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Julia Gaines

Julia GainesDirector, School of Music
DMA, University of Oklahoma
office: 140 Fine Arts Building
phone: 573-882-2606
fax: 573-884-7444
mailing address: 140 Fine Arts Building, Columbia, MO 65211

Dr. Julia Gaines joined the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Missouri in 1996 and is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Percussion Studies.  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 D.M.A. 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 of the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fox Valley Symphony, and the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.  She also has a history in drum corps culminating as a member of the 1989 Santa Clara Vanguard front ensemble.

She was selected to perform at PASIC 2004 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 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 on the objective grading of four-mallet marimba literature has led to presentations at the 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the 2009 and 2011 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy.

Dr. Gaines has been a member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for twenty+ years. She has been the Vice-President and President of the Missouri Chapter of PAS and hosted the MOPAS Day Of Percussion in 2003 and 2012. She has served on the PAS International Board of Directors and as Secretary of the Executive Committee. Currently, she is an Associate Editor for Percussive Notes, the scholarly journal of PAS, with the primary responsibility of Review Editor.

Her interest in commissioning new, intermediate four-mallet marimba music as well as her passion for helping teachers recently led her to another stage in her career. In 2007, she began the process of creating a matrix from which to objectively analyze the technical and musical attributes of a four-mallet marimba piece. After three years of revising this matrix, she now has a large number of pieces organized into ten pedagogically sequential levels. Sequential Studies for Four-Mallet Marimba – Level 1 is Dr. Gaines’ first book published as a result of this research. She is currently working on Book 2 of this series. More information about these books and research can be found at

Dr. Gaines proudly endorses Vic Firth Mallets and Sticks, Pearl/
Adams Drums and Percussion, Evans Drumheads, and Sabian Cymbals.

Percussion Studies website