Introducing our newest instructor, Troy Kunkler! Troy studied percussion at Ohio University, and teaches everything from drum set to marimba. He’s been playing since 6th grade, and is excited to work with students of all ages and skill levels. Read below for more info. Welcome, Troy! <!--break-->
When did you first playing drums? Can you tell me a bit about your background and education in music?
I started playing percussion in 6th grade. Gradually, I became more and more interested in music, particularly after seeing performances by my high school's marching band and jazz bands. My freshman year of high school, I was kind of thrown into the position of playing vibraphone in my school's top jazz band. This presented me with the challenges of learning to hold and play with 4 mallets and learning to read "fake" music/chord symbols. I would stay after school and experiment with the vibraphone and with harmonies.
Later on that year, I got my first drum kit. My jazz director helped me find a private teacher. I studied total percussion with a university student (now music educator), Brian McGee, for two years. When he moved away, he reccomended me to his former teacher, Guy Remonko, Professor Emeritus of Percussion at Ohio University. Lessons with Guy really solidified my love for jazz and drum set. I went on to study Percussion at Ohio University under the tutelage of Roger Braun and Dr. Joey VanHassel. At OU, I was exposed to an amazing variety of music and instruments, an experience for which I am forever grateful.
Who is your favorite musician?
Picking favorites is always tough... So, I'm just going to say Dave King is my favorite musician. He's certainly in the top 5, at least. King is the drummer (and, in some cases, bandleader) for a number of bands, including: The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Dave King Trucking Co., and Golden Valley is Now. For me, Dave King is one of the most unique, individualistic drummers around today, a true iconoclast.
What are some of your hobbies and non-work activities?
Aside from music-related activities, I really enjoy film, literature, visual art, good food (and coffee), hiking, and traveling.