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Luis Rivera
University of South Alabama - United States


Dr. Luis C. Rivera (b. 1983) serves as the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of South Alabama teaching applied lessons, the USA Percussion Ensemble, the Jaguar Marching Band Drumline, the USA Steel Band and World Music ensembles, and the percussion methods course.  He is originally from Orlando, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida, under the direction of Jeff Moore and Kirk Gay.  While at UCF, Dr. Rivera was a Presser Foundation Scholar and the winner of the UCF Music Department’s Performance Excellence Competition (2004).  He holds a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina, under the direction of Dr. Scott Herring and Jim Hall, where he was a graduate Teaching Assistant, director of the Palmetto Pans Steel Drum Ensemble, and winner of the USC Concerto Competition, performing Emmanuel Séjourné’s, Concerto pour Vibraphone et Orchestre à Cordes.  Most recently, Luis received the Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the Florida State University, studying under Dr. John W. Parks IV, where he was a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.  He is a published composer through Bachovich Publications in addition to his own self-published works as a member of ASCAP.

The last year has proven to be one of Dr. Rivera's most inspired as an arranger and orchestrator for the percussion ensemble medium. As part of the FSU Percussion Ensemble he was selected to perform on a national tour and showcase concert at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, IN.  Two of the selections on the program were his arrangements of Maurice Ravel's, The Fairy Garden from The Mother Goose Suite (1911), and The First Circle (1981) by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.  In addition, his doctoral treatise focused on the re-orchestration of classical chamber works for the modern percussion ensemble by minimalist composers Philip Glass, John Adams, and Steve Reich, specifically Metamorphoses 1-5 (1988), Phrygian Gates (1977), and Eight Lines (1979, 1983), respectively. Entire performances of Phrygian Gates and Eight Lines were premiered with the FSU Percussion Ensemble during the spring semester of 2012. 

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Rivera is an active performer and educator across the United States.  He has been a section percussionist with the Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, and Brevard Symphony Orchestras, a performer at the Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, a snare drummer for the Orlando Magic Rhythm and Blue Drumline, and a musician for the FSU School of Theater and Tallahassee Community College Theater Department.  Dr. Rivera is an active adjudicator in the Gulf Coast marching band and indoor drumline circuit, arranger for the Baker High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble, and was the Percussion Caption Head and Arranger at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, FL.  He has recorded several albums at the FSU Percussion Studio, and has also had the opportunity of performing with world-renowned percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie in Killarney, Ireland.  In 2009, Luis helped found the Denkyem Percussion Group at FSU, a percussion sextet that performed at the College Music Society's Southeastern Conference (2010) in New Orleans, as well as performing a series of master classes, clinics, and concerts as part of FSU's Promising New Artists of the 21st Century Program in San Jose, Costa Rica during the spring of 2010. 

Luis has also been involved with Drum Corps International (DCI) since 2002.  He was a snare drummer with the Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps (2002-2003) and the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2004).  He served as a snare drum technician with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps (2005-2006), and as a snare drum technician and marching instructor with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps (2007-2011).  Currently, Luis serves as the Front Ensemble Coordinator and Supervisor for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.  Luis is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams instruments, Remo Drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.