"....musical experience, versatility, and skill to teach orchestral, marching and world percussion at the highest level." - Paul Buyer (Percussive Arts Society Vice President)
"Performed as well as he taught which is rare indeed. One of the best guest clinicians we have hosted." - Dr. Julie Hill (Percussive Arts Society Past President / University of Tennessee-Martin)
When asked what I do for a living, I joke that I "hit" things for a living AND I get to work with professionals and young(er) people alike who like to "hit" things too!". Percussion is my passion and has been my hobby turned career for over 30 years. I was brought up in the "family business".
I currently serve as the Percussion Area Head at the University of Utah where I get to work alongside the finest students and colleagues in an incredible culture and performance environment. I am fortunate enough to be intricately involved with a world-class musical community here in Salt Lake City and regularly appear with the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera. In addition, I perform with Ballet West Orchestra, shows through Eccles, Capitol and Pioneer Theaters, NOVA (New Music Series), Utah Chamber Artists, amongst others; with over 350 shows in 5 years. I have also been involved in various recording projects with the Utah Symphony as well as for ESPN and TNT. Most recently, I have taken direction of the “Street Drumline” for the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
I have had the opportunity to perform, present clinics and master-classes throughout the U.S. and internationally including multiple Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro and de Recife in Brazil, numerous state Music Educators Association Conventions as well as prominent university and high school programs with on average, 50 appearances per year.
During the summer, I co-direct the Treasure Coast Percussion Camp which I founded alongside my great friend and colleague, Brandon Putzke. The camp is held in my hometown of Vero Beach, FL and is now in its 14th year and going strong. I began my university teaching career at Clemson (sabbatical replacement) in 2007 followed by University of South Alabama (2008-2012) and University of Utah since 2012. I hold a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from University of Arizona under Professor Gary Cook and Dr. Norman Weinberg.
My beautiful wife, Jenelle, and I have two children, both of which I think might turn out to be drummers - HELP!!!
"Dr. Sammons sees, hear and experiences music on a level unmatched by anyone I have ever met. His commitment to the unwritten details within music is what makes him such a consummate professional in both his teaching and playing." - Bret Hughes (Park City HS Percussion Director / Freelance Percussionist, Salt Lake City)