Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Faculty | Percussion

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(pictured L to R: Doug, Nancy, Sam, Kyle in September 2015)

Nancy Zeltsman, marimba | Head of Percussion

Samuel Z. Solomon, percussion

Kyle Brightwell, percussion

Doug Perkins, percussion

A very exciting percussion movement happening here!! Congrats!

- Colin Currie

Boston Conservatory at Berklee offers a BM in Percussion, and MM (and other graduate-level degrees) in Percussion or Marimba. (No DMA.) There are approximately 25 percussion and marimba majors in the department (total), and approximately 820 students between all three divisions: Music, Dance and Theater. Music is the largest division, with about 400 students. (In June 2016, Boston Conservatory merged with Berklee, but the percussion department--and Admissions process--at each institution remains fairly distinct.)

Recognizing the enormous breadth of the field of percussion, we strive to educate well-versed, well-rounded musicians while also recognizing the value of individualism and students' desires to develop special interests. Conservatory graduates go on to varied careers as orchestral musicians, chamber ensemble performers/directors, solo recitalists, college professors, theater musicians, and versatile freelancers.

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Percussion majors
have numerous performing opportunities including the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble (co-directed by Solomon & Perkins or Brightwell). They may also play in opera, theater and dance productions, chamber music, composers concerts, and studio and solo recitals. Marimba majors focus on solo and mixed chamber music as well as marimba ensemble. All percussion and marimba students have the opportunity to divide their 14 private lessons per semester with two to four members of the percussion faculty.


Boston Conservatory at Berklee students may elect to take courses at Berklee College of Music focused on World Percussion, Afro-Cuban hand drumming, jazz improvisation on mallet instruments, Brazilian styles, African dancing and drumming, or various styles of drum set, and much more.

Zeltsman's courses at the College--Marimba Ensembles, Marimba in Mixed Chamber Music, Marimba Transcriptions and Repertoire Lab--are staples for Conservatory Marimba majors. Popular Conservatory courses to round out their curriculum are (non-jazz) Improvisation, Career Skills, Alexander Technique, and yoga.

For more information, visit/contact Admissions. Application deadline: December 1. Auditions are in February.

Audition Requirements-Scroll down to find Undergraduate/Percussion, Graduate/Marimba, or Graduate/Percussion

BCB Percussion Database

Group photo: Una Cheng
Bottom photo: Claudia Hansen

Nancy Zeltsman 2018 |