Messiah students receive training in all areas of percussion throughout their time at the university. As it is expected that most students are stronger in some areas rather than others, instructors work hard to strike a balance between nurturing a student’s strengths while addressing areas of weakness.

We average anywhere from 8-11 undergraduate majors every year, with an even balance between Music Performance and Music Education majors.

In addition to the Percussion Ensemble, students have the opportunity to audition to perform in one of our large ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Symphonic Winds. Jazz Ensembles include Jazz I and II (by audition), as well as several small combos. Students also have the opportunity to perform in one of our small chamber ensembles as needed. In addition, students are consistently offered the opportunity to perform off-campus in professional orchestras and chamber groups.

No. However, Dr. Forst usually prefers to hear you play in order to properly evaluate your strengths for part-assignment purposes.

Those audition requirements and instructions for how to prepare them can be found here.

Ensemble Audition Repertoire

Guide for Preparing

We have several scholarships available to students through a highly competitive audition process. While there are none set aside specifically for percussion, these scholarships are available to all incoming music students, pending the results of the entrance audition. Read more information about scholarships

The required equipment list for all percussion majors at Messiah University can be found by clicking here. Please note that as a percussion major, it is expected that you will begin cultivating a large collection of instruments and implements so as to be prepared for any performing situation.

Absolutely! We typically have several non-majors taking lessons through a given school year, and we can work around your class schedule. Contact Dr. Forst at if interested.