ISU Percussion Studio

Percussion ensemble

Directed by Dr. Jonathan Sharp

About the Percussion Studio

The Percussion Studies program at Iowa State University is dedicated to maximizing percussion education through a wide variety of performing ensembles and a closely supervised private lesson structure. Percussion Studies at Iowa State University provides students a foundation in orchestral, solo, chamber, world and jazz idioms. Percussion students have a wealth of learning opportunities including private lessons, studio classes, and clinic/masterclasses with world-class guest artists. The program provides professional-level experiences and opportunities for all students that foster growth through self-discipline, creativity, and entrepreneurship.  

The ISU percussion studio typically contains 12-16 students. All percussion majors study privately with Jonathan Sharp, assistant professor of music at ISU.

A large number of our alumni pursue graduate degrees at the nation's top music schools, and our alumni are employed as K-12 educators, in-demand freelance percussionists, and university faculty across the country.  Current and former students have marched and/or taught in the following drum corps and indoor WGI ensembles:  The Bluecoats, The Cavaliers, The Colts, Colt Cadets, River City Rhythm, Crossroads Indoor, and Music City Mystique.

Percussion Ensemble Performances

José beFORe JOHN5 by Aurel Hollo

In The End... by Gene Koshinski (Iowa State Percussion)

Iowa State Percussion - Bonham

Iowa State University Percussion Ensemble Fall 2021 Highlights

Large Ensemble Experience
The percussion students all participate in the school’s outstanding ensembles. There are multiple orchestras (Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and the Opera Orchestra), 4 wind ensembles (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Campus Band), Jazz Ensembles, and many athletic bands including the renowned Cyclone Varsity Marching Band.  Members of the large ensembles (concert/wind bands, orchestra, etc.) are selected on the basis of a musical audition at the start of each semester.

Classes in Percussion
Students attend weekly studio classes where they perform in solo settings and experience lectures on topics such as practicing, interpretation, orchestral excerpts, sight-reading, instrument maintenance and repair, music business skills, and more. There are also courses in Percussion Pedagogy and Percussion Literature.

marimbadrum kit



Image of Jonathan Sharp

Percussion students study with Dr. Jonathan Sharp, Assistant Professor of Music – Percussion. 

Visit Jonathan’s faculty page to learn more.

D.M.A. University of Kentucky, 2014
M.M. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
B.M. Morehead State University, 2008


Contact the ISU Percussion Area

Feel free to directly email Dr. Sharp ( about any questions or to schedule a tour/lesson!