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Dr. Brian Graiser
Instructor of Percussion
- D.M.A., University of Cincinnati (Music Performance, Composition Cognate)
- M.M., University of Toronto (Music Performance)
- B.Mus., University of Georgia (Music Performance and Music Composition)
- Applied Percussion
- Percussion Ensemble/Chamber Music
- Percussion Techniques
- Percussion Pedagogy
- Marching Percussion
- Applied Percussion
- Percussion Ensemble
- Percussion Techniques
- Extended-Range Vibraphone Repertoire and Performance Practice
- Composition, Arranging, and Transcription
- Contemporary Percussion History, Literature, and Composers
- The Use of Percussion Performance Techniques as Proprioceptive Therapy for Neurological Conditions
- Percussive Arts Society (PAS)
- Vibraphone Project, Inc. (VPI)
- College Music Society (CMS)
- Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
- PAS Diversity Alliance
Dr. Brian Graiser is a contemporary percussionist, composer, and teacher, and has recently been appointed as the Artist/Instructor of Percussion at Arkansas State University. While his musical exploits are highly diverse, he is best known for his work with the vibraphone, highlighted by such efforts as his DMA Project "Concerto No. 1 [Lulu]: Creating the World's First Concerto for the Four-Octave Vibraphone," numerous commissions, compositions, and research projects for the instrument, and his service as founder and President of Vibraphone Project, Inc. (www.thevibraphoneproject.org), a 501(c)(3) arts nonprofit organization comprising dozens of vibraphonists from around the world who are dedicated to celebrating the instrument's past and igniting its future through performance and educational events, commissioning projects, research initiatives, and more. Brian regularly tours with his wife Alaina as the REFLECT harp+percussion duo and is currently producing a harp/percussion transcription of Debussy’s complete La Mer, although the duo’s most important project is raising their two sons William and Jonathan.
Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Brian's performances and clinics have taken him up and down the U.S., Canada, Panama, France, Italy, China, and Australia, with recent highlights including a research presentation at Dél-Alföldi Ütőhangszeres Szakmai Nap és Konferenciasolo (University of Szeged, Hungary) and solo/chamber performances at the APERIO—Music of the Americas Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), the Festival Alfredo Saint Malo (Panama), and the American Harp Society Summer Institute. Brian has been a featured soloist with such groups as the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati Collaborative Ringing Project, Classical Revolution Cincinnati, the Conservatorio di Musica A. Vivaldi Percussion Ensemble, the GamUT contemporary ensemble, the PAS-Panama Summer Percussion Ensemble, the SHSU Wind Ensemble and University Percussion Ensemble, and the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. He has also performed with groups such as Arasmas Percussion, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Quartet, Conroe Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, Three by Radio, Toronto Percussion Ensemble, and many others. Later this year, he will present scholarly research at PASIC and will perform his ambitious six-movement MIZMOR vibraphone solo at the Center for Mallet Percussion Research at Kutztown University.
Brian is no less active as a composer; he has written works for the Matchstick Percussion Quartet, the PAS-Panama Summer Percussion Ensemble, the Sam Houston Percussion Group, the SHSU University Percussion Ensemble, the TorQ Percussion Quartet, the Toronto Youth Wind Ensemble, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble, the University of Georgia Percussion Ensemble and Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble, and numerous artists across the U.S. and Canada. He is a regular reviewer for the Percussive Notes journal and a member of the PAS Diversity Alliance Socioeconomic Subcommittee, and recently concluded his sixth and final year of service to the PAS Composition Committee.
Prior to his appointment at A-State, Brian taught for six years as the full-time Lecturer of Percussion and Marching Percussion Director at Sam Houston State University (2016-2022), where he taught applied lessons and percussion methods, directed the University Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Ensemble II, and directed and arranged music for the Bearkat Marching Band Drumline. Other engagements include his service as Percussion Instructor in the Montgomery Independent School District (Texas, 2016-2022), Adjunct Instructor of Percussion in the CCM Preparatory Department (2014-2016), K-12 Music Teacher at the Leaves of Learning private school (Ohio, 2012-2016), Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Cincinnati (2013-2014)and University of Toronto (2008-2010), and Percussion Director at Oconee County High School (Georgia, 2005-2008).
Brian earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance (with a composition cognate) at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, with prior degrees in performance and composition from the University of Toronto and the University of Georgia.His former percussion and composition teachers include Allen Otte, Rusty Burge, Jim Culley, Russell Hartenberger, Beverly Johnston, John Rudolph, Tony McCutchen, Arvin Scott, Ellen Harrison, Stuart Saunders Smith, Michael Colgrass, Christos Hatzis, Chic Ball, and Adrian Childs. He is an endorser of Black Swamp Percussion, Dream Cymbals and Gongs, and Salyers Percussion, and is the proud owner of a DeMorrow Instruments four-octave vibraphone. His compositions are available through Alfonce Productions, Keyboard Percussion Publications, Media Press Inc., Smith Publications, and self-publication.
When he isn’t hitting things professionally (or compelling others to do so as a composer or teacher), Brian enjoys spending time with his family and their two rabbits Rory and CocoLove, reading or watching anything related to science fiction (including Green Lantern), and ensuring that his sons grow up to be avid Atlanta Hawks and Georgia Bulldogs fans like their father.