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Percussion 'Round the World

Using a world map, the audience is taken on a musical journey, traveling from country and country to explore various cultures through percussion instruments.

Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards

(A=Assembly; W=Workshop; R=Residency)

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts A, W, R

9.2 Historical & Cultural Contexts A, W, R

15.4 Learning Through Experience A, W, R

25.3 Pro-Social Relationships with Adults W, R

25.4 Pro-Social Relationships with Peers W, R

Art Form(s): Music

Genre: Multicultural

Instrument(s): Percussion (Various)

Assembly, Workshop, and Residency Offerings

Percussion 'Round the World Assembly

Using a world map, the audience is taken on a musical journey, traveling from country and country to explore various cultures. By way of the drum (one of the world’s earliest instruments) the ensemble takes the audience to places such as China, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil and countries in Africa.  Along the way, they learn the way some of the earliest percussion instruments were made, as well as the different materials present-day instruments are made of. The audience also learns how jazz and improvisation were born, and becomes able to distinguish between pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments.

Best for: K-8  •  Students with Disabilities  •  After-School/Community


Also available as a Workshop or Residency!

About the Artist

Featuring: Phil-A-Rhythm

Tom Blanchard (Ensemble Lead), Percussionist/Timpanist, was born in Fairfax, Virginia, and studied with members of the U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C.  He chose a career in music after being selected for the Young Apprentice Program of the National Symphony Orchestra in high school. Tom received music degrees from the University of Michigan and Temple University and has performed in 23 countries as well as multiple U.S. venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Walt Disney World, and the Pan-American Games.   


Tom has recorded on numerous labels such as Deutsche Grammophon and EMI, and he has been heard on NPR, CBS, The Today Show, and the Disney Channel.  Tom soloed with the Bogota (Colombia) Philharmonic, and appeared on QVC live television twice with pianist Giovanni.  

Currently, Tom performs with the Delaware, Harrisburg (PA), Reading (PA), Kennett (PA), Annapolis (MD), Lancaster (PA), Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and Chautauqua (NY) Symphony Orchestras, as well as Opera Delaware, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Ballet, and The Philly Pops. He has played with performing artists including Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Joshua Bell, Renee Fleming, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bernadette Peters, among others. Tom regularly performs, records, and tours with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including a concert for Pope Francis in Philadelphia in September 2015.

William Kerrigan has a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in music from Temple University. Kerrigan has performed throughout the world with Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, Shirley Bassey, Al Green, The Moody Blues, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Ben Vereen, Yes, The Manhattan Transfer, Luciano Pavarotti, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Naples Philharmonic, The American Ballet Theatre, The Houston Ballet, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Delaware, The Aspen Music Festival and many others. In addition to Phil-A-Rhythm, he is the Principal Percussionist/Assistant Timpanist of the Delaware Symphony, Principal Percussionist with the Philly Pops, Principal Percussionist with Orchestra 2001, and Timpanist at The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.


Stephen Tipping is a percussionist and educator in the Greater Philadelphia Region. He performs and teaches an extensive scope of musical genres, including the marching arts, classical percussion, jazz and pop drumset, and steel pan. Stephen has performed across the East Coast, Arizona, Europe, Israel, and Puerto Rico. He most recently performed with Philadelphia-based Philadelphia Pan Stars (Philly Pan Stars) at the 2016 Brooklyn Panorama, the second largest panorama competition in the world.


Stephen currently serves as Instructor of Percussion at Delaware State University (Dover, DE), Caption Head/Lead Percussion Arranger of perennial TOB Chapter 9 Champions Caesar Rodney High School Marching Band (Camden, DE), and is now Music Consultant with 2016 WGI Championship A-Class Finalist Aftermath Percussion (Lehigh Valley, PA) after two years serving as Bass Technician on their return to Finalist status. Stephen holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Music Performance from the University of Arizona.

Brenda Weckerly – Bio forthcoming

Joined Musicopia: 2001

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