Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


April 4, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.




In honor of Fred Begun, principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra

de Laski Instrumental Hall, Room 3001, Fairfax Campus

Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 8 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., April 4, 2012 – George Mason University’s School of Music is pleased to announce the Percussion Ensemble Concert on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 8 p.m. This concert is being performed in honor of Fred Begun, who served as principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra for 48 years. The concert will be held in the de Laski Instrumental Hall, Room 3001 on the Fairfax Campus, immediately following the dedication of the Fred Begun Percussion Studio.

Under the direction of John Kilkenny, School of Music professor and coordinator of the percussion program, the Mason Percussion Ensemble will perform a fantastic program that features a collection of exciting works for percussion instruments, including “Mass,” a work commissioned by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, and a Timpani Concerto performed by Kilkenny as soloist.

After graduating from the Juilliard School, Fred Begun was awarded the principal timpani chair of the National Symphony Orchestra, a position that he held from 1951 to 1999. Throughout his illustrious career, Begun has performed under the batons of Mitchell, Copland, Dorati, Rostropovich, Slatkin, Bernstein, Stokowski and Stravinksy, among many others. He also holds the unique distinction of having performed four world premiere concerto performances with the NSO; each work was written exclusively for him. An inspiring teacher, he taught at the Peabody Institute for many years and has presented master classes and music clinics throughout the world. Kilkenny has had a long professional relationship with Begun, who has taught numerous timpani master classes at Mason throughout the years.

Through the generous support of Begun’s friends and colleagues, Mason has established the Fred Begun Percussion Scholarships and dedicated the percussion studio in the School of Music in his name. Begun is also donating his library – featuring timpani parts and scores, many autographed by renowned conductors and composers, all with his original markings – to Mason’s Fenwick Library.

This event is free/non-ticketed and open to the public. For more information about this performance or other School of Music performances and activities, please visit or call 703-993-1380.


Please Note: The School of Music is currently accepting donations toward the Fred Begun Percussion Scholarship Fund. For more information about the fund and donation procedures, please contact Kate Leeds-Brody at or (703) 993-4749.


About the College of Visual and Performing Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.



About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.