Dr. Julia Gaines joined the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Missouri in 1996 and is currently the Associate Professor of Percussion. She conducts the University Percussion Ensemble, the World Percussion Ensemble, coaches the Graduate Percussion Ensemble, and applied percussion lessons for approximately 16-18 music majors. She is also the Faculty Advisor to the MU Percussion Society – a student organization that promotes percussion performance and education on the MU campus and throughout the mid-Missouri region.
Dr. Gaines received her DMA degree from the University of Oklahoma, her Master’s degree as well as a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and her Bachelor’s degree from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. She has performed in the percussion sections or as timpanist of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fox Valley Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, and the Idaho/Washington Symphony. She also has a history in drum corps culminating as a member of the 1989 Santa Clara Vanguard front ensemble. Her teachers include Mary Wells, Dan Bukvich, Dane Richeson, Ralph Hardimon, John H. Beck, and Dr. Richard Gipson.
She was selected to perform at the 2004 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Nashville, the 2005 International Hawaiian Conference on Arts & Humanities held in Honolulu, and the 12th Annual Puerto Rico Percussion Festival held in San Juan in August of 2005. She was named a Big 12 Faculty Fellow in 2007 and participated in a Fellowship Exchange at Kansas State University for ten days. She also gave her solo debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in March of 2007 performing a work she commissioned for marimba and electronic sounds. In the summer of 2008, she spent two weeks in Londrina, Brazil teaching at the 28th Festival of Music.
Her current research focuses on the objective grading of four-mallet marimba literature and she has received several grants from the University of Missouri to develop this project and purchase the literature. She has analyzed over 300 pieces and grouped them into categories based on their technical and musical similarities. These categories turned into ten different levels with the pieces containing the simplest technical and musical attributes placed in Level 1 and the most difficult in Level 10. She has presented some of the results of this research at the 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the 2009 and 2011 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. Dissemination of this research has begun with her first method book on marimba pedagogy titled A Sequential Method for Four-Mallet Marimba, Level 1 published in the Fall of 2011. There are ten volumes planned for this series over the next several years that correspond to the ten different levels of marimba literature she has categorized.
Dr. Gaines has a twenty+ year history with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) beginning as the recipient of a Ludwig PASIC scholarship in 1987. She has been the Vice-President and President of the Missouri Chapter of PAS and hosted the MO PAS Day Of Percussion in 2003 (and will serve as the host in 2012 as well). She served 1½ terms on the International PAS Board of Directors before accepting a position as Secretary on the PAS Executive Committee beginning January of 2009. After this term, she remained on the Board of Directors and in August 2010, she became an Associate Editor for Percussive Notes, the official scholarly journal of PAS, with the primary responsibility of Review Editor.
Endorsed by Vic Firth Mallets and Sticks, Pearl/Adams Drums and Percussion, and Evans Drumheads, Gaines is also a member of MENC, MMEA, CMS, and Pi Kappa Lambda.