Third Coast Percussion to Reach Students and Community Members with Virtual Residency

In mid-October, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Center for the Arts welcome the Grammy® Award-winning Third Coast Percussion as the first virtual Mason Artist-In-Residence for the 2020-2021 season. As previously announced, this initiative—along with most of the College’s and Center’s programming for Fall 2020—has shifted online due to the ongoing pandemic. Nonetheless, this unexpected yet necessary pivot allows Third Coast Percussion and other Artists-In-Residence to engage with the Mason community in varied and meaningful ways, while also connecting with audiences beyond the campus and the Northern Virginia area.

“We are so lucky to be working with such an innovative ensemble who is embracing these challenging times and circumstances,” said Adrienne Bryant Godwin, Director of Programming at George Mason University’s CVPA. “Thanks to their flexibility and creativity, we are able to continue serving our community in new and exciting ways!”

Based in Chicago, Third Coast Percussion is a percussion quartet whose members are committed to redefining the classical music experience. The ensemble accomplishes this mission through exploration and experimentation in music-making, the commissioning of new arrangements and works, and extensive touring across the nation and abroad. Its members have been praised for offering “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances and for exuding “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune).

Third Coast Percussion’s virtual residency at Mason will provide students a glimpse into the group’s unique approach to building a music career, as well as complement their learning through digital masterclasses and in-depth discussions. The ensemble will also amplify its outreach to the community through online programs designed for school-aged youth and adults, partnering with over 15 schools and organizations across Fairfax and Manassas.

Third Coast Percussion Executive Director and ensemble member, David Skidmore, shared the following regarding the collaboration, “we are so grateful to George Mason University for being creative and proactive in finding new ways to connect with their students and audiences during this unprecedented time. Third Coast Percussion is so excited to engage with this community!”

The following events are part of Third Coast Percussion’s month-long virtual residency:

Mason Student Masterclasses
Monday, October 19 and Wednesday, October 21 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Digital masterclasses between Mason School of Music percussion students on-campus in Fairfax, VA and Third Coast Percussion members from their studio in Chicago, IL.
Private livestream for Mason students only.

Community Lecture-Demonstration
Friday, October 30 at 2 p.m. ET
Closed webinar for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, and Lifelong Learning Institute-Manassas.
Registration required via Zoom.

Mason Arts at Home: Discussion on Entrepreneurship in the Arts
Tuesday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Moderated conversation about innovation during the era of COVID-19 and endeavoring to create opportunities for more diverse representation in music composition and performance.
Free and open to the general public via the Center for the Arts’ website, YouTube and Facebook.

Virtual Field Trips
Throughout October and November
Instructional video session created specifically for middle and high school students in Fairfax County Public Schools, Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas City Schools, and Manassas Park City Schools; this experience also provides an opportunity for questions to be submitted and answered by the ensemble as a supplement to their virtual learning.
Private link available to educators who signed up in advance.

Note: These activities are made possible in part through an NCC Akron Satellite Residency.

To learn more about Third Coast Percussion, including their commissioning projects and performance schedule, visit More information about the Mason Artist-In-Residence Program can be found at

The Grammy Award-winning percussion ensemble Third Coast Percussion kicks off their time as Virtual Mason Artists-in-Residence.