David Wolf, percussion

Welcome to the website of Northern Virginia percussionist, David Wolf. 

September 4, 2107 - Spring/Summer Recap

I guess Labor Day weekend is as good of a time as any to update the website since I haven't done it for the better part of a year. The 2016-17 school year and performance season wrapped up with some great concerts. My middle school and high school students gave another wonderful percussion ensemble concert. My friends Nick Taylor and Dakota Kaylor joined me on that concert for a performance of the first movement from Nebojsa Zivkovic's "Trio Pour Uno." Great Noise Ensemble finished off the season with two awesome concerts in May and June. In May, to honor the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," we brought back "Taught the Band To Play" our project inspired that album. Then in June, we performed with the Westmoreland Festival Chorus to present a concert titled, "The Branch Will Not Break." We performed Christopher Corrine's piece of the same name as well as Osvaldo Golijov's amazing work, "Ayre," featuring mezzo-soprano Lena Spikily. Joining me on percussion for the Golijov was the talented Michael Dillman and we each put our Ohio State hand drum training to work. 

The summer brought 4 weeks of teaching once again at Vienna Band Camp. It's always fun working with these students, especially the beginners. They are so eager to learn!

Marching band camps are done and both James Madison and McLean High Schools are well on their way another season of successful performances. 

November 15, 2016 - Fall Recap

I just returned from a very quick trip out to Indianapolis, IN for PASIC. It was great to reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the county and see/hear some great performances and clinics. That convention is always a great rejuvenation, which is always needed after the marching season ends. 

Speaking of marching band, both James Madison and McLean High Schools had very successful seasons this fall. Both schools took Grand Champion titles at multiple shows and the growth of the students and the ensemble over the course of the three month season was impressive. 

As I write this, we are only a few days away from another performance at the Virginia Music Educator's Association annual conference. I have been extremely fortunate to be involved with schools that have been selected to be showcased at this conference. This makes 5 different performances over the 7 years that I have been teaching in Fairfax County. This year, the McLean High School Symphonic Band will be performing. We are adding a couple of chamber performances this time around. The percussion ensemble will be performing Ivan Trevino's awesome piece, "Thank You." We played this piece last year at several events and it never failed to get an enthusiastic response from the audience. For the first time, I will be playing along with my students for this performance. 

On the Great Noise Ensemble front, we had our opening concert back in October. This year, the incomparable American composer, Steve Reich, turns 80. GNE is no stranger to Reich's music and we contributed our own performance to the year-long, world-wide celebration of this amazing musician. We performed "Radio Rewrite," "Double Sextet," and "Tehillim." I was fortunate to be joined by 5 great percussionists for this concert: Tom Dell'Omo, Mike Dillman, Paul Keesling, Matt Penland, and Bobby Schroyer. 

March 1, 2016

February was a bit of a hectic month after dealing with all of the weather issues we've had in Northern Virginia this winter. On Feb. 19-21, I took the McLean HS Percussion Ensemble on a trip to Ohio State University for their annual High School Percussion Ensemble Festival. We had a great day at the festival and the students gave a great performance of our pieces. We were one of four schools invited to give a repeat performance on the closing concert of the festival. We performed Thank You by Ivan Trenvio and Batik by James Campbell at the festival. Video of our afternoon performance of Thank You can be seen on my YouTube channel by clicking here. We were very fortunate to have two great guest artists/clinicians for the festival: Maria Finkelmeier (Boston-based percussionist, entrepreneur, and fellow Ohio State alum) and Bill Cahn (Nexus, former principal of the Rochester Philharmonic). Three of my students also participated in honors ensembles with other high school students attending the festival. Thanks to my former teachers (Susan Powell and Joe Krygier) and the entire OSU Percussion Studio for a great event! It was so great to bring my students to my alma mater for this awesome festival.  

Lastly, I had three students audition for All-Virginia Band and Orchestra last weekend. I'm very proud to report that Madison HS Sophomore Stephen Sheridan earned a spot in the Symphonic Band. Madison HS Junior Jakob Drozd earned the first alternate spot (hopefully someone will decline!) and McLean HS Senior Billy Rindone gave a great showing at his audition. 

