Meet the Judges

TBA – Audio Judge

Kevin Bobo – Live Round Judge

Kevin Bobo is currently serving as Professor of Music (Percussion) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, a position he has held since 2007. Prior to his appointment at IU, he served as Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Kansas (2003-2007). He studied percussion with J.C. Combs and Gordon Stout and composition with Greg Woodward and Dana Wilson.

Internationally respected as a solo marimba artist, Bobo has performed on five continents. His travels have taken him to Taiwan, Singapore, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and much of the United States.

As a composer, Kevin’s compositions are performed all over the world with his solo works frequently appearing on international competition repertoire lists. He has authored two method books and composed numerous pieces for a variety of instruments and ensembles.

Kevin currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Emily and their children, Penelope and Eli.

Christopher Deane – Live Round Judge

Christopher Deane is a Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas College of Music teaching orchestral timpani, mallets, and directing the UNT Percussion Players percussion ensemble. He holds performance degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He studied with James Massie Johnson, former principal timpanist of the St. Louis Symphony and percussion with Allen Otte. He has also studied independently with Roland Kohloff, N.Y. Philharmonic, Eugene Espino, Cincinnati Symphony and Leonard Schulman, N.Y. City Opera.

Deane is currently principal percussionist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra and is acting Principal Timpanist of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent performer with the Dallas Wind Symphony and has appeared on five recordings with that ensemble. Deane was the Principal Timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and performed with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. Deane has performed with numerous large ensembles including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Utah Symphony and Virginia Symphony working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Loren Maazel, Andrew Litton, Jaap van Sweden, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and Keith Lockhart. His chamber music experience includes performances with the Percussion Group Cincinnati, Aeolian Chamber Players, Mallarme Chamber Players and the Philidor Percussion Group. He has appeared in more than seventy performances as a concerto soloist with either symphony orchestras or wind ensembles.

Deane was the faculty percussionist for the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine from 1982 to 1989. Over the course of those eight years Deane worked closely with composer George Crumb performing his music and serving as a consultant to Crumb for works including Idyll for the Misbegotten, Quest, and Haunted Landscapes. Deane served as a percussionist for the American Dance Festival from 1992 to 1996. He has also served as faculty percussionist for the Vale Veneto Music Festival in Brazil.

Deane has recorded as a timpanist, percussionist and Hungarian Cimbalom soloist. He is a featured concerto soloist on two UNT Wind Symphony recordings featuring the concertos of Joseph Schwantner, Russell Peck and William Kraft under the baton of Eugene Corporon. Deane has also recorded the music of Stravinsky with conductor Robert Craft for the Naxos Label, and has recorded with the Detroit Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Cincinnati Philharmonia, Mallarme Chamber Players, St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Symphony.

Deane has won both 1st and 2nd prize in the PAS Composition Competition. He studied Composition with Sherwood Shaffer, Robert Ward, and Charles Fussell, and independently with Ben Johnston. He has received numerous commissions including the Percussive Arts Society, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Kentucky. His music has been performed and recorded internationally and a number of his compositions have become standard literature on concerts and recitals worldwide. Deane has served two terms on the PAS Board of Directors. He is a clinician for the Bergerault/Dynasty Corporation, Black Swamp Percussion, Innovative Percussion and Sabian Cymbals.

Dr. David Steffens – Live Round Judge

Dr. David Steffens is principal percussionist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He is a recording artist, clinician, educator and champion of new music who has directed the percussion program at the Bass School since 1997.

As a founding member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Steffens is featured on four internationally released CDs on the DMP recording label — Different Strokes, The Gamut, The World Music Tour, and Lift-Off – and on Albany Records’ The Percussion Music of David Maslanka. A Percussive Notes review of Different Strokesdeclared: “This might well be the most artistic balance and blend of percussion music ever recorded.”

In 2005, Steffens recorded Lost Luggage – a five-movement work for solo marimba he commissioned from composer Edward Knight – for the CD Where The Sunsets Bleed, also released by Albany.

Steffens has performed with the Midland Symphony, West Shore Symphony Orchestra, Greater Lansing Symphony, Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Schlossfestspiele in Heidelberg, Germany. He is a frequent guest artist and has presented master classes and percussion clinics on campuses nationwide.

Under Steffens’ leadership, Oklahoma City University’s Percussion Ensemble has performed works ranging from a Red Norvo tribute in Austin to a regional premiere of Stravinsky’s Les Noces to a Maslanka work at the national SCI convention. He has built collaborative partnerships with local artists. In 2004, the Percussion Ensemble appeared with Canterbury Choral Society and Ballet Oklahoma in Tango Take Three, at Oklahoma City’s historic Civic Center.  Rick Rogers of The Daily Oklahoman singled out the percussionists for special praise: “An unexpected surprise was the OCU Percussion Ensemble, an accomplished group of instrumentalists ably directed by David Steffens. Many in the audience were no doubt unfamiliar with the myriad sounds capable of such a group, but multiple mallet keyboards produce impressive sonorities that turned their featured number into a showstopper.”  In 2005, the Percussion Ensemble reprised its collaboration with Canterbury to power the “World Harmonies” concert at the Civic Center.

He received his Performer’s Certificate and his DMA from Eastman School of Music. He is a faculty member at the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and has taught at Michigan State, Central Michigan University, and the Eastman School of Music. He is president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

He is an artist/clinician for Black Swamp Percussion, Bosphorus Cymbals, Vic Firth, and Yamaha.