Erik Forst joins the faculty of Messiah College in 2013 as Assistant Professor of Percussion after having been active as a performer, educator, and clinician in the State of Georgia for over 15 years. In addition to his duties at Messiah, he also serves as the Principal Percussionist with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Messiah College, Mr. Forst served as the Director of Percussion at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, GA, where his duties included directing the Pride of Mill Creek Drum Line, Mill Creek Indoor Percussion, Concert Percussion Ensemble, as well as organizing and directing the 2009 and 2010 Mill Creek/Georgia Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion. Mr. Forst's ensembles achieved success at both the local and national level, being named Regional Finalist at both Winter Guard International and Bands of America competitions.
Prior to his appointment at Mill Creek, Mr. Forst served as the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Percussion at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, GA. While at South Gwinnett, his duties included directing the Symphonic Band, Drum Line, Indoor Drum Line, Percussion Ensemble, Spring Musical, and the 2008 South Gwinnett Day of Percussion. He was also a founding member of the Southern Association for Performance Arts (SAPA), where he served as Vice President for Percussion for two years and Percussion Member-at-Large for one year. While on the executive board for SAPA, Mr. Forst’s duties included organizing indoor marching percussion competitions all over the state of Georgia and maintaining a healthy membership.
Mr. Forst is currently a candidate for the degree Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Performance from the University of Georgia, where is a student of Mr. Timothy Adams, Jr., and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. His duties at UGA included teaching private lessons, Percussion Methods, assisting with the Percussion Ensemble, and directing percussion activities for the UGA Summer Music Workshop. He earned his Master’s Degree (M.M.) in Percussion Performance from the University of Kansas in 2005, where he was a student of Kevin Bobo and directed the Marching Jayhawks Drum Line, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education (B.M.U.S) from the University of Georgia in 2003, where he studied with Dr. Thomas McCutchen and was the Front Ensemble instructor for the Redcoat Marching Band.
Mr. Forst is an active performer and clinician for Vic Firth sticks and mallets and Evans drum heads. He currently resides in Mechanicsburg, PA with his wife, Amanda, and two children, Phoebe and Elijah.