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Drummin Dragons Clinicians

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Our 2019 Clinicians Include: 

Tim McKay

Tim McKay
Event Coordinator, Percussion Ensemble

Tim McKay currently serves on faculty at Howard Community College where he teaches applied percussion lessons, the percussion ensemble, and the Fundamentals of Music. He maintains a strong private teaching studio through HCC's Music Institute program, and he is the percussion coordinator of the Howard County High School GT Orchestra. As a member of the Vic Firth Education Team and HCC's music outreach program, Mr. McKay gives outreach clinics and masterclasses throughout Howard County and beyond. His students have performed in prestigious national festivals and ensembles such as the Tanglewood Summer Percussion Seminar, Sewanee Music Festival, Oberlin Percussion Institute, Music For All National Percussion Festival, The Midwest Clinic, and the Honor Orchestra of America. They have been accepted into the leading music schools and conservatories across the country including Elon University, George Mason University, The University of Maryland, Indiana University, Northwestern University, Cincinnati Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University.

Professionally, he regularly performs with the Apollo Orchestra. Perviously, he has performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and the Annapolis, Roanoke, West Virginia and Syracuse Symphonies. He has performed at venues across the country including the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center, Baltimore Lyric Opera House, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, The Hippodrome, the National Cathedral, the Getty Center, Merkin Hall, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He has also performed with many prestigious musical theater companies, including Olney Theater, Imagination Stage, Studio Theater, Atlas Theater, the Catholic University and The Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theater. Mr. McKay has performed as a soloist with the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and was named a 2012 "Rising Star" finalist at Howard County's Celebration of the Arts Gala. In July of 2012 he performed with American Idol winner Phillip Phillips for PBS's "A Capitol Fourth" celebration on the National Mall. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Maryland.


Melissa Lindon
Melissa Lindon
Yoga for Musicians
Melissa Lindon is a flutist and yoga teacher who has served as flute faculty at Howard Community College and The Music Institute at HCC since 2003, and as a yoga instructor at the Yoga Center of Columbia (MD) since 2006. In her Yoga for Musicians workshops, she shares how yoga can benefit musicians in a practical and fun way, with special attention to breathing, body awareness, and alignment principles. She has taught Yoga for Musicians workshops at Trevor Wye’s Flute Masterclasses at Boston University, for the Flute Society of Washington, and for Flute-a-rama summer flute camp, which she co-directs. She is also flutist and founder of the Patagonia Winds (wind quintet) and maintains an active private studio in Takoma Park, MD. For more information, please visit her website,
Robby Burns


Robby Burns is a music educator and freelance percussionist residing in Columbia, Maryland.
Robby's teaching experience ranges from elementary school through university ensembles. He is currently an employee of the Howard County Public School System where he teaches band and music at Ellicott Mills Middle School and co-directs the HCPSS Elementary School Honor Band. Outside of his daily music teaching responsibilities, Robby maintains an active private percussion teaching studio out of his home. Many of his students are now music majors in college, have been accepted into district and All State honor ensembles, and have found success as freelance and touring musicians. Robby is regularly called upon as an adjudicator, arranger, ensemble coach, and clinician.
Robby has presented sessions at conferences for music educators all over the country on the subject of music production software, cloud services, Apple products, and their connection to productivity and creativity in the music classroom. Robby's first book, Digital Organization Tips for Music Teachers, was published by Oxford University Press in September of 2016.
As a freelance percussionist, Robby is comfortable with all styles, specifically including orchestral, musical theater, opera, chamber, rock, and jazz. He has performed with the Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Opera Camerata of Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under such conductors as Marin Aslop and Lorin Maazel. Robby has also worked with a variety of local music projects including rock cello quartet, Primitivity, and nine-piece funk band, The Superland Stage Band.
Robby holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied orchestral percussion with Tony Ames (NSO) and timpani with John Tafoya and Benjamin Ramierez (both former NSO). He has also benefited from the instruction of Steve Fidyk (Army Blues Band) and Janis Potter (solo marimba artist). During his time at UMCP he also devoted attention towards orchestration, conducting, and jazz arranging.

 Robby is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Percussive Arts Society and TI:ME, which is the national organization for Technology in Music Education.


