Having joined the University of Houston faculty in August 1997, percussionist and composer Blake Wilkins is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the Moores School of Music. Prior to coming to UH he served as Visiting Instructor of Percussion at the University of Oklahoma. He also served as percussionist and substitute principal timpanist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic through 1993-97, and was a member of the Oklahoma Panhandlers, a professional steel drum band. In particular, Dr. Wilkins specializes in solo classical marimba performance. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for the performance of new music, and along with performing regularly with the University of Southern California's Contemporary Music Ensemble and OU's New Century Ensemble, he co-founded El Dos, an experimental improvisation duo, with bassist Michael Lee. Equally active as a composer, Dr. Wilkins has studied composition with Robert Moore, James Hopkins and Michael Hennagin amongst others. His catalog reveals compositions of large scale for a variety of media with his primary orientation being toward chamber music for non-traditional combinations of instruments. His two works for large percussion ensemble, including a prize winner in the 1988 Percussive Arts Society International Composition Competition, are published by the OU Percussion Press and have been recorded by the University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble on the compact disc, "Twilight Offering Music," distributed by Albany Records (Troy 214).
Dr. Wilkins teaches all applied percussion lessons and Percussion Techniques for non-percussionist music education majors. He also conducts the Moores School Percussion Ensemble, Marimba Band and Steel Drum Band.
Education: Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance, University of Oklahoma, 1999; Master of Music in Theory & Composition, University of Southern California, 1993; Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, University of Oklahoma, 1988; Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, University of Oklahoma, 1988.
Publications: Dr. Wilkins has recently cultivated a research interest in contemporary Japanese music for percussion. A particular interest in the music of Toru Takemitsu is revealed in his doctoral document, "An Analysis of Musical Temporality in Toru Takemitsu's 'Rain Tree'" (1981). His compositions include "Twilight Offering Music" (1985) and "Compendium" (1994) published by OU Percussion Press.
Recordings: Performances include "Twilight Offering Music" (University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble, Troy 214) and "Laser Woodcuts" (University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble, Second Hearing DGS 9008). Compositions include "Twilight Offering Music" (1985, University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble, Troy 214) and "Compendium" (1994, University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble, Troy 214).
Professional Affiliations: Percussive Arts Society, Texas Music Educators Association, College Music Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.