We have a passion for percussion

 

Orphic means “beyond ordinary.”  The quartet, formed in 2017, is gaining rapid notoriety throughout the West Coast for their extremely engaging performances and musical expression.  The members share a love of new music as evidenced by two new commissions within the first month of the group's existence, including a work for marimba quartet and electronics, and a piece by the renowned composer James Wood.  To date, Orphic members have been involved in over 10 new works for percussion quartet with several more already in the works.

The member’s backgrounds include a university professor, international marimba performers, and the former center snare for the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps.  The group also seeks to educate young musicians on the joys of percussion performance and the need for a balanced percussion education.

Orphic is proud to be a Marimba One Ensemble Artist and plays exclusively on Marimba One Marimbas and the new One Vibe.

Sean Clark

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American percussionist and educator, Sean Clark is known for his versatile skills in concert and marching percussion. A high-energy soloist and chamber musician, Sean has given clinics and performed across the United States and internationally. Whether it be teaching or playing, Mr. Clark aims to bridge the gap between classical and commercial music; making classical music more accessible to today’s contemporary audiences.

A Marimba One Ensemble artist, Sean co-founded a Central Valley percussion quartet “Orphic”, and won multiple performance categories (duos, timpani, snare) of the 2017 and 2018 Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Northern California competition. He has performed professionally with numerous groups including the Fresno Community Chorus, Sequoia Symphony, and Orpheus New Music Ensemble. Last winter, Sean was involved in a clinic at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) with the prestigious Blue Devil Drum & Bugle Corps. As a soloist, he has been featured with the Orphic Percussion Quartet, the Fresno State Percussion Ensemble and the Fresno State Wind Orchestra performing works such as Gene Koshinski’s Circuit Breaker, Michael Laurello’s Spine, Aurel Hollo’s José / beFore John 5, and Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto.

Outside of his concertizing, Mr. Clark is an up-and-coming marching percussion educator, arranger, designer, adjudicator, and clinician. In his six years with the Blue Devil Performing Arts organization, Sean won three DCI world championships (2014, 2015, 2017), one open class drum title (2012), and the Fred Sanford High Percussion Award (2015). More recently, he received the Blue Devil of the Year award and was hired as the percussion caption head for the Blue Devils “B” Drum & Bugle Corps (2018). Mr. Clark began arranging and designing marching band shows in 2015. Since then, he has had the privilege to arrange and collaborate with Saratoga High School, California High School, Buchanan High School, and Clovis West High School. Additionally, Mr. Clark has given multiple clinics throughout California and adjudicated at local marching art events.

Sean graduated summa cum laude from CSU Fresno in 2018, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Instrumental Music Education. This upcoming year, he will begin his graduate degree at National University. Sean was born and raised in Clovis, California and recently moved to Northern California to accept a Director of Percussion job at Saratoga High School.

 

Michael Downing

 
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Michael Downing is section percussionist with the Sacramento Philharmonic and the Stockton Symphony. He is Visiting Lecturer of Percussion at University of the Pacific, Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Fresno Pacific University and Las Positas College. Michael holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Fresno State. As an active freelance musician, he has performed with virtually every orchestra in Central California.

Michael has been featured as a soloist with both the Phoenix Symphony and the Stockton Symphony performing "Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu". The double percussion concerto written by Avner Dorman, was premiered by Michael and fellow percussionist Graham Thompson in 2012. He has also been a soloist with several other orchestras performing the third movement of Eric Ewazen's Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra, and has been featured as the vibraphone soloist for John William's Escapades.

Michael studied primarily with Jim Babor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Dr. Matthew Darling of Fresno State. While preparing for orchestral auditions, he has taken lessons with such notable percussionists as Tom Freer, Richard Weiner, Trey Wyatt, Michael Rosen, and Rick Kvistad. Michael is an Education Artist for Marimba One, a Freer Percussion Artist, and part of the Blackswamp Percussion Educator Network.

 

Stuart Langsam

 
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Stuart Langsam is a multi-faceted percussionist and music educator from Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from San Jose State University, a Master of Music Degree from Oklahoma State University, and is currently studying towards the Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Oklahoma.

