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Ako Toma & Mark Berry

Percussion Recital & Masterclass

Youngstown State University - Dana School of Music

Friday, February 15, 2002 - 11a.m.-1p.m. - Bliss Hall, Room 2326



Alborada del Gracioso -  Maurice Ravel, arr. Safri Duo

The Loneliness of Santa Claus – Fredlik Andersson

Piano Sonata – Alberto Ginastera, arr. Mark Berry

Ako Toma, a native of Okinawa, Japan, began her musical studies at age four on the piano. However, it was not until age 20, while attending Youngstown State University as a Spanish major, that she began marimba lessons. In 1995, after only a year and a half of percussion studies, she won second place in the Marimba Solo Division of the Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble Competition. Shortly afterwards, she won the Youngstown State University Dana School of Music Concerto Competition and appeared as featured soloist with the Dana Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Toma received the Bachelor of Music in Performance from Youngstown State University and the Master of Music in Performance from the University of Michigan. Her principal percussion teachers include Joseph Parlink, Dr. Glenn Schaft, Feza Zweifel, and Dr. Michael Udow.

She currently performs with the Flint Symphony Orchestra and is timpanist with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the KoZmos Marimba Duo, which has performed throughout the southeast Michigan area and will perform at the Percussive Arts Society Michigan Day of Percussion in March 2002. Ms. Toma compliments her active performance career with percussion teaching, holding a faculty position at the Flint School of the Performing Arts. Ms. Toma is married to Christopher Bennett, a YSU percussion alumni and instrumental music director in the Ida Public Schools in Ida, Michigan.

Mark Berry has earned degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA-ABD, M.M.) and The Ohio State Univesity (BM education). He has held percussion teaching positions at West Virginia University, Western Kentucky University, and the University of Michigan at Flint.

As timpanist and percussionist, he has performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Cleveland Baroque Ensemble, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, the Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra, the Great Lakes Symphony Orchestra, the Westerville Symphony, the Cantari Singers of Columbus, and the Michigan Brass Band. Most recently, he collaborated with composer Michael Daugherty in composing a new vibraphone concerto. This resulted in the work “UFO”, which was premiered by percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Berry can be heard on numerous chamber music recordings on the Equilibrium label. Mr. Berry’s performance interests also extend to genres such as Caribbean styles (steel drums), non-Western percussion, and jazz. His steel band arrangements have been premiered at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and have been recorded/performed by the Panchital steel band.

Mr. Berry has also researched and transcribed the percussion music of Japanese Noh drama, specifically within the drama Atsumori, and was solicited in the summer of 2000 to proof the galley of the book, Japanese Musical Instruments, published by Oxford, Hong Kong. An avid MIDI programmer, Mr. Berry is currently working towards collaborations with dance choreographers and composers utilizing digital sampling and loop-based percussion music. He has served as percussion writer, arranger, instructor, adjudicator, and consultant with high school marching band programs throughout the Midwest and has adjudicated All-State auditions in Ohio and Kentucky. He also played in the snare-line of the Limited Edition drum and bugle corps and was instructor and writer for the Marion Cadets drum and bugle corps.

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