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Mason named KMEA music educator of the year

Dr. Brian S. MasonMorehead State University’s Dr. Brian S. Mason, professor of music and coordinator of the percussion studies program, has been named the 2018 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) College/University Teacher of the Year.

KMEA is a professional music educators' organization consisting of more than 2,000 members dedicated to music education in Kentucky. Mason will be recognized with the award at the KMEA General Assembly and State Awards Presentation Ceremony held as part of the group's conference on Friday, Feb. 9, in Louisville. Nominated by his peers, the award recognizes Mason's service and contributions to music education in Kentucky.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my home state for such a prestigious award. But the real reward in all of this is knowing that my students go on to impact others in positive ways and become contributing members of the teaching and music profession,” said Mason.

He was the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Service Award (2015) and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boyle County High School (2017). Apart from his contributions to music education at the university level, Mason also is a highly respected innovator of the contemporary marching percussion ensemble. His career in the Drum Corps International activity spanned more than two decades, claiming two World Championships and three High Percussion titles, along with many other awards and honors during his tenure with the Cavaliers (1987-96), Yamato (1997-99), Phantom Regiment (1998-2002) and the Santa Clara Vanguard (2006-10).

 He also serves as a member of the Winter Guard International Percussion Judge team, one of the most highly regarded rosters of adjudicators in the marching arts. In high demand as a clinician, performer, arranger, composer, and adjudicator, Mason has appeared throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico, and his compositions have been performed around the world. He directs the percussion ensembles, MSU Steel and the award-winning marching percussion ensemble, featured on the instructional video series Marching Percussion 101. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society Board of Advisors, Immediate past president of the PAS KY Chapter, Associate Principal Percussion with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Percussion for the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, and appears as a guest artist with high school and university percussion ensembles across the U.S.

Mason received his D.M.A. and B.M. degrees as a student of James B. Campbell at the University of Kentucky and his M.M. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a student of Dr. Dean Gronemeier. Mason has published articles in Percussive Notes, has been interviewed in Modern Drummer and Band and Orchestra Magazine, and co-authored the 2000 Modern Drummer Readers Poll's "No. 1 Drum Set Method Book," The Commandments of R&B Drumming (Warner Brothers).

 He is a performing artist for Mapex DrumsMajestic PercussionVic Firth sticks and malletsZildjian cymbalsEvans drumheadsBlack Swamp Percussion, and Etymotic Hearing Protection, and his original works are published through Row-Loff Productions, Bachovich Music Publications and Tap Space Publications.

Additional information is available by contacting Mason at 606-783-2402 or visit