Sō Percussion Summer Institute

July 14 – 28, 2019
Princeton University












Ten years ago, the members of Sō Percussion set out to create the chamber music summer festival we wish had existed when we were students. Now, SōSI has provided 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. Join us as the adventure continues into its next decade!

Apply here!

About SōSI

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI) is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists and composers. The four members of Sō Percussion serve as faculty in rehearsal, performance, and discussion of contemporary music.

Highlights of SōSI 2019 – “Culture of Collaboration”

Every successful artistic project depends on a web of contributors: composers, performers, technical specialists, writers, producers, and more. We love this process, and we love to teach it too. Join us at our 11th SōSI to dig deep on what makes these relationships work. 

  • This year, SōSI is delighted to welcome Sarah Kirkland Snider to the Composition Faculty!
  • Premieres of new pieces from Princeton University PhD composers.
  • Masterclasses, lessons, and coachings with renowned composers and performers.
  • Performances around Princeton.
  • Open readings by Sō Percussion of student composers’ pieces.
  • More exciting details to be confirmed soon!


We are offering the chance to audit seminars at SōSI for the second year! For either a daily, weekly, or full festival pass, auditors can observe rehearsals, attend lectures, and interact with our faculty and participants.

The program is $300 for the entire 2 weeks, $150 per week, or just $25 a day,  Contact Sō’s Shelby BlezingerMcCay to learn more or to reserve a spot!

Composition at SōSI

The composition program at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute culminates in a public reading by Sō Percussion of a new piece by every participant. These pieces develop in consultation with Sō, with composition director Andrea Mazzariello, and with a number of visiting composers and artists. In addition, participants write smaller, portable pieces for their colleagues in the percussion program, who premiere them in venues in the Princeton community.

Guests from Past Years

The past years of the Summer Institute have included masterclasses, talks, and performances with a great number of amazing artsists including Caroline Shaw, Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, Dan Trueman, Steve Reich, Steve Schick, Angélica Negrón, Dan Deacon, Martin Schmidt (of Matmos), Juri Seo, Barbara White, Lukas Ligeti, 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


Apply here

2019 Application Instructions

Deadline for Online Submission is Feb 1, 2019 for all materials.

The following materials will be required for all applicants:

  • Completed 2019 Application Form (online)
  • Non-refundable $45 application fee (paid by credit card)
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a current or former teacher (emailed directly to Shleby Blezinger-McCay, shelby@sopercussion.com)
  • Current Resume (optional – uploaded as a PDF)

* Students must be at least 18 years old in order to be eligible to attend the Summer Institute.

Requirements for Percussionists

  • List of chamber works performed and works you would like to perform
  • Audition recordings (linked through the application)
  • Recording Requirements for Percussionists: 10-20 minutes of solo audio or video recordings that best demonstrate your abilities and interests as a player.

Requirements for Composers

  • Audio recordings and/or PDFs of scores (if applicable) for three recent works
  • A list of works written and/or a statement about your compositional process
  • Undergraduate and Graduate composers will be considered for the program
  • Composers are only eligible to attend SōSI two times total. Composers who have attended once may reapply. Composers who have already attended twice are no longer eligible and should not re-apply.


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.


SōSI 2019 Events

Most concerts will be live-streamed on our Facebook page.

To be announced closer to the festival!

**Donations of non-perishable food, toiletries, and diapers for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will be collected at these concerts. Audience members may place their donations in the designated boxes outside the performance space.

All events are free and open to the public.

Princeton Venues:

Lee Music Room at the Lewis Arts Complex
120 Alexander Street

Matthews Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts
185 Nassau Street
Entrance behind Thomas Sweet’s

McAlpin Rehearsal Room
Woolworth Music Building
Large room downstairs which you can see upon entering the buildling

Princeton Record Exchange
20 S Tulane Street

Albert Hinds Plaza
Outside the Princeton Public Library
Witherspoon and Spring Streets

Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street


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

For the 2019 Summer Institute, a number of partial scholarships (ranging from $125-$1000) will be available.



