Music, On campus

Senior Percussionist takes Center Stage

Skylar Etherington (right) joins Keaton Jones for his senior recital. Photo by Bee Goodman.

“Playing percussion has given me an outlet to express myself, make lifelong friends I’ve formed relationships with, and given me some of the best moments of my life.” 


Tech hosted a senior recital Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., inside the Bryan Fine Arts building’s Wattenbarger Auditorium as a senior, Keaton Jones, demonstrated his ability to play percussion instruments. The instruments Jones played throughout the recital included, the snare drums, marimba, tambourine, and timpani. 


“Performing is something I absolutely love doing and is a huge passion of mine. This recital was important to showcase all of my learnings during my undergraduate degree process throughout the performance,” Jones included. “All of the pieces and skills I’ve learned here were showcased during the recital.”


The percussionist said the senior recital was required for his major, music education. However, he noted his anticipation of the performance was beneficial as he continued to learn. Jones said he developed an interest in percussion at a young age from the music his parents shared with him. 


“Percussion was one that really stood out to me and immediately sparked my interest when it came time to choose instruments in elementary school band, and I’ve been playing ever since,” Jones cited. “Now, percussion plays a huge part in my life and who I am, and has helped shape my interests in life to lead me to where I am today.”


Jones included his hope attendees gained a stronger appreciation for percussion and the effort it requires. He cited his excitement to demonstrate his improvements as a percussionist, in comparison to past performances. Jones added he is appreciative of the opportunities Tech provides to students in preparation for their professional fields. 


“Throughout my time here as an undergraduate, I have received lots of encouraging words from the music faculty, which has helped motivate me to continue doing what I love,” Jones claimed. “Their support means the world to me and I am deeply thankful for what they’ve done for me over the years.”


Tech’s appreciation for musical arts is evident as the school hosts events, such as recitals, consistently. Director of percussion, Jayce Clemons, said hosting recitals provides an opportunity for attendees to familiarize themselves with the repertoire and develop critical listening skills. 


“A recital is really a culmination of great preparation, planning and hard work as many months go into the recital,” Clemons added. “Indirectly, a recital also acts as a motivator and learning tool for other members in the percussion studio.” 


Tech’s school of music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, indicating they abide by the highest music education standards in the United States. Clemons said the school’s successful percussion program attracts quality students. 


“The program itself is centered on becoming a well-rounded percussionist while also allowing for more individuality in the junior and senior years,” Clemons included. “Quality students put on quality recitals, and this nurtures a cycle of a great program.” 


Tech is intentional in providing the highest level of music education to students to assist them in reaching their full potential as performers, instructors and citizens.