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“Trying” by David Skidmore


“Trying” by David Skidmore

Performed by Third Coast Percussion

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Robert van Sice Signature (M113)

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Medium soft. A general mallet that covers the lower four octaves of the marimba.


Ensemble Series (M154)

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Medium hard. A fine choice for the top third register. Also a fine choice for legato “lead line” playing. No latex cover.


David Skidmore is a percussionist, composer, and musical entrepreneur. David is a dedicated advocate for the music of our time, having commissioned, premiered, and performed dozens of new works by many of the great composers of the 20th and 21st century.

In 2005, David co-founded Third Coast Percussion, an ensemble that has performed hundreds of concerts across the country, presents an annual concert season at home in Chicago, teaches musicians of all ages and experience levels, and has commissioned dozens of new works by composers including David T. Little, Marcos Balter, Ted Hearne, Timo Andres, Glenn Kotche and Augusta Read Thomas. Called “vibrant” and “superb” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, Third Coast Percussion was named Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in 2013.

David was the percussionist with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble from 2007 to 2011, and has been a member of New York-based chamber orchestra Ensemble Signal since 2007. David served for 2 years as a fellow in the Academy – a Program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute. Through this fellowship, David performed concerts in Carnegie Hall and other venues throughout New York City, and he was a teaching artist in residence at a public school in Ozone Park, Queens.

David has performed and collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians including conductors Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, and Michael Tilson Thomas, composers Augusta Read Thomas, Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, and Peter Eötvos, and chamber ensemble eighth blackbird. David has performed as a soloist in Europe, Asia, and the United States. David has also performed as a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Pacific Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

David’s compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and universities across the country. In 2011, his multi-movement work Common Patterns in Uncommon Times was commissioned from Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Sidney K.

Robinson to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Taliesin, home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. In May of 2007 his piece, Unknown Kind, was premiered at Carnegie Hall. He has also received commissions from the Rush Hour Concert Series in Chicago, and leading percussion soloists and pedagogues including Mark Ford (University of North Texas), Dr. John Parks (Florida State University), Omar Carmenates (Furman University), Dr. T. Adam Blackstock (Troy University), and Peter Martin. David was awarded 1st prize in the 2005 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest and 2nd prize in the 2004 contest.

David taught for four years on the percussion faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, from 2009 to 2013. He currently resides in Chicago where he works full-time as a performer and Executive Director with Third Coast Percussion.

David received the Bachelor of Music degree from the Northwestern University School of Music and the Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. His teachers have included Robert Van Sice, Michael Burritt, James Ross, Paul Wertico, and Michael Hernandez.


Praised by Time Out Chicago for “chops, polish, and youthful joy in performing,” Third Coast Percussion uses an impressive array of percussion instruments to create a performance experience like no other. With exceptional talent and dedicated artistry, this “sonically spectacular” (Chicago Tribune) quartet combines the driving intensity of drums, the beautiful warmth of marimbas and vibraphones, and the surprisingly exotic sounds of everyday objects to make music that is playful, memorable and profound. In performances around the country, the Chicago-based ensemble has swiftly gained national attention for effortlessly combining the energy of a rock concert with the precision and sophistication of classical chamber music.

Third Coast Percussion presents concerts for all audiences, from the percussion novice to the contemporary music aficionado. Third Coast has introduced percussion music to chamber music series in Chicago (Rush Hour Concerts, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center), Virginia (Garth Newel Music Center), Pennsylvania (Dickinson College), and Wisconsin (Taliesin), securing immediate invitations to return to each of these series. TCP has also championed some of the most formidable repertoire for percussion including the music of Luciano Berio, Philippe Manoury, Wolfgang Rihm, Louis Andriessen, Martin Bresnick, George Crumb, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Frederick Rzewski, Toru Takemitsu, Tan Dun, and Iannis Xenakis. The ensemble is constantly adding new works to this already expansive repertoire.

Third Coast Percussion also has the distinction of being the only professional percussion ensemble in the country to self-present a full season of concert percussion music. In their hometown of Chicago, the group performs 4 to 5 concerts each season. The ensemble is dedicated to performing the greatest concert percussion music alongside lesser-known and rarely performed master pieces.

Highlights of the upcoming 2011-12 season include a major focus on the percussion music of John Cage in celebration of his centenary in 2012, and an exploration of the relationship between percussion and architecture through a new commissioned piece from ensemble member David Skidmore, in commemoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. Third Coast is also active in developing new works. Future premieres include commissioned works by Glenn Kotche and Augusta Read Thomas.

The members of Third Coast Percussion—Owen Clayton Condon, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore—hold degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Rutgers University.

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