February 6, 2016

I've been neglecting this site for a bit, so I wanted to recap a couple of highlights from the past year:

Nathan Daughtrey Residency - January 23-24, 2015
In preparation for the McLean High School Percussion Ensemble Performance at the 2015 Music For All Sandy Feldstein Percussion Ensemble Festival, composer and percussionist Nathan Daughtrey was in residence at McLean High School for a couple of days. He presented an insightful clinic about his approach to composition and improvisation and he also worked with the students on his pieces "Edge of the World" and "Sizzle." The students really enjoyed having Nathan coach them on his music and were very receptive to his comments! Pictures of his visit are on the Photos page.

2015 Music For All National Festival - March 12-14, 2015
The McLean High School Percussion Ensemble and Symphonic Band (under direction of Chris Weise and Deidra Denson) were invited to participate at the 2015 Music for All National Festival. Both ensembles gave tremendous performances and made their directors and parents very proud. On our way to Indianapolis, we stopped in Columbus, OH to present a warm-up performance of the programs at The Ohio State University School of Music. 

3rd Annual Night of Percussion Concert - May 7, 2015
I presented my annual percussion ensemble concert with my 4 school programs. We had another great set of performances by all of the students involved. I'm very proud of my students for their hard work on another great concert. McLean Marching Percussion Tech & George Mason University Masters student Joe MacMorran joined me in a performance of the marimba duet, "Wooden Music" by Rich O'Meara. Rich accepted my invitation to the concert and was gracious enough to join us on stage before our performance and offer some words about his piece. 

"Fidget" by Nathan Daughtrey Commission Consortium
James Madison High School and McLean High School were part of a 7 school consortium to have a new percussion ensemble piece written by Nathan Daughtrey. I have been a big supporter of Nathan's music and have played several of his pieces with my schools, so I was excited to have this opportunity. James Madison HS gave a premiere performance at our annual Night of Percussion Concert. In fact, a video that we produced has been posted on Nathan's website and on the C. Alan Publications website as demo videos for the piece! (http://www.nathandaughtrey.com/percussion-ensemble/fidget)

Longfellow Symphonic Band at VMEA - November 20, 2015
The Longfellow Middle School Symphonic Band (under direction of Brad Zimmerman, assisted by Carina Gutjahr) presented a concert at the annual Virginia Music Educators Association conference in Norfolk, VA. Brad asked for the percussion section to perform a percussion ensemble piece, and we chose "Technology" by Jim Casella. The students really rose to the occasion and performed brilliantly to a very enthusiastic response by the educators in attendance. The entire concert was first rate and all of the students gave a wonderful performance. 


January 25, 2016

Very proud of my private and school students for their efforts at the Virginia District 12 Band Auditions last month. Everyone represented themselves well. Congratulations to the following students who were selected for participation in the All-District Bands later this winter. (**Currently studying privately with me)

James Madison HS:
Jakob Drozd** - Wind Ensemble (All-State Recommendation)
Stephen Sheridan** - Wind Ensemble (All-State Recommendation)
Kyle Cooper - Symphonic Band

McLean HS:
Sam Roomian** - Wind Ensemble
Josh Leong** - Symphonic Band
Billy Rindone** - Symphonic Band (All-State Recommendation)
Tommy McCarthy** - Alternate

Longfellow MS:
Alex Gamboa** - Junior Band

Thoreau MS:
Ben Eggleston - Junior Band
Tommy Berbano** - Alternate


January 15, 2015

Very proud of my private and school students for their efforts at the Virginia District 12 Band Auditions last weekend. Everyone represented themselves well. Congratulations to the following students who were selected for participation in the Honor Bands later this winter. (**Currently studying privately with me)

James Madison HS:
Stephen Sheridan** - Wind Ensemble (All-State Recommendation)
Jared Joo - Symphonic Band
Nathaniel Brusch** - Alternate

McLean HS:
Josh Kaplan** - Symphonic Band
Josh Leong - Symphonic Band
Billy Rindone** - Symphonic Band
Tommy McCarthy** - Alternate

Longfellow MS:
Tiffany Jung - Junior Band
Paul Kim - Junior Band
Sophia Benmehend** - Junior Band
Praveen Viniyak** - Alternate


October 11, 2014

Welcome to the new and improved website! Content is pretty much the same, but it has a new layout and the site is optimized for mobile devices. 

