Sō Percussion Summer Institute

July 16 – 30, 2017
Princeton University
“Credo: Percussion Beginnings”










Early percussion composers like John Cage imagined a world of “organized sound,” where music consisted of more than just keyboard tones. For SōSI 2017, we will dig back into those first steps towards the modern percussion ensemble. Immerse yourself in the radical ideas that started it all!

About SōSI

The Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) 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 2017

  • This year’s focus is on the beginnings of the 20th century percussion ensemble repertoire. Focus on composers like John Cage, Lou Harrison, and many others.
  • Premieres of new pieces from Princeton composers.
  • Masterclasses, lessons, and coachings with renowned composers and performers.
  • Performances around Princeton.
  • Readings by Sō Percussion of student composers’ pieces.
  • More exciting details to be confirmed soon!

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 Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, Dan Trueman, Steve Reich, Steve Schick, Dan Deacon, Martin Schmidt (of Matmos), Joe Gramley, Barbara White, Lukas Ligeti, Grey McMurray, Cenk Ergun, NEXUS, Tristan Perich, Suzanne Farrin, Mark Dancigers, Dennis Desantis, Doug Perkins and Stuart Saunders Smith.

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


SōSI 2017 applications are ready!


2017 Application Instructions

Deadline for Online Submission is Feb 1, 2017 for all materials.

The following materials will be required for all applicants:

  • Completed 2017 Application Form (online)
  • Non-refundable $45 application fee (paid by credit card)
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a current or former teacher (uploaded as a PDF)
  • 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 (uploaded or 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

* Graduate and Undergraduate composers will be considered for the program this year. Students must be at least 18.


Sō Percussion


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

Read more:

About So About the Members

Andrea Mazzariello

For this year’s Composition Program at SoSI, we will be joined by Princeton-based composer Andrea Mazzariello, who will help in the planning and running of the composition curriculum. 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 SoSI. Watch a video of Babybot (the third part of the set).

Princeton Music Department

princeton1-mackey princeton2-trueman princeton3-white2princeton4-lansky

Every year at SoSI 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, Barbara White, and Paul Lansky.


SoSI 2017 Concerts

Check back in 2017 for information about our concerts!


Princeton Venues:

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 2016 Summer Institute, a number of partial scholarships (ranging from $250-$1000) will be available.  The scholarship application will be emailed to students accepted into the program.

If you are interested in taking part in this program, please contact Yumi Tamashiro for more information.



Donations to the So Percussion Summer Institute go directly to benefit the students of the program.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our festival.

Donate to SoSI

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Special thanks to:

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

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

The Brookby Foundation, Sara Coffey and Dave Snyder, David Oswald, Hank McNeil, John and Astrid Baumgardner, Alexandra Mackay, Amanda Cooper, Bill and Ruth Cahn, Carol and Richard Haas, Charles and Susan Snyder, Dan Trueman, David and Kim Phipps, David Lang, Dorothea Endicott, Edward Freitag, Eliot Feld, Elliot Cole, Inez Gutzman, Jane and Andy Noyes, Jim Wood, Jody Redhage, John and Jackie Treuting, John Beck, Karleen Van Dyke, Kim and Tara Wildszewski, Larry and Cyndee Snider, Laurie Widder, Lisa Goldberg, Marilyn and Gary Grebbien, Mark Applebaum, Martin Bresnick and Lisa Moore, Matt and Lara Dudack, Matthew Teodori, Michael McMurchie, Michael Rosen, Mike and Becky Bennett, Nathaniel Beck, Paul and Hannah Lansky, Paul Cox, Rick and Jayne Marchioni, Roger Zahab, S. Andrea Moore, Stuart Gerber, Sue Martin, Sughra Raza, The Thendara Foundation, Tom and Eve Sliwinski, Tristan Perich, Vivian Yahiro, and William Keith.