Orlando Cotto


Raised in the traditions of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican music, Orlando Cotto learned to play the conga drums when he was just five years old. He has since developed a successful career as a marimbist and percussionist. As a student, Orlando has the dual distinction as the first marimbist to receive the Artist Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and to win the Yale Gordon Concerto Competition. He was also recognized as the most outstanding student while studying at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. For his achievements in music, the Mayor of his hometown Cayey has honored him as a distinguished resident.

According to the San Juan Star, Orlando is “an artist of musical sensitivity and accomplished technique.” As a solo marimbist, Orlando unites his solid classical training and Latin American background to create a powerful combination of rhythm and music previously uncharted in the marimba world. He regularly performs at international festivals, including Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and conducts workshops and master classes in colleges and universities throughout the United States. He has also been invited to perform in Asia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Central and South American.

A sought-after performing and recording artist, Orlando has collaborated with music legends of this generation, including Darin Atwater, Andy Gonzalez, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Edwin Colón Zayas. On the congas, Latin Beat magazine calls Orlando’s “solid conga drumming . . . a percussive pillar.” He has been the conguero of Panoramic, a fusion band lead by Pan virtuoso Liam Teague. He was the lead conguero of Rumba Club, one of East Coast’s popular Latin Jazz ensembles. These collaborations have lead to performances at major venues in the U.S. including the Telluride Jazz Celebration in Colorado, The Blue Room in Kansas City, Blue Note and Birdland in New York City, Blues Ally and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As one of the Semifinalists at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Hand Drum Competition, Orlando performed in front of an impressive panel of judges including Candido, Ray Barretto, Milton Cardona, Big Black, and Babatunde Olatunji.

His first solo marimba recording Caribeños – Latin American Music for the Marimba received critical and popular acclaim. Percussive Notes praised it: “The immediacy and vitality of the music on [Caribeños] impresses the listener from the very first selection.” His subsequent recordings A Little Prayer paid tribute to his classical training whereas Wild Hands demonstrated an amalgamation of his creativity, classical training and Latin roots. Orlando’s newest CD, Landmark – Afro-Cuban Music for the Marimba - features artist Michael Spiro will be release in the spring of 2010. Orlando is a performing artist endorsed by Yamaha, ProMark, Sabian and Latin Percussion. He is a faculty member at University of Delaware and Nathan Carter School of Music in Baltimore City.


Lee Hinkle


Dr. Lee Hinkle is a percussionist and classically trained baritone vocalist whose percussion playing has been called “rock-steady” by the Washington Post and having “a notable sense of flare [sic]” by Potomac Stages.  He is currently serving as the principal percussionist for the 21st Century Consort: the resident new music ensemble at the Smithsonian American Art Gallery, a position he has held since 2012. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2014 with the world premiere performance of Baljinder Sekhon’s Double Percussion Concerto for two percussion soloists and wind ensemble. He holds masters and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Maryland and a B.M. degree from the University of South Florida, summa cum laude.

An active performer, Dr. Hinkle’s performance highlights have included performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Washington Master Chorale, and the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.  He has toured with several performers and groups, including Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. An active theater musician, he has played many of the major Broadway productions at the Tony Award Winning Signature Theatre in Shirlington, VA since 2008.

As a recording studio musician and commissioner of contemporary chamber and solo music, Dr. Hinkle has over a dozen CDs to his credit and his recordings can be heard on eight different record labels including Capstone Records, New World Records, Albany Records, and the C.F. Peter’s Corporation. On Marimba Concerti with Percussion Orchestra, published by Capstone Records, he is a featured marimba soloist with the McCormick Percussion Group. In 2015, Dr. Hinkle released his first solo percussion CD entitled “Theatrical Music for Solo Percussion” on Albany Records to critical acclaim. Dr. Hinkle and composer Andrea Clearfield were the winners of the 2016 Global Premiere Consortium Commissioning Project. Dr. Hinkle will lead a consortium of marimba players from around the world to commission a new work by Andrea Clearfield for solo marimba with string quartet to be premiered in 2017.