So far, the 2014-15 school year is off to a good start. The high school marching bands have been playing well and I'm very excited for the upcoming trip to the Bands of America Grand Nationals with the James Madison High School Marching Band in November. They've been working very hard, but there's still much to do to get the show to it's final form for mid-November. 

September brought an amazing experience performing Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians with Great Noise Ensemble. That was such a great week of rehearsing and performing and reaffirmed how much I love playing Reich's music. 

The next big project is preparing the McLean High School Percussion Ensemble for their performance at the Music For All Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival. They were invited, from a pool of applicants across the country, to perform during this festival in Indianapolis in March. The McLean Symphonic Band will also be performing at the National Concert Band Festival partner event. I'm very excited about this opportunity and looking forward to getting to work on the music with my students. 


May 4, 2014

It's been a busy spring, as usual, and it's not quite over yet. The past couple of months have brought some great performing and teaching experiences. Great Noise Ensemble's opening performance of the Andriessen 75 Festival was an amazing experience to be a part of. The West Garden of the National Gallery of Art is an amazing and challenging venue to play in. Luckily, the percussion set up for Chris and myself wasn't any bigger or we would have been playing behind 3-foot wide stone pillars! The other big performance I just played was the final concert of the Capital Wind Symphony's season. This was a special concert for that group because it was our first benefit concert, to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project, and the first performance for this ensemble in the great Music Hall at Strathmore. What an amazing place to play! Such a beautiful sounding hall! It was a real treat to be able to play there. I hope that more opportunities to play in that great performance space are in the future. 

Upcoming performances include the last couple of performances of Great Noise Ensemble's season and a performance with a brand new group in the Washington D.C. area, WindWorks of Washington. Check out the calendar page for performance details. A highlight is the performance of Leonard Bernstein's Mass at the Kennedy Center with Great Noise Ensemble and The Washington Chorus on June 11th as part of the Chorus America Conference. 

I would also like to congratulate my students who performed at the VBODA District 10 and 12 Solo and Ensemble Festivals in April. All of the students worked hard during preparation and performed very well. I'm fortunate to hold my head high whenever I listen to my students perform at these events. 

The end of the school year is near and the band programs are all preparing for their spring concerts and Music in the Parks spring day-trips. We also have the 2nd Annual Night of Percussion coming up on May 13th with Longfellow MS, Madison HS, and McLean HS students performing. We will also be featuring Laura Grant, clarinet soloist, on John Mackey's Damn.

The final bit of news to share is about two of my students at McLean HS who will be making the next step in pursuing their career in music. Sophomore Jaewon Lee will be attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and senior Zack Shochet will be entering the percussion studio at James Madison University. Both Jaewon and Zack have been working very hard and they have been rewarded handsomely. I'm very proud of them and look forward to seeing them succeed in the next phase of their musical joureys. 


March 6, 2014

First bit of news is that one of my private students, Jaewon Lee, was accepted into the VA All-State First Band! Jaewon is a sophomore at McLean High School and has been working very hard this year and it is paying off! I have been helping him and another McLean student, Zack Shochet, prepare for auditions this spring. Jaewon is applying to arts high schools and Zack will be majoring in music in college next year. They are both finished up their auditions last weekend and they both sounded great in their preparations. Positive feedback for both of them so far! Now to let the acceptances roll in!

Some updates about Great Noise Ensemble: Back in December, we released our first commercial recording! Guerrilla New Music has been well received so far and I hope you will check it out! I performed on the first piece on the CD, Robert Paterson's Looney Tunes. The album is available on iTunesAmazon.comCDBaby, and Spotify. The next GNE concert is coming up on April 6 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and is the opening concert of the highly anticipated Andriessen: 75 festival. We will be performing his opera, La Commedia. The last bit of GNE news is that the Washington Area Music Association recently awarded the ensemble with the 2013 Best Classical Chamber Ensemble Award. This is the second time that GNE has received a WAMMIE Award. 

