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Mr. Gary Phillips
|Teaching Interests:||Percussion, African Drumming
World Music, Musical Lyrics and Life
Gary Phillips’ background covers a wide range of the percussion field. In the early years of his career, he focused on marching percussion, instructing and arranging for a top 10 DCI Drum Corps as well as several major university marching bands, including the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Additionally, he has performed extensively as a jazz and commercial percussionist in small jazz and rock ensembles as well as in big bands and numerous shows and reviews.
While an undergraduate student at West Virginia University studying with Professor Philip J. Faini, he was introduced to the percussion music of Africa, which became a major focus of his graduate research and performing interest.
He specializes in the xylophone music of West Africa and has made two research trips to the Republic of Guinea and Bamako, Mali, to study the balaphone music of the Malinke people. His teachers were Jali Djimo Kouyate of Washington, D.C.; Namankoumka Kouyate of Niagassola, Guinea.
Phillips has been teaching at FSU since 2009, and his courses have included: Music of Africa and Asia, and Music Lyrics and Life an interdisciplinary course in Music.