Marimba Competition



Saturday, April 28  |  8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Open to middle school, high school, and college-aged students.

Participant Solos must fit with a five-minute time slot for Middle/High School, and seven-minute for Collegiate level.


Competition Registration fee: $25.00




*Winners of the competition are announced at the evening concert (Patron Event).

Winners will be asked to perform again on in the winners showcase at 7 p.m.




Festival Schedule


8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Solo Marimba Competition


12:15-1:00 p.m.
Marimba orchestra rehearsal with Jeff Moore

Red Room/Lunch concessions available 


1:15 p.m.
Double Helix – performed by Dr. Joe Moore and Rosalinda Ramirez


1:20 p.m.
UTRGV Percussion


2:00 p.m.
Novus Percutere Clinic
Blue Room


3:00 p.m.
Local Performances


3:30 p.m.
Jeff Moore's session
Red Room 


4:30 p.m.
Tom Nevill’s session with UTRGV Marimba Reyna del Valle
Red Room


5:30-6:30 p.m.
Dinner (concessions available)/Improv session


7:00 p.m.
Guest artist concert and closing performances








Dr. Joe Moore III, DMA

Assistant Professor of Percussion

(956) 882-8244





Guest Artist Clinics and Concerts by:




Novus Percutere

Dr. Justin Alexander, Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Luis Rivera, University of South Alabama


Clinic Session at 2:00 p.m. in the Blue Room


Solo Concert 7 p.m.

To purchase your tickets, click here.




Dr. Tom Nevill

Dean of Arts and Digital Media, Austin Community College


Presentation on "The Marimbas of Chiapas" followed by a performance with UTRGV Marimba Reyna del Valle
Clinic Session at 4:30 p.m. in the Red Room





Jeffrey Moore

Dean of Arts and Humanities, University of Central Florida


"The Gordon Peters Chamber Music Library for Marimba Ensemble"
assisted by the UTRGV Marimba Ensemble
Clinic Session at 4:30 p.m. in the Red Room




About UTRGV Marimba Festival Guest Artists and Clinicians



Novus Percutere


Dr. Justin Alexander

Justin Alexander is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches applied lessons, percussion methods and techniques, world musical styles, and directs the VCU Percussion Ensemble. A dynamic and versatile percussionist, Justin has performed throughout the United States and the world, with recent performances in Australia, Sweden, Costa Rica, and The Dominican Republic.


A dedicated chamber musician, Justin is co-founder of The AarK Duo, with flutist Tabatha Easley, and Novus Percutere, with percussionist Luis Rivera. Novus Percutere’s recent release, symmetry | reflection, focuses on percussion process music and the chamber works of the UK composer Steve Gisby. The AarK Duo has enjoyed several high-profile performances, including the College Music Society’s International Conference and the National Flute Association’s National Conference. They recently finished recording their debut CD, which features new compositions for flute and percussion by Valerie Coleman, Marco Alunno, Michael Burritt, and John Griffin, and will be released Fall 2016. Justin can also be heard as a guest soloist on the recently-released Volume 3 by The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and the upcoming John Psathas Percussion Project disc, Volume 1. Active in the orchestral world, Justin regularly performs with The Richmond Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, and will be principal percussionist for the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival Orchestra in Wintergreen, VA for the 2016 season. He is also a member of gamelan raga kusuma in Richmond. 

As a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Justin has published articles in Percussive Notes, the official research journal of the Percussive Arts Society, and currently serves on the University Pedagogy Committee. He presided as chair of the PAS University Committee from 2009-2012.


Justin holds the Doctor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from The Florida State University. His primary teachers include Dr. John W. Parks IV, Dr. Blake Tyson, and Prof. Leon Anderson. He is proudly endorsed by Pearl / Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Remo, Inc. 


Dr. Luis Rivera

Dr. Luis C. Rivera (b. 1983) serves as Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of South Alabama teaching applied lessons, the USA Percussion Ensemble, the Jaguar Drumline, the USA Steel Band, and the World Music Ensemble.  He is originally from Orlando, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida under the direction of Jeff Moore and Kirk Gay.  While at UCF, Dr. Rivera was a Presser Foundation Scholar and the winner of the UCF Music Department’s Performance Excellence Competition (2004).  He holds a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina, under the direction of Dr. Scott Herring and Jim Hall, where he was a graduate Teaching Assistant, director of the Palmetto Pans Steel Drum Ensemble, and winner of the USC Concerto Competition performing Emmanuel Séjourné’s, Concerto pour Vibraphone et Orchestre à Cordes.  In 2012 he received the Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Florida State University, studying under Dr. John W. Parks IV, where he was a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.  Dr. Rivera is a published composer/arranger through Alfred Music, Bachovich Publications, Tapspace Publications, self-publishes various classical arrangements, and has scholarly works published with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) journals Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene.  He also serves on the PAS Composition Committee.   