Lastly, I recently performed Gary Ziek's Concerto for Percussion Solo and Wind Ensemble with the Capital Wind Symphony at our February concert. The performance went well and I will be posting a video soon. I had a great time working on this piece and performing it with such a fine ensemble. Also, I'm in the middle of scheduling some performances for Spring of 2015. Keep a look out here for some more performance dates, which will be posted as soon as they are confirmed. 


January 17, 2014

Two pieces of news to share. First, I have begun teaching as an Adjunct Professor of Music at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. I'm very happy to have this teaching opportunity!!

Second, my private students, high school, and middle school students did very well at the District 12 Band Auditions last weekend. While not all of them earned a spot in the ensembles, they represented themselve extremely well! Congratulations to the following students for earning spots in the ensembles: 

District 12 Junior Honor Band

Josh Leong (First Chair), Longfellow MS

Stephen Sheridan*, Longfellow MS

Anna Zhang*, Longfellow MS

District 12 High School Wind Ensemble

Jaewon Lee*, McLean HS (All-State Rec.)

Cat Gamboa, McLean HS (All-State Rec.)

District 12 High School Symphonic Band

Ann Liu (First Chair), McLean HS

Scott Jones, Madison HS

Jakob Drozd (Alternate), Madison HS

David Kenworthy (Alternate), McLean HS 

* - current private students


November 1, 2013

I discovered that there was a link error connecting to the OhioLink page for my DMA Document. I have updated the link. I appologize if anyone tried to download the document and had difficulites. Hopefully, all is resolved now. 


September 8, 2013

Once again, things are off to a roaring start at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year/performance season. Both of my high schools, James Madison HS and McLean HS had fantastic band camps and are well on their way to very strong seasons. Like all marching productions, it is a process of evolution. With the first major competition coming up at the end of September (the same competition for both groups), there is a lot of work to do with both groups. But the students have been working very hard and accomplishing great things. I can't wait to see the BOA Regional performances in October!

The first Great Noise Ensemble concert is coming up quickly: Saturday, September 21st! It's a very different style of concert for the group. The concert is titled, Taught the Band to Play and is full of premieres written expressly for this concert. Each piece is inspired by a different track from The Beatle's Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album and will be performed in the order of the album. 

I will be playing with the Capital Wind Symphony again, for my fourth season with them. I'm very excited to announce that I will be performing Gary Ziek's Concerto for Percussion Solo and Wind Ensemble with this fantastic ensemble. I performed the 3rd movement with the McLean High School Symphonic Band at the 2011 VMEA Conference, but I will be performing the entire piece with Capital Winds on the February concert. 

There are also going to be a couple of side projects happening through out this season, so stay tuned to the News and Calendar pages of my website!


April 28, 2013

Congratulations to my private students who participated in the District 11 & 12 Virginia Solo & Ensemble festivals over the last two weekends. Fantastic playing by all. Keep up the great work!!

Chance Schumann (snare drum solo), 6th grade Haycock ES

Ben Hare (snare drum solo), 6th grade Williamsburg MS

Stephen Sheridan (snare drum solo & xylophone solo), 7th grade Longfellow MS

Anna Zhang (marimba solo), 7th grade Longfellow MS

Josh Kaplan & Tommy McCarthy (marimba duet), 8th grade Longfellow MS 

Owen Haines (snare drum solo & marimba solo), 8th grade Luther Jackson MS

Billy Rindone (timpani solo), 9th grade McLean HS

Alana Hassett (snare drum solo), 9th grade Marshal HS

Sam Roomian (snare drum solo), 9th grade McLean HS

Zack Shochet (snare drum solo & marimba solo), 11th grade McLean HS

Cat Gamboa (marimba solo), 11th grade McLean HS 

Cat Gamboa & Ryan Key (marimba/vibraphone duet), 11th & 12th grade McLean HS

Nathaniel Brusch, Joe Mills, and Eric Voigt (percussion trio), 10th grade, 10th grade, 9th grade Madison HS


January 26, 2013

Busy month coming up! Several very cool performances coming up. On February 28th, Great Noise Ensemble will be participating during the annual Intersections Arts Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. We will be playing Ted Hearne's amazing evening-length work, Katrina Ballads. If you are not familiar with this powerful piece, based upon the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, you should check it out here

However, before that performace I will be at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA for a short residency to perform with their percussion ensemble. My good friend, Dr. Greg Lyons, is the percussion professor at LA Tech and has done great things with his studio. I'm very excited to have to opportunity to visit and make music with Greg and his students!

