Sō Percussion Summer Institute

 Sō Percussion Summer Institute 2021

SōSI 2021
July 11-25, 2021
Princeton, NJ or Online!

Applications are Open! Apply HERE


SōSI 2021 – Flexible Music

Announcing SōSI 2021 our 13th annual Sō Percussion Summer Institute on the campus of Princeton University.

A note from Sō Percussion…

2020 has reminded us that you can plan for the future (and we do!) but much is out of our control.

Anyway, as we head toward 2021, we still want to plan for our favorite annual event, the Sō Percussion Summer Institute. With the rollout of the vaccines, the likelihood of in-person summer events is promising. While we cannot be totally sure that an in-person SōSI will be possible, we DO want to plan for it! We hope that you will join us in these plans — and you can do so with the assurance that even if circumstances beyond our control shift and change, we are ready for the unexpected. 2020 taught us that we can successfully offer the magic of SōSI even in online-only circumstances. If conditions don’t allow us to gather in person in July 2021, we are ready to offer breathtaking opportunities online (and we’ll adjust tuition to reflect those changes).

So! While you can’t be sure what will happen this summer, you can rely on Sō Percussion to offer you opportunities that will happen no matter what comes. Check out the information about SōSI 2021 here. We hope you can join us!

2020 taught us that we can successfully offer the magic of SōSI even in online-only circumstances (if you’re curious, check out the final concert of SoSI 2020 here)

More specific information to come soon…

Please email Shelby@sopercussion.com with questions and inquiries. 

Registration to Open on January 26, 2021!

Flexible Music

Does a musical composition consist of the abstract ideas which animate it? Or is it about the exact sounds a composer hears in their mind’s ear? Must it have notes and rhythms, or could it only be a blueprint for construction? These questions gained new urgency in 2020 when we stopped gathering in rooms together, and when the privilege of access was (once again) thrown into sharp relief.  As we in Sō Percussion started new remote collaborations, we realized that the music we produced during this time would need to have maximum flexibility to work with whatever resources each of us had lying around.

In the spring of 2020, we produced a re-imagining of band member Jason Treuting’s Amid the Noise for video, which was initially composed for what we call “flexible instrumentation.” This piece was in turn influenced by avant-garde works like Terry Riley’s In C. We found that music by composers such as Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, and Julius Eastman already provided a model for how to work this way, and that we have always been more interested in percussion as a realm of openness and exploration than as a collection of instruments and techniques.

These kinds of works have multiple paths of realization. They can happen via remote collaboration or live performance, playable by many possible types of ensembles. For SōSI 2021, we want to focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of flexible music. Participants will take on the idea of artistic openness: composers will explore how and where to relinquish control, and performers will learn how to contribute creatively.

Guests from Past Years

The past years of the Summer Institute have included masterclasses, talks, and performances with a great number of amazing artists including Caroline Shaw, Shara Nova, Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, Kaoru Watanabe, Dan Trueman, Gerion and Kendall Williams, Steve Reich, Steve Schick, Angélica Negrón, Dan Deacon, JiHye Jung, Martin Schmidt (of Matmos), Juri Seo, Lukas Ligeti, Maria Finkelmeir, Grey McMurray, Cenk Ergun, NEXUS, Joan Tower, Tristan Perich, Suzanne Farrin, Mark Dancigers, Dennis Desantis, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

The Institute’s Mission

The emergence of the percussion group as a standard ensemble has been one of the most exciting developments in contemporary western music. Sō Percussion was formed to expand this important voice in the 21st century, taking a cue from groups in North America and Europe, as well as the pioneering composers who inspired them.

Since its inception in 1999, education has become an increasingly important part of Sō’s mission. Its members share a firm belief that inherent in an artist’s career is a responsibility to pass on practical advice and mentorship to young artists. The Sō Percussion Summer Institute seeks to fulfill this promise by providing a unique educational opportunity to percussionists and composers at one of the most critical stages of their development. The program offers a hands-on experience that brings the practical and theoretical together:

      • Commissioning/Creating new music
      • Fruitful collaboration with and among artists
      • The rehearsal and development process
      • Performance


Applications Open on January 26, 2021!

Application Deadline – February 26, 2021

Apply HERE!

Email shelby@sopercussion.com with questions and inquiries.


