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Matt Witten, D.M.A. - Contemporary Musican: Bio

Matt Witten holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature (D.M.A.), from the Eastman School of Music, a Masters in Music Performance (M.M.) from Rowan University, a Bachelors Degree in Performance (B.M.) from the Eastman School of Music, where he also received the coveted Performer’s Certificate. His primary teachers include, Mike Burritt, Bill Cahn, Don Liuzzi, Gordon Stout, John Beck, and Dean Witten
Matt is on the faculty at Monroe Community College and The University of Rochester, where he is entering his seventh year as the director of the University's Percussion Ensemble. He has also served on the faculty at Nazareth College. Matt performed at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society (PAS) international convention in Indianapolis in a professional marimba orchestra under the direction of Gordon Stout in a premiere of his piece, New York Tryitych. He has covered leaves of absences for Penn State Professor of Percussion, Dan Armstrong, Nazareth College Percussion Professor, Kristen Shiner-Mcguire and Rowan University Percussion Professor, Dean Witten. Most recently, Matt performed in the pit at Rochester's Geva Theatre.
Notably, Matt completed a year tour of the US with the first national company of “Little Women” the musical, 2005-2006 and in March 2002, Matt was a featured soloist in Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion with the Rowan University Wind Ensemble at the Queens College (NYC) Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion. Some highlights of Matt's rewards as a soloist are, he was the first place national winner of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Soloist Competition (2001), the 9th Annual Crane School of Music’s New Music Festival Solo Competition (2001), the National Young Artists Competition sponsored by the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra (2001) and a recipient of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Award (2000). In 1998, Matt was the percussion soloist competition winner at the Aspen Music Festival
Professionally, Matt performed regularly in the pits of many Broadway shows, including, A Catered Affair, The Light in the Piazza, Beauty and the Beast, Little Women, Dracula and Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme on Broadway. Matt has also performed with Garth Fagan's Dance Company, Randy Newman, Rosie O’donnell, Ben Vereen, the New York based percussion group Pulse, as Timpanist with the Erie Philharmonic, New York Vituosi, Philadelphia Virtuosi, Melanie Stewart Dance Theater in Philadelphia (PA) and numerous orchestras and theatre companies, throughout, NY, NJ, PA and VT. Matt can be heard on Michael Tenzer's album, Let Others Name You, playing with Ossia and on the soundtrack for Second Story Man, with music by Eric Zabriskie.
As a proponent of contemporary music, Matt is a member of the JAM percussion duo and Fracas, a new music quartet consisting of percussion, guitar, saxophone and piano and has taken part in numerous commissions for new music.