Other performances in the near future include the Capital Wind Symphony's 2nd performance of the season and two cantata performances at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Silver Spring, MD with Great Noise Ensemble. 

Details and information links for all of my performances can be found on the Calendar page

January 6, 2013

After several district band audition events, all of my private students and students from my four schools have auditioned. Congratulations to the following:

Arlington Junior Honor Band

Ben Hare*, Williamsburg MS 

District 10 Middle School Honor Band

Owen Haines* (First Chair), Luther Jackson MS

District 12 Junior Honor Band

Josh Leong (First Chair), Longfellow MS

Anna Zhang*, Longfellow MS

Stephen Sheridan*, Longfellow MS

Josh Kaplan*, Longfellow MS

Tommy McCarthy* (Alternate), Longfellow MS

District 12 High School Wind Ensemble

John Franklin, Madison HS

District 12 High School Symphonic Band

Ann Liu (First Chair), McLean HS

Grace Clifford, McLean HS

Ryan Key*, McLean HS

Sam Revaz, Madison HS

Blake Roberston, McLean HS

Shiloh Donnell, McLean HS

Cat Gamboa (Alternate), McLean HS 

* - current private students

November 27, 2012


The new music ensemble that I perform with, Great Noise Ensemble, has been awarded a matching gift of $15,000 from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities! This matching grant will match any donation to the ensemble, dollar-for-dollar! Please consider donating to help fund new music in the DC Metropolitan Area. Any amount will help. Thanks!

While you're at it, why not join us for one of our concerts this season? Click on the image below to visit the ensemble's website for more details. Happy Holidays!

September 1, 2012

Some exciting news to announce for the 2012-13 season. Since last December, I've had the pleasure of being able to perform with the Washington, DC based new music group, Great Noise Ensemble. I played several concerts with them last season and also recorded a piece for their debut CD (look for an update about the release date!). They invited me to become a permanent member of the group starting in the 2012-13 performance season. I'm very excited to be continuing my experience with this great ensemble. 

I am continuing to play with the Capital Wind Symphony, for my 3rd season with the group. Our concerts have moved to Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA. 

Finally, I have been invited to perform and guest conduct with the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Ensemble in February, 2013. Dr. Greg Lyons, percussion professor, and I were at Ohio State together working on our DMA. I will be performing Paul Bissell's The Alabados Song for Solo Marimba and Percussion Ensemble. The guest conducting piece has yet to be chosen. I'm very much looking forward to spending some time with Greg and working with his students!

February 18, 2012


The end of February and first weekend of March are going to be a little crazy. I've just been asked to play again with the Great Noise Ensemble for their performance, entitled "Guerilla New Music," at the Intersections Festival at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 2. I will be performing "Looney Tunes" by Robert Patterson. The following day, I will go into the recording studio with them to record that piece for their upcoming debut CD. I'm very excited and honored to have been asked to help with recording their CD, which is funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign back in the Spring of 2011. Off to practice!!

January 28, 2012


I will be performing with the Loudon Symphony Orchestra for concerts in February and March.

January 9, 2012

We had auditions for our Middle and High School All-District 12 Bands this past weekend. From the schools that I teach, 6 percussionists were accepted and 4 were chosen as alternates. Congratulations!

Longfellow MS: Kunal Naik, Billy Rindone, Haran Chithranjan, Wes Romary (Alternate)

Madison HS: Melanie Johnson,  John Franklin (Alternate), Louis Blacker (Alternate)

McLean HS: Ann Liu, Blake Robertson, Shiloh Donnell (Alternate) 

January 1, 2012


David is performing with the Great Noise Ensemble at Catholic University of America's New Voices Music Festival on January 20th & 21st.  

December 22, 2011


Congratulations to Madison High School on being selected as a 2012 Sudler Flag of Honor recipient! This award is one of the highest honors that a high school band program can receive and is a great accomplishment. I have been fortunate to work at Madison HS for the past year and a half. Congratulations to Michael Hackbarth, band director, and to all of the current and past students for their great work!

Copyright 2010-18, David M. Wolf