An active percussion recitalist, soloist, and clinician; Dr. Hinkle has presented solo recitals and master classes at universities, conservatories, and festivals both nationally and internationally including the Boston Conservatory, U.S.A.; Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Lyon, France; and Konservatorium Wien, Privatuniversität, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Hinkle has presented at several state-level Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion” in Maryland and Florida.  He has performed at two Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. In February 2016, he will present a clinic at the Maryland Music Educators Association convention in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Hinkle serves on the faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, where he has been studio teaching, presenting master classes, administrating the percussion studio, and directing the percussion ensemble since 2009. His activities at UMD have included leading the UMD Percussion Ensemble to feature performances at several state level Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion” and two performances at the McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, FL. The UMD Percussion Ensemble was selected by audition to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in November 2016. Additional contributions at UMD include presenting faculty recitals, concerto performances, making recordings, and hosting guest artists. He has worked on several collaborations with the music composition and dance departments and has made contributions in the area of entrepreneurship for musicians.

In the area of service, Dr. Hinkle serves on the Percussive Arts Society’s New Music/Research Committee, has served on the  PAS Percussion Ensemble Committee (2013-2016), and is the President of the MD / DE Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

Dr. Hinkle is a proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist. Additionally, he endorses REMO drum heads and percussion, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, and Grover Pro Percussion


Mike Noonan

Michael Noonan is a composer and multi-instrumentalist performing on vibraphone, piano, marimba and trombone. He studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he received his undergraduate degree in professional music, graduating magna cum laude in 1984. In 1992 he received his graduate degree in jazz studies and composition from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. Mike has been the leader of the Unified Jazz Ensemble (UJE) since its inception in 1992, a group that continues to record original music and maintain an active performance schedule as an ensemble. UJE live performances in the D.C. metro area have included appearances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Strathmore Hall, the Smithsonian Jazz Café, and Blues Alley. The group performs their original compositions and classic jazz standards weekly on Tuesday nights at the 49 West Café in Annapolis. Through Mike’s leadership, the UJE has been awarded multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, the Maryland State Arts Council as well as other arts organizations both locally and nationally for their efforts in arts education and performance. One of just eight music ensembles nationwide to receive a 2010 Chamber Music America (CMA) Residency Partnership Grant, the UJE’s performances in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. communities and schools are supported by CMA, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The UJE’s eighth recording, Cradle Song, was released in July 2010 and features all original compositions. As a freelancing musician in the Baltimore/Annapolis and Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Mike has performed with jazz legends Mundell Lowe, Charles McPherson, and Gary Thomas as well as the many great jazz musicians living in the mid-Atlantic region. In 2008-2009, he served as musical director for Baltimore’s acclaimed Center Stage production of “Caroline, or Change.” As an educator, Mike has served on the faculty as adjunct professor in classes covering jazz studies, orchestration and performance at Gettysburg College, Luther College, the University of North Texas and Northern Virginia Community College.​


Danny Villanueva

Danny Villanueva is an in demand  freelance drummer/percussionist who performs in the Washington, D.C. area. With various groups and ensembles he has performed at The Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Blues Alley, Lincoln Center, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, The Hippodrome Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, and Signature Theatre. He has shared the stage with with a diverse range of artists including Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Ben Folds, John Mayer, The Civil Wars, Phillip Phillips, Quincy Jones, Yo Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Ben Vereen, Smokey Robinson, Jason Robert Brown, Idina Menzel, Olivia Newton John, Denyce Graves, Linda Eder, Chris Botti, Branford Marsalis, NAS, Michael Bolton, Bebe Neuwirth, Joss Stone, Martina McBride, Boyz II Men, Gloria Estefan, The Irish Tenors, Clay Aiken, Brian McKnight,  and Dave Brubek. With over 75+ theatre shows to his credit he performs regularly at Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, and The Kennedy Center among many other top DC area theatres for regional and touring productions. Orchestrally he has performed with many of the areas leading orchestras including The National Symphony Orchestra (including national and international tours). Danny has had the privilege of working under some of the world's leading conductors including Mstislav Rostropovich, Christoph Eschenbach, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Stern, Roberto Minczuk, Iván Fischer, André Previn, Hugh Wolff, Lorin Maazel, JoAnn Falletta, Mark Elder, and Hans Graf. Live television performances include "A Capitol Fourth" live on PBS with Phillip Phillips.


US Army Field Band Percussion Section

Read the bios of the members of the US Army Field Band Percussion Section.


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