Festival Directors and Founders – Sō Percussion

The four members of Sō Percussion are the primary faculty of the Sō Percussion Summer Institute.

Read more:

About So About the Members

Director of Composition – Andrea Mazzariello

Composer Andrea Mazzariello, founding director of the composition program, returns in 2018. Andrea has had works performed at the Summer Institute every year since the beginning: all four parts of his ‘Bot’ series have been played at SōSI. Here’s a video of Jason Treuting performing Andrea’s “Monobot” for solo drumset.

Composition Faculty Member – Sarah Kirkland Snider

This year, SōSI is delighted to welcome Sarah Kirkland Snider to the Composition Faculty!  Sarah has been a guest artist at the summer institute since the beginning. Here’s a video of The River from UNREMEMBERED, a song cycle in 13 parts for seven voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics, released September 4, 2015 on New Amsterdam Records.

Princeton Music Department

princeton1-mackey princeton2-trueman

Every year at SōSI we are joined by the amazing faculty and graduate students of the Princeton University Music Department, all of whom have written many works for percussion.  In past years we have been joined for masterclasses and coachings by Princeton composers Steve Mackey, Dan Trueman, Juri Seo, Barbara White, Dimitri Tymoczko, Paul Lansky, and Donnacha Dennehy.


Our 2021 Festival Events are to come, but please check out our remote festival events from 2020 below!

SōSI 2020 Events

Our concerts will be live-streamed on on our Youtube Channel and on our Facebook page.

Sunday July 12 at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
Sō Percussion Summer Institute Opening Concert 2020

Welcome to SōSI! When we founded the So Percussion Summer Institute in 2009, we set out to create the chamber music summer festival we wish had existed when we were students. We launched a two-week program in Princeton, NJ where emerging percussionists and composers could gather and collaborate, benefitting from performing alongside seasoned pros and playing unique works by living composers—often for the first time. Over the last eleven gatherings of SōSI, we’ve done just that, providing hundreds of percussionists and dozens of composers with the opportunity to explore the new, hone their skills, and become part of a community of idealistic creators and interpreters.

This year’s SōSI looks a little different—we’re gathering online, which allows us to welcome artists from around the world—but we are so proud of what these students are creating with us. Enjoy!

When social distance became a necessity (and we faced an abruptly bare concert calendar), we decided to use the time and space to create a new version of a signature work,  Jason Treuting’s Amid the Noise. Written for flexible instrumentation, Amid the Noise lends itself well to  layering and technological artistry. The process of interpreting each movement (some with the quartet, and many more with musical colleagues) helped us understand what felt right for socially distanced creative work – and how we wanted to record and layer it all together. 

This learning process has shaped the structure of SōSI 2020 Online, and we are delighted to premiere the complete Amid the Noise 2020 for you as our opening concert. 

There is much to come over the coming weeks, and we can’t wait to share more work and creative collaboration with the brilliant students of SōSI, and with the greater public. 

Stay tuned, and be well!

-Eric, Josh, Adam, Jason, and Shelby

P.S. – After the show – Jason Treuting will host an Instagram Live to chat the genesis of Amid the Noise – join us on Sō Percussion’s channel –  @sopercussion! 

This is a free concert. Help us continue our work within SōSI by making a donation!  

100% of contributions made during this event will go directly to The Outreach Program

For the past six years, Sō Percussion has partnered during SōSI with The Outreach Program to pack meals for food-insecure families in Mercer County, NJ. COVID had other plans this year, but we’re still committed to The Outreach Program’s great work. When we host SoSI on Princeton’s beautiful campus, our annual food-packing event reminds students that many of Princeton’s neighbors in Mercer County struggle with food insecurity. The percentage of food-insecure residents in Mercer County has grown amidst COVID-19, rising from 8.9% in 2018 to an estimated 13.6% this year. Now more than ever we are honored to partner with The Outreach Program: any gifts to Sō Percussion during SōSI (July 12-26, 2020)  will go directly to The Outreach Program.

