Danville native named music educator of the year

Published 9:08 am Monday, January 8, 2018


News release 

Dr. Brian S. Mason, professor and coordinator of the Percussion Studies Program at Morehead State University in Morehead, has been named the 2018 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) College/University Teacher of the Year. KMEA is a professional music educators’ organization consisting of more than 2,000 members at all levels from kindergarten to the university level that is dedicated to the cause of music education in Kentucky.

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Mason is a native of Danville and resides in Morehead with his wife and fellow music professor, Dr. Nicola Mason and their four-year old daughter, Nina. His parents, Connie and Farris Mason and grandmother Maria Rice live in Danville. 

Mason will be recognized with the award at the KMEA General Assembly and State Awards presentation ceremony held as part of the group’s conference on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Kentucky International Convention Center, in Louisville. Nominated by his peers, the award recognizes Brian’s service and contributions to music education in Kentucky at the university level.

Apart from his contributions to music education at the university level, Brian is also a highly respected innovator of the contemporary marching percussion ensemble. Brian’s career in the Drum Corps International activity spanned more than two decades, claiming two World Championships and three High Percussion titles, along with many other awards and honors during his tenure with the Cavaliers (1987-1996), Yamato (1997-1999), Phantom Regiment (1998-2002), and the Santa Clara Vanguard (2006-2010). 

He also serves as a member of the Winter Guard International Percussion Judge team, one of the most highly regarded rosters of adjudicators in the marching arts. In high demand as a clinician, performer, arranger, composer, and adjudicator. 

Mason has appeared throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, Canada, and Mexico, and his compositions have been performed around the world. He directs the percussion ensembles, MSU Steel, and the award-winning marching percussion ensemble, featured on the VicFirth.com web-based instructional video series Marching Percussion 101. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society Board of Advisors, Immediate Past President of the PAS KY Chapter, Associate Principal Percussion with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Percussion for the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, and appears as a guest artist with high school and university percussion ensembles across the US.

Brian received his D.M.A. and B.M. as a student of James B. Campbell at the University of Kentucky, and his M.M. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a student of Dr. Dean Gronemeier. Mason has published articles in Percussive Notes, has been interviewed in Modern Drummer and Band and Orchestra Magazine, and co-authored the 2000 Modern Drummer Readers Poll’s “No. 1 Drum Set Method Book,” The Commandments of R&B Drumming (Warner Brothers). 

Mason is also a performing artist for Mapex Drums, and Majestic Percussion, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Zildjian cymbals, Evans drumheads,  Black Swamp Percussion, and Etymotic Hearing Protection His original works are published through Row-Loff Productions, Bachovich Music Publications and Tap Space Publications.