Dr. Brian Graiser
Sam Houston State University
Dr. Brian S. Graiser is a contemporary percussionist, composer, and teacher, and currently serves as the Adjunct Instructor of Percussion and Marching Percussion Director at Sam Houston State University, where he teaches applied lessons and Percussion Methods and directs the SHSU University Percussion Ensemble and Bearkat Marching Band Drumline. His musical exploits are highly diverse, although he takes pride in being at the forefront of advocacy for extended-range vibraphone as a performer, composer, and researcher.
Originally from Marietta, Georgia, his performances have taken him up and down the U.S., Canada, Australia, Panama, France, Italy, and China. Recent performances of note include touring with the REFLECT harp+percussion duo, the world premiere of his Concerto No. 1 ("Lulu") for Four-Octave Vibraphone, and the world premiere of his From Nothing, Everything for solo vibraphone at the Festival Alfredo Saint Malo in Panama City, Panama. He has commissioned new works by several composers including Stuart Saunders Smith, Halim El-Dabh, John Serry, and Christien LeDroit, and has performed with groups such as the Cincinnati Chamber Opera, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Percussion Ensemble, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and many others. Recently, Brian has been a featured soloist with groups such as the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati Collaborative Ringing Project, and the PAS-Panama Summer Percussion Ensemble. Brian is one half of the REFLECT harp+percussion duo along with his wife Alaina, and is also a member of the Arasmas Percussion Group and the CCM Contemporary Chamber Quartet.
Brian is no less active as a composer; he has written works for the PAS-Panama Summer Percussion Ensemble, the TorQ Percussion Quartet, the Toronto Youth Wind Ensemble, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble, the University of Georgia Percussion Ensemble and Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble, and a number of artists across the U.S. and Canada. Brian currently serves on the Composition Committee for the Percussive Arts Society.
As a clinician, Brian has presented on a wide range of topics such as Vibraphone History and Repertoire, Introduction to American Drumline, Composing for Harp and/or Percussion, the Percussion Works of Franco Donatoni, and more. Recently, Brian presented clinics and masterclasses at the Universidad de Panama/Instituto Nacional de Musica, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Jacksonville State University, and the University of Tennessee.
Prior to his appointment at SHSU, Brian served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Cincinnati, where he directed the Cincinnati Youth Percussion Collective, taught applied lessons through the College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department, and coached the percussion section of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble (whom he accompanied on their Summer 2016 Australia Tour). Other teaching experiences include earlier Graduate Teaching Assistantships at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto, teaching the general music classes at the Leaves of Learning K-12 school in Cincinnati, and serving as the classroom teacher and program director of the Oconee County High School (GA) percussion program from 2005-2008.
Brian earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance at CCM, having studied with Allen Otte, Jim Culley, and Rusty Burge. He holds his MM degree in performance from the University of Toronto and his BMus degrees in composition and performance from the University of Georgia, having studied with Russell Hartenberger, Beverley Johnston, John Rudolph, Tony McCutchen, Arvin Scott, Leonard Ball, and Adrian Childs. He has also received significant additional compositional training from Michael Colgrass, Stuart Saunders Smith, and Christos Hatzis.
Brian is an endorser of Salyers Percussion and Dream Cymbals and Gongs, and is also the proud owner of a DeMorrow 4-octave vibraphone. His compositions are available through Keyboard Percussion Publications, Alfonce Productions, and self-publication (distributed through Frontier Percussion).