UK Percussion by Dana RogersPercussion Ensemble

Under the direction of James Campbell, the UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious Percussive Arts Society Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times. They have also performed at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, The Bands of America Percussion Ensemble Festival, and alongside international guest artists such as Robin Engelman, Glenn Kotche, Steve Houghton, John Bergamo, Michael Burritt, Bob Becker, William Cahn, Michael Spiro, Chalo Eduardo, Ney Rosauro, Liam Teague, Dick Schory, Anders Åstrand, Richie Garcia, Dave Samuels, Danny Gottlieb, Glenn Velez, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Jerry Steinholtz, David Johnson, Rich Holly, Dean Gronemeier, Fred Sanford, Thomas Burritt, John Parks, J.B. Smith, N. Scott Robinson, Andy Harnsberger, and many others.

Find out more about percussion studies at UK.

UK Percussion Group

The University of Kentucky Percussion Group (UKPG) is a smaller chamber group that performs cutting edge percussion literature written for smaller forces than the standard percussion ensemble. The repertoire demands unflinching intensity of concentration, sustained, vigorous athleticism and, at times, the quiet intensity and slow balance of martial arts. Although a UKPG concert is visually and sonically dramatic, it is not so much theater as it is ritual -- performers in search of a shared experience. James Campbell, director of percussion at UK states, “Chamber percussion performance is a specialized field, and requires a number of skills not normally required for the performance of symphonic or solo music. These percussionists develop a close intimacy of shared musical experience, they move into a zone that is not often experienced when a conductor is leading them. They make on-the-spot musical decisions and perform spontaneous gestures, which turns the music into a conversation between the performers.” The members of UKPG are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, nationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming.

Steel Band

The University of Kentucky Steel Band, directed by Professor James Campbell, was formed in 1992 as part of the Percussion Studies Program in the School of Music. The UK Steel Band annually performs for over 5,000 elementary and secondary school students with their acclaimed program, Drums: West Africa to Trinidad.

The UK Steel Band presents this exciting school program that engages, educates, and enlightens students, faculty, and parents. Your school will follow a historical time-line that traces the roots of Afro-Caribbean music and society from West Africa to the New World. Much more than an exciting concert, this complete program emphasizes the nature of communication by allowing students to gather information through listening, participating, observing, and visualizing.

Often hailed as “…the best school assembly we’ve ever seen!”

Drums: Africa to Trinidad allows students to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of, appreciation for, and sensitivity to a multi-cultural and global view.
  • Experience and participate in a “Call and response” musical demonstration.
  • Appreciate cultural differences and the value of the arts.
  • Recognize continuity and change in historical events.

Bring the UK Steel Band to your school. We offer a 55-minute school assembly program that will inspire your students and staff. The UK Steel Band also offers an expanded evening program for families, churches, and communities. Looking for entertainment for that special event? Inquire about the intimate, festive sounds of Blue Steel, our small group.

For information regarding bookings and fees contact James Campbell, 859-257-8187,