Mr. Langsam was a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic for eight seasons performing Classics, Pops, Ballet, and Youth concerts. While in living in the Midwest he also performed with the Kansas City Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and Ft. Smith Symphony. Upon returning back to the Bay area he has had the opportunity play with a number of ensembles including the Santa Cruz Symphony, Stockton Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, and Symphony Silicon Valley.

Mr. Langsam has also enjoyed playing and subbing for a variety of musical theaters including the world premiere of Ain’t too Proud-The Life and Times of The Temptations. His summers have included performances at the Mendocino Music Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival.

An avid instructor in the marching percussion activity, he has composed and arranged music for both high schools and universities in California and Oklahoma. In 2011, he presented a marching percussion exhibition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention with the Oklahoma State University Drumline.

He has also presented clinics at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and the PAS Oklahoma Day of Percussion. Mr. Langsam has been an Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa. He currently works with the SJSU Spartan Marching Band, Wilcox High School, and teaches privately at the Mid-Peninsula Music Academy and the Rhythm Academy of San Jose.

Mr. Langsam has partaken in Percussion Seminars at the Music Academy of the West and the Zivkovic International Marimba Festival. In 2005, he participated at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in both the Collegiate Rudimental Snare Competition (3rd place) and as a finalist in the Orchestral Mock Audition.

Mr. Langsam is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets.

 

Cameron Leach

 
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American percussionist Cameron Leach is a bold, high-energy performer recognized for his expressive virtuosity, musical athleticism, and daring interpretations. An engaging and thoughtful soloist, Leach has concertized across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared at some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Sibelius Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Music. Leach is the winner of both the Percussive Arts Society International Solo Artist Competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Along with his active touring schedule, he regularly performs with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and is a newly appointed faculty member at Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. Leach is endorsed by Black Swamp Percussion, Beetle Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Malletech.

Highlights from the 2017-2018 season include the debut of his new electroacoustic solo show ELISION, a European Tour as Co-Principal of the World Percussion Group, the world premiere of Paul Lansky’s Metal Light for the Percussive Arts Society, and a performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he performed Peter Maxwell Davies’ seminal Eight Songs for a Mad King with Ensemble id, a Rochester, NY-based chamber collective. His latest project, the Leach | Peters Percussion Duo, debuted on the Eastman Summer Concert Series in July 2018.

Leach’s 2018-2019 season is marked by an array of solo appearances, guest artist engagements, and world premieres. Kicking off with a performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, Leach then embarks on recital and clinic tours of California, Florida, and the Midwest, featuring newly commissioned solo works by David Skidmore and Matt Curlee. In March 2019, Leach will give the world premiere of Dave Maric’s Percussion Concerto, commissioned for him by the Capital University Conservatory of Music. To close out the season, Leach will serve on faculty at the MalletLab Summer Intensive in West Palm Beach, FL, and will spend a week in residence as the featured artist for the Space City New Music Festival in Houston, TX. Looking ahead, Leach will make his concerto debut with the Grammy-nominated Dallas Winds during the 2019-2020 season.

Devoted to the creation and performance of new music, Leach continues to commission diverse works for solo percussion, with a special focus on the inclusion of electronics. During his time at the Eastman School of Music, Leach was named an inaugural winner of the Eastman/ArtistShare Partnership, allowing him to commission Matt Curlee’s massive Decay No. 2 for solo percussion and electronics. His latest commissioning project, David Skidmore’s I Leave You the Real World for solo vibraphone and electronics, brought together a consortium of 50+ percussionists from all over the world. Leach has premiered pieces by Michael Burritt, Paul Lansky, Jeff Tyzik, Alejandro Viñao, Annie Gosfield, Tim Feeney, Jon Lin Chua, and Frédéric Chiasson.

Leach makes regular appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, having performed with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and on the Competition Winner’s Showcase Concert in 2017, on the Focus Day Series and as a member of the All-Star International Percussion Ensemble in 2015, and with the Rhythm X Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2011. In addition to his work as a concert artist, Leach also has a strong background in marching percussion, having won world titles with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and Rhythm X.