachers at Indiana University were George Gaber and
Gerald Carlyss.

An active educator and sought after clinician, Mr. Tafoya has presented numerous master classes and
clinics at universities across the United States. He has also been a featured clinician at the
Virginia/D.C. Percussive Arts Society's Day of Percussion and at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society
International Convention) 2002, 2006, 2011, and 2018. He has published articles for The Band
Director's Guide, the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Florida Percussive Arts Society Newsletter
and Percussive Notes magazine. His informative and educational web site, www.johntafoya.com, is
accessed by thousands of percussion students and professional players each month. Mr. Tafoya has
served on the music department faculties at the University of Evansville, Kentucky Wesleyan College,
Florida International University, and the University of Maryland.

In May 2004, Carl Fischer publications released Mr. Tafoya's first book entitled; "The Working
Timpanist's Survival Guide
"; offering practical advice on how to prepare and perform orchestral
timpani excerpts. The book also includes illustrations displaying various timpani technique and a CD-
ROM containing complete timpani parts that can be printed out for further study. His second book,
"Beyond The Audition Screen", was released in 2011 and is available through Hal Leonard.

Mr. Tafoya can be heard on the 1987 Summit Brass compact disc release: "All American Brass" on the
Pro Arte label and on the 1992 Arkay compact disc release of William Albright's "Music for Organ and
Harpsichord" featuring organist Douglas Reed. He performed in the award-winning Florida Philharmonic
Orchestra recording of Mahler's First Symphony under the direction of James Judd. Tafoya has also
performed in orchestral recordings by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin
Alsop and in recordings by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and
the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. He can also be heard on the
American Wind Symphony Orchestra compact disc: "Concertos All And Sundry", performing Kaoru
Wada's Concertante for Timpani, Percussion and Winds under the direction of Robert Austin Boudreau.

John Tafoya has also served as guest artist faculty for the National Orchestral Institute, Two Rivers
Timpani Summit, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He is also the director of the IU Jacobs School
of Music Summer Percussion Academy and Workshop.

Tafoya has worked under many prestigious conductors including: Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy,
James Conlon, Jiri Belohlavek, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Valery Gergiev,
Christopher Hogwood, Carlos Kalmar, Andrew Litton, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, Mstislav
Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vanska, John Williams, Hugh Wolff, and David Zinman.

Mr. Tafoya proudly endorses:


Promotional photos can be found HERE