For more than 50 years, the Baylor Percussion Department has held a reputation of excellence in training talented young performers and educators in the field of percussion. Graduates of the department have established successful professional careers, holding prominent positions with orchestras, universities, and secondary programs throughout the world.
The department is unique among peer programs in its small size, limiting the overall number of students to no more than fifteen. This allows the program to be highly selective in its admissions process and creates an intimate learning environment for each individual student. All percussion students study with resident faculty member Todd Meehan during their entire time at Baylor. In addition, each year a select number of students focusing on drum set studies will have the opportunity to study with drum set artist and theory professor, Dr. Edward Taylor. Throughout their residency at Baylor, students have endless performance outlets within the school's nationally recognized large ensemble and chamber music programs.
Baylor's reputation for excellence in percussion study began with Dr. Larry Vanlandingham, Baylor's first Professor of Percussion. The department flourished during his 41 years of dedication and service to aspiring, young percussionists. An advocate of new music, Dr. V was responsible for the commissioning of Karel Husa's Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble (with William F. Ludwig, Jr.) and William Kraft's Encounters IX, among other works. Larry Vanlandingham retired as Professor Emeritus of Percussion in 2003 and the entire Baylor Percussion family is indebted to him for his inspiring work.
Under the current direction of Todd Meehan, the Baylor Percussion Department is taking a leading role among university percussion programs in commissioning new works from contemporary composers and cultivating a platform for the exchange of ideas among prominent professionals and talented students.