Mr. Jake Harpster

Director of Percussion
Symphonic Orchestra

Jake Harpster currently holds the position of Percussionist/Assistant Principal Timpanist for The United States Army Concert Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. 

As a performer, Harpster is known for his diverse background. In the Broadway idiom, Harpster has presented concerts across the globe. He was the featured marimba soloist and percussionist of the Tony and Emmy award-winning production “BLAST.” With this show, he toured the United States, South Korea, and all forty seven prefectures in Japan. As a soloist and chamber musician, Harpster has won many awards and international competitions, and has presented concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.  An enthusiast of contemporary music, he is actively commissioning and premiering many new works each year.  Prior to his post in The United States Army Band, he served as a Percussionist in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and held the AACA Timpani Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival.  

As an educator, Harpster has taught many notable ensembles and schools across the country.  Prior to his position in Washington DC with TCSYO, Harpster taught  the percussionists of the DCI World Champion, and Fred Sanford Percussion Award-winning Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.  He has also instructed at the University of North Texas, Coppell High School (Coppell, TX), Center Grove High School (Indianapolis, IN), and Marian Catholic High School (Chicago, IL), among many others.  

Harpster received his Master of Music in Percussion Performance with related-field work in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of North Texas. He served as a Teaching Fellow throughout his graduate studies. He received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Upon graduating from IU, Harpster was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate.

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