Ian Riley


West Virginia University — Graduate Teaching Assistant, Percussion

MM (Houghton College), BMus (Houghton College), AS (Schenectady County Community College)

From upstate New York, Ian is a percussion performer, composer, and educator with a research interest in the intersection between contemporary trends in music for the percussionist, and the pedagogical implications this body of work should imply. 

Ian is currently pursuing his DMA in Percussion Performance at West Virginia University, studying with George Willis, Mike Vercell, and Brian Wolfe. Ian has earned an associate's degree in music performance with high honors from The School of Music at Schenectady County Community College in 2014, a bachelor's degree in Music Education with a concentration in music composition, and a master's degree in Percussion Performance from Houghton College in 2016 and 2018.

Ian has performed with a wide variety of professional ensembles in the upstate and western New York areas including The Southern Tier Symphony, The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, The Capital Region Wind Ensemble, MPB-3, and The Glove City Winds. Ian has had the opportunity to participate in orchestral, wind ensemble, percussion and jazz ensembles throughout his studies at SCCC, Houghton, and WVU. Furthermore, Ian has worked with various local high schools in presenting their annual musical theater productions, including Hello, Dolly!SeussicalThe Addams Family, and others. Ian is a founding staff member of the Mohonasen High School Indoor Percussion Theatre, and has worked with the front ensemble of the Mohonasen High School Marching Band.

Ian is a founding member of the VANGARDE percussion group, a variable-size ensemble of percussionists dedicated to the development of the contemporary percussion chamber ensemble. VANGARDE seeks to curate the cutting edge of repertoire for the contemporary percussion ensemble. Through research, composition, and performance, VANGARDE seeks to begin framing the foundation of this emerging genre, and to inquire after its implications, past, present, and future. Our goal is act as curators of contemporary music for percussion, and to embody a progressive collaboration of artists, performers and composers with the goal of establishing what will become the core repertoire for the percussion ensemble.