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
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
Yumi Tamashiro
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


We offer the chance to audit seminars at SōSI. For either a daily, weekly, or full festival pass, auditors can observe rehearsals, attend lectures, and interact with our faculty and participants.

The program is $300 for the entire 2 weeks, $150 per week, or just $30 a day,  Contact Sō’s Shelby Blezinger-McCay to learn more or to reserve a spot!

As an idea of what we offer, check out last year’s daily schedule of events and talks:

Sunday, 7/15
7:30pm Sō Percussion Opening Concert (McAlpin)

Monday, 7/16
12:00pm Dan Trueman composer talk (McAlpin)
5:00pm Juri Seo composer talk (McAlpin)
7:00pm TV Percussion Concert (McAlpin)

Tuesday, 7/17
3:00pm “In My Studio” with composers Caroline Shaw and Sarah Snider (McAlpin)

Wednesday, 7/18
12:00pm Donnacha Dennehy composer talk (McAlpin)
5:00pm Paul Lansky composer talk (McAlpin)
9:00pm Josh Quillen “Corner of Sō” talk (McAlpin)

Thursday, 7/19
3:30pm David Lang composer talk (McAlpin)
5:00pm Martin Schmidt of “Matmos” performer talk (McAlpin)
7:00pm SōSI at Small World Coffee (14 Witherspoon Street)

Friday, 7/20
12:00pm Dmitri Tymoczko composer talk (McAlpin)
2:00pm SōSI at the Princeton Record Exchange (20 South Tulane Street)
3:30pm Steve Mackey composer talk (McAlpin)

Saturday, 7/21
8:00pm Princeton Composer Concert (Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall)

Sunday, 7/22
10:00am-3:00pm Meal packing for End Hunger NE (McAlpin)
9:00pm SōSI composer listening session #1 (McAlpin)

Monday, 7/23
12:00pm Keith Aleo of Zildjian guest talk (McAlpin)
5:00pm Angélica Negrón composer talk (McAlpin)
8:30pm Adam Sliwinski “Corner of Sō” talk (McAlpin)

Tuesday, 7/24
11:00pm Joan Tower composer talk (McAlpin)
1:00pm – 4:00pm Joan Tower workshop with Sō Percussion (McAlpin)
7:00pm SōSI Outdoors at the Princeton Public Library (Albert Hinds Plaza, 55 Witherspoon Street)
9:00pm Jason Treating “Corner of Sō” talk (McAlpin)

Wednesday, 7/25
12:00pm Doug Perkins performer talk (McAlpin)
5:00pm Todd Meehan performer talk (McAlpin)
7:00pm Nine Numbers 6, Performance by Sō Percussion, Doug Perkins, and Todd Meehan (McAlpin)
9:00pm SōSI composer listening session #2 (McAlpin)

Thursday, 7/26
12:00pm Andrea Mazzariello composer talk (McAlpin)
9:00pm SōSI composer listening session #3 (McAlpin)

Friday, 7/27
4:00pm Composer/Performer – Performer/Composer** (Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall)
8:00pm Sō Percussion Open Composer Readings (Lee Music Room, Lewis Center for the Arts)

Saturday, 7/28
3:00pm SōSI Generations (Lee Music Room, Lewis Center for the Arts)
5:30pm Drumming in the Forum (The Forum, Lewis Center for the Arts)
8:00pm Summer Institute Closing Concert (Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall)


2019 Sō Percussion Summer Institute
Participation Fee – $2450 (fee subject to change)

$250 downpayment due March 15

$2200 remainder due May 1

Pay by Mail:

Mail a check or money order to:

Sō Percussion
Attn: Summer Institute
20 Grand Ave. #205
Brooklyn, NY 11205


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.

Contact Shelby for more information about the internship.

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