Program: Amid the Noise – Jason Treuting 

Work Slow Life
What the Hell
Fire Escapes

Guest Performers Include:

Cristina Altamura
Griffin Brown
Brandon Babb
Craig Bitterman
Kasey Blezinger
Shelby Blezinger-McCay
David Bramley
Tyler Carpenter
Yeji Cha-Beach
Gregg Charest
Aaron Abrahamson Cote
Kadesh Clouden
David Degge
Khaalis De Las
Matt Dudack
Amanda Duncan
Aaron Edgcomb
Rheanne Edwards
Cenk Ergün
Michael Fabian
Austin Ferguson
Russell Fisher
Greg Fritz
Alexandros Fragiskatos
Dave Gerhart
Hakim Goodridge
Wes Hawkins
Candice Hill
Audrey Holden
Nathalie Joachim
JJ Johnson
Greg Jukes
Rachel Julian
Blaine Klein
Melinda Leoce
Jason Little
Allison Littlejohn
Preston Long
Diana Loomer
Lily Manes
Murray Mast
Rich Maurer
Andrew Martin
CJ Menge
Beth Meyers
Elsie Meyers Treuting
Paulina Michels
Lauren Molloy
James Moore
Brett Morris
Christopher Neale
Angélica Negrón
Jeff Neitzke
Joseph Peck
Garrett Sanborne
Abby Savell
Baljinder Sekhon, II
Mike Schwebke
Dan Shiller
Le’Roi Simmonds
David Singhaus
Morgan Tao
Adam Tendler
Darian Thomas
Sachelle Thomas
Phong Tran
Elliot Wallace
Chad Waterman
Kendall Williams

Thursday, July 23, 2020 – 7pm ET
Sō Percussion Summer Institute with the Princeton Public Library

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute is excited to partner with the Princeton Public Library to host a live performance and talk! More information to come very soon! 

Saturday July 25, 2020 – 4pm ET – 7pm ET
Sō Percussion Summer Institute Day of Awesomeness

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute Closes our 12th annual festival with 3 hours of Live music culminating in the projects created within the past two weeks! (July 12-25, 2020) Students from all over the world joined our Collaborative program to create realizations of new work, reinterpreting older works, and workshopping individual projects!  Today we are thrilled to announce 19 new work premieres and more!

SōSI 2020 Day of Awesomeness Program – 

New work premieres composed and performed by: 

Raquel Acevedo Klein
Orson Abram
Krists Auznieks
Johnathan Barker
Neil Beckmann
Aslan Cawley
Adam Clifton
Brian Ellis
Elliott Godinez
Hunter Gross
Lawton Hall
Jack Herscowitz
Brian Keith
John Kelley
Gavin Kitchen
Karl Kim
Clint Koehler
Samuel Kreusler
Dan Langa
Pascal Le Boeuf
Soo-Yeon Lyuh
Brian Mark
Reese Maultsby
Anthony McIntosh
Max Meyer
Jacob Miller
James Moore
Thomas Morrison
Eric Puente
Devon Osamu Tipp
Austin Richey
Kendall Rhymer
Elijah Shina
McKenzie Squires
Elijah Smith
Carolyn Stallard
Mariah Taller
Malcolm Taylor
Sachelle Thomas
Katrina Toner
Theodore Trevisan
Max Vinetz
Clinton Washington III
Eric Whitmer
Zachary Wilson
Jack Yagerline

Special thanks to:

Special thanks to our SōSI supporters, who continue to make this program possible:

The Brookby Foundation
ASCAP Foundation
Cindee and Larry Snider
Sara Coffey and Dave Snyder
ORIGIN UK, care of Peter Rawlings
Jackie and John Treuting
Princeton University Department of Music
Sarah Kirkland Snider
Astrid Baumgardner

Would you like to join our SōSI Producer’s Circle?

Sō Percussion is incredibly grateful to all of our supporters. Our Producers provide direct support to more than 40 students, who will study at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute with Sō Percussion and affiliated artists. With support from individuals like you, this program will cultivate productive and meaningful experiences for artists and audiences alike. Please contact Program Coordinator, Shelby Blezinger-McCay at  shelby@sopercussion.com for more information.



Each year, thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, Sō Percussion awards partial scholarships through application to attend the Sō Percussion Summer Institute.

Scholarship Application available on January 22 through the application portal!

Scholarships for the Sō Percussion Summer Institute are available through application via the application portal. Scholarships range from $250 – $1,000.

