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Percussion Studio – Sean Dowgray
The percussion program at UAF cultivates versatile, creative musicians through focused experiences in solo, chamber, and large ensemble performances, as well as intensive individual study with the percussion faculty. The program curriculum mirrors national standards in instrumental and technical proficiency while simultaneously adapting to suit the interests and needs of each percussion major. UAF features a variety of performing ensembles, including two dedicated percussion ensembles (Ensemble 64.8 and World Beat) that cover a wide range of percussive genres, styles, and history, as well as large ensembles such as the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, the percussion facilities are outfitted to meet all percussive needs, home to a myriad of professional-grade instruments and four dedicated percussion practice rooms. UAF percussionists also enjoy extra-curricular opportunities to perform in a variety of other professional organizations, such as the Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and the Northern Exposure New Music Festival, among others.
If you're interested in pursuing any level of percussion studies at UAF, please don't hesitate to contact us! Thank you for your interest in our program.
Sean Dowgray is a classical percussionists specializing in modern and contemporary music. Currently a doctoral candidate at UC San Diego, Dowgray has worked with every established music organization in the San Diego area including the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, red fish blue fish percussion ensemble, Palimpsest new music ensemble, RENGA, San Diego New Music, Art of Élan, the La Jolla Music Society. Furthermore, Dowgray has appeared on multiple occasions with Los Angeles’ preeminent new music series Monday Evening Concerts, the WasteLAnd New Music Series, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight Series, and with the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players. Dowgray has been an active performer throughout the United States, having performed with members of the International Contemporary Music Ensemble and having appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, the DiMenna Center, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and Harvard’s Institute for Advanced Learning.
As a soloist, Dowgray has focused extensively on works that stretch the technical and expressive capabilities of both instrument and performer. This includes the work of Jason Eckardt, Josh Levine, Daniel Tacke, Salvatore Sciarrino, Lewis Nielson, David Lang, Christopher Adler, Brian Ferneyhough, Luciano Berio, Richard Barrett, and most recently Ylva Lund Bergner. Dowgray has been featured as a soloist at the Oberlin Percussion Institute, the Percussive Art Society International Convention (PASIC), the WasteLAnd New Music Series, Harvard’s Institute for Advanced Learning, the University of Arizona, the SoundON New Music Festival, and Eureka! Musical Minds of California.
Dowgray is a proponent of creative collaborations which have resulted in recent musical works by Daniel Tacke (Vorrücken and einsamkeit), Josh Levine (Shrinking world/expanding and Les yeux ouverts) as well as new chamber works by Justin Murphy-Mancini (Sic itur ad astra) and Lydia Winsor Brinadmour (As if, sand). In the recent past, Dowgray has collaborated closely with composers including Jürg Frey (Garden of Transparency), Christopher Adler (Strata), Ioannis Mitsialis (Machine Mode), Lewis Nielson (Where Ashes Make the Flowers Grow and NOVA), and James Wood (Cloud Polyphonies).
As a creative researcher, Dowgray focuses primarily on explorations of sound that are heedful of the physical world and pursue aspects of the other in music ⏤ that is, the incorporation of sounds and/or techniques previously excluded from the musical domain. Furthermore, ancient theories of sonority and their fractured relationships with contemporary artistic trends as well as the emergence of time and the means by which bodies move through it⏤both individually and collectively⏤are of particular interest.
Dowgray is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy where he studied with John Alfieri, the Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.) where studied with Michael Rosen, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (M.M.) where he studied with Dr. Morris Palter.