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Rivera is an active performer and educator across the United States.  He currently performs as a percussionist with the Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and Pensacola Symphony Orchestras.  Dr. Rivera is an active adjudicator in the Gulf Coast marching band and indoor drumline circuits for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and has served as a clinician at the Alabama Day of Percussion, Alabama Music Educators Association In-State Conference, and several universities around the nation.  He has been a featured recording artist on several albums released through Garnet House Productions including Adam Silverman: Percussion Music (2014), Firefish: The Music of Blake Tyson (2014), The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, Volume 1 (2010), Volume 2 (2013) and Volume 3: Ten Windows (2015), and The Gaia Theory (2012) released through Rattle Records in New Zealand.  His arrangements and compositions, including The Fairy GardenEvergreen, and Pascal’s Motor Rhythms, have also been included on various studio albums.  Dr. Rivera is also one half of a percussion duo with Dr. Justin Alexander called Novus Percutere, releasing their debut album symmetry | reflection through Synced Up Designs in 2015.  The duo is committed to commissioning new works for percussion as well as promoting contemporary music through master classes and recitals around the globe.

As part of the FSU Percussion Ensemble, Dr. Rivera performed on a national tour and showcase concert for the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis.  Two of the selections on the program were his arrangements of Maurice Ravel's, “The Fairy Garden” from The Mother Goose Suite, and The First Circle by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays (first arranged by Steve McDonald and Michael Kingan).  Since then Dr. Rivera has been a featured arranger or performer at PASIC from 2011 through 2014.  He also has taken the USA Percussion Ensemble to compete in the Concert Chamber Percussion Ensemble Competition at PASIC 2014 and 2015 where they earned Second Place in the Collegiate Division both years.  

Dr. Rivera was also involved with Drum Corps International for ten years.  He performed as a snare drummer with Magic of Orlando (2002-2003) and the Madison Scouts (2004), served as a snare drum technician with Carolina Crown (2005-2006), a snare drum technician and marching instructor with the Boston Crusaders (2007-2011), and as the Front Ensemble Coordinator and Supervisor for the 2013 Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.  Dr. Rivera is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, Grover Percussion, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.




Dr. Tom Nevill

Dr. Tom Nevill is the founding Dean of Arts and Digital Media at Austin Community College in Austin, TX.  This is a brand new division at the college that aligns programs in Art; Creative Writing; Dance; Drama; Jewelry; Game Design, Animation, & Motion Graphics; Music; Music Business, Technology & Performance; Professional Photography; Radio, Television, & Film; and Visual Communication.


Dr. Nevill was recently the Dean of Arts & Humanities at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and the Division Chair (Dean) of Business, Creative & Performing Arts at  Guilford Technical Community College | GTCC from June 2015 to February 2017 in Jamestown, North Carolina and was formerly at University of Texas at Brownsville from August 2004 to June 2013 where he was Associate Professor of Music / Director of Percussion Studies.

He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Nevill is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society and served as Chair of the PAS Scholarly Research Committee from 2007 to 2009.  He is an artist/clinician for Evans Drumheads, Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, SABIAN Cymbals and a member of the Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets Education Team.  He remains active throughout the United States and Mexico as a performer, clinician, educator and scholar.




Jeffrey Moore

Jeffrey M. Moore is the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and a Professor of Music (Percussion) at the University of Central Florida.  Prior to his role as Dean, he served as the founding Director of the School of Performing Arts and Chair of the Music Department.  Receiving his appointment to the music faculty in 1994, Professor Moore’s instructional duties include teaching applied percussion majors, the Percussion Ensemble, and the Marimba Band. 


Active in all facets of percussion, he has performed with several major symphony orchestras and is a frequent performer of chamber music. He also performs on drum set, and is an international clinician, lecturer, and soloist. He is a contributing author to the third edition of Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook and has published two method book and CD packages entitled Fundamental Drumstick Control and Drumstick Control with Alfred publications. He served as an Associate Editor of Percussive Notes and is currently on the Board of Advisors for the Percussive Arts Society.  In addition, he currently serves on the Boards of the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, the Orlando Philharmonic and A Gift for Music.


Jeff served as the Percussion Director of the internationally acclaimed Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and as Program Consultant/Percussion Arranger with several European, Japanese, Thai, and Indonesian drum corps and bands.


Jeff is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician, and endorses Paiste cymbal, sounds, and gongs. Professor Moore also endorses Salyers Percussion, Remo Drum Heads, and Latin Percussion.