Percussion is pleased to announce:

  • A scholarship fund for students who identify as black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) towards participation at the Percussion Summer Institute (SI).


  • A Composition assistant scholarship fund. 

Please note that we offer separate tuition assistance for all new students.  Please complete a scholarship application in the scholarship application portal to be considered and to see eligibility and guidelines for the above specified scholarships. 



Donations to the Sō Percussion Summer Institute go directly to benefit the students of the program.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our festival.

Donate to SōSI

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Special thanks to:

Each summer, The ASCAP Foundation provides fellowships for student composers to attend SōSI; we are very grateful for their support!

Princeton Music Department
David Oswald
Peter Rawlings
Steve Mackey
Dan Trueman
Paul Lansky
Barbara White
Cameron Britt
Andrea Mazzariello
Martha Easton and Patrick Sullivan
Anonymous Family Foundation
Wolfy and Kayrock Screenprinting
Sarah Kirkland Snider
Emily Johnson
Ain Gordon
Talvin Wilks
Rinde Eckert
Susan Marshall
Mark DeChiazza
Jeff Snyder
Rebecca Lazier
Astrid Baumgardner
Neil Larivee
Princeton Composers
Zildjian Cymbals
Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments
Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets
Remo Drumheads
Estey Organ Company

Sō Percussion wishes to thank the following individuals for their generous support:

The Brookby Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund, The American Music Project, The Amphion Foundation, The Ditson Fund, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Thendara Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts: Art Works, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, The Composers Guild of New Jersey, The ASCAP Foundation, New Music USA’s NYC New Music Impact Fund, made possible with funding from The Scherman Foundation’s Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund, Sara Coffey and Dave Snyder, David Oswald, Russell Makowsky, John and Astrid Baumgardner, Stephen Myers, Hank McNeil, Larry and Cyndee Snider, Charles and Susan Snyder, John and Jackie Treuting, Mark Applebaum, William Armstrong, Yuki Asada, Dan Baldini, Elizabeth Beach, Nathaniel Beck, John H. Beck, Michael and Becky Bennett, Walter (Hudie) Broughton, Zac Brunell, Robyn and Paul Buxton, Kristin Cahill, William Cahn, Tyler Carpenter, Eileen Carr, Christina Carroll, Elliot Cole, Terry and Guadalupe De Vries, Matthew and Lara Dudack, Candace Dwan, Rachel Elson, Dorothea Endicott, Cenk Ergun, Widder Foundation, Stuart Gerber, Lisa Goldberg, David and Jennifer Gordon, Ain Gordon, Carolyn Graham, Marcy Gunnell, Inez and David Gutman, Jonathan Haas, Carol and Richard Haas, James Hanbury, James Heller, Lisa Iceman, Jonathan Kaledin, Ayano Kataoka, Will Keith, Christina Kershner, David Lang, Paul and Hannah Lansky, John A. Leppman, Martin Bresnick and Lisa Moore, Diana Loomer, Alex MacKay, Benjamin Maldonado, Richard and Jayne Marchioni, Edward G. Freitag Martha B. Haley Family Foundation, James McKenzie, Jacqueline Meyers, Josh Milstein, Jane Noyes, Tristan Perich, Roger Phillips, David M. Phipps, Sughra Raza, Michael and Marlene Rosen, Nicole Serratore, Andrew Siegel, Eve Sliwinski, Sarah Snider, Susan Sontag, Jane Stewart, Jonathan Szanto, Margaret Travers, David Weller, Mary J. Wensel, Roger Zahab.


After 10 amazing years of SōSI, we have quite a roster of alumni, many of whom have gone on to form their own groups and pursue unique musical interests.  Some of them sent along websites where you can learn more about everything they are doing.

TIGUE: alumni of SōSI 2009


SōSI 2021will potentially offer the chance to audit. We will include that information here soon!


Each year, an amazing team of interns helps us keep this extremely complicated festival going!  Interns have usually been SōSI alumni who come and help us organize gear, produce concerts, and keep the ship running.

The bulk of our interns’ duties fall within logistics for a festival which hosts dozens of world premieres by 40-50 percussionists each summer. They receive free room and board during the festival, and frequently participate in performances themselves.

Applications for our internship program will be made available by February 15, 2021!

(Left to right: Lindsay Vasko, Evan Miller, Andrea Tafelski)