(Left to right) John Wittmann, director, Artist Relations and Education, Yamaha; Legacy in Education Award winner Bret Kuhn; Rick Young, SVP, Yamaha; Legacy in Education Award winner Steve Houghton.
BY ANDY DOERSCHUK
Yamaha presented the company’s Legacy in Education Awards to Steve Houghton and Bret Kuhn during last week’s annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC16), which was held in Indianapolis. The annual award recognizes distinguished Yamaha Artists and music educators for their extraordinary service to and impact on the field of music education.
“Steve Houghton and Bret Kuhn have each contributed immeasurably to the field of percussion as music educators and clinicians, and have influenced the careers of thousands of aspiring percussionists,” said John Wittmann, director, Artist Relations and Education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “During a lifetime of commitment to music education, they have earned respect from their peers as well as from the students who will become the artists and music educators of the future.”
Houghton currently serves as professor of percussion and jazz at Indiana University’s Jacobs School and Music and enjoys a demanding career as an internationally renowned clinician, jazz drummer, percussionist, author and educator. He is a skilled classical percussionist who performs with the Boston and Philadelphia Pops Orchestras and as a soloist around the globe. Houghton drew early acclaim at age 20 as the drummer with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, and has since performed with Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, Christian McBride, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown and many other jazz artists. He is a prolific author with a bibliography of more than 30 educational books, videos and DVDs, and a former president of the Percussive Arts Society.
Kuhn is a nationally prominent clinician, arranger and performing artist who is the percussion coordinator for the Prospect High School music program in Mt. Prospect, Illinois; an adjunct faculty member with Northern Illinois Marching Band; and a consultant with Arizona State’s Sun Devil Marching Band. He is active as a percussion arranger/clinician for numerous U.S. colleges and high schools and arranges for two of Japan’s top marching groups, Amachi from Nagoya and Vivace from Tokyo. Kuhn performed with the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band and marched with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. During his tenure as instructor for the Cavaliers, they won six World Championships and five High Percussion Awards. He has published numerous articles for Percussive Notes magazine and served on the Percussive Arts Society’s board of directors.
Each year PASIC, the world’s largest percussion convention, features the top names in drumming and percussion and draws more than 5,000 attendees from around the globe. Previous luminaries who have received the Yamaha Legacy in Education Awards at PASIC include James Campbell, Dave Samuels, Dave Weckl, Jim Petercsak and Bob Breithaupt, among many others.