Bios

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Diana Loomer

Dr. Diana Loomer is an active percussionist and music educator. She has a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.M. from Indiana University and a B.M. from Appalachian State University in Percussion Performance. 

 

Currently, Diana is teaching and performing in the Asheville, NC area. She is a percussion instructor at Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University. Diana is also the director of the "Steely Pan Steel Band" at Appalachian State University. Previously, she was the director of the UT Steel Band, "The Pans of Texas", and the Indiana University Steel Band.

 

Diana was a front ensemble instructor for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016 and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017. She was the timpanist for the Boston Crusaders from 2010-12, and has since developed a passion for "Melodic Timpani" playing. She is working to expand both the potential of the instrument, as well as the repertoire for this new field with her "Melodic Timpani Project".

Diana has performing experience in many different areas of percussion. She has performed with the Western Piedmont Symphony, Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony, and Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. She has an extensive background in world percussion, including steel pan, tabla, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African percussion. She is a current member of Zabumba Asheville Samba, and a former member of the Austin Samba School, Maracatu Texas, and the Inside Out Community Steelband. 

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Morgan Tao

Morgan Tao is currently a freelance performer and teacher in several programs across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has a M.M. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he was a Teaching Assistant and taught the UT Steel Band. He holds a B.A. in Music Studies with a performance certificate from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Morgan has an extensive background in education and marching arts, having taught and given master classes all over the greater Austin area. He was a member of the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps from 2015-16. He has instructed many front ensembles including Travis High School, LBJ High School, McCallum High School, Alvin High School, and McNeil High School.

 

Morgan has a passion for chamber music, both in teaching percussion ensembles and also performing. He is a founding member of the Cue Percussion Quartet, based in Knoxville, TN, as well as the Left/Right Percussion Quartet in Austin, TX. 

 

In addition to his classical percussion background, Morgan has an eclectic passion for world music. He devoted the majority of a summer  to studying gyil, the West African xylophone, and West African drum and dance in Ghana. He has been a member of Austin Samba, the world’s largest samba school outside of Brazil, and currently is a member of Zabumba Asheville Samba in NC. He has also performed regularly with "The Pans of Texas", and the Inside Out Community Steelband in Austin, TX.