Performing Artists

Percussion Group Cincinnati

Percussion Group Cincinnati was founded in 1979 and consists of members Allen Otte, James Culley, and Russell Burge, all of whom are faculty members and ensemble-in-residence at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. Their daily rehearsal schedule is supplemented with the teaching and coaching of young musicians, many of whom have gone on to professional careers in creative music, in teaching, and with major symphony orchestras. Percussion Group Cincinnati is particularly respected for its knowledge of and experience with the entire range of the music of John Cage, having made tours and festival appearances with him on a number of occasions in Europe and in America. Percussion Group Cincinnati was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2017.

Richard Jensen

Richard Jensen currently holds the Morleen and Jack Rouse Associate Timpani and Percussion chair with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which he joined in 1972 at the age of 20. With that ensemble he has toured throughout the USA, Asia and Europe and can be heard on over one hundred CSO and Cincinnati Pops recordings playing percussion and timpani. He has been featured soloist with the CSO on several occasions, performing the Philip Glass concerto for two timpanists and Richard Mills’ Soundscapes for Percussion and Orchestra. He has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Grand Teton Music Festival and at the Marrowstone Music Festival. A former faculty member of CCM and Northern Kentucky University, he also taught privately at Finneytown High School in the 1970’s. A native of Seattle, Washington, Richard attended the University of Washington and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Fred Hinger. Endorsements include Zildjian cymbals, Adams/Pearl products and ProMark.

Michael Culligan

Michael Culligan was appointed Associate Principal Percussionist of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras by Louis Langree in 2015, Michael is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After receiving a Bachelors in Science in Music Education from Duquesne University where he studied with Pittsburgh Symphony percussionists Chris Allen and Andrew Reamer, Michael earned his Master of Music at Temple University under the tutelage of Alan Abel, Chris Deviney, and Angie Nelson. Following post-graduate work with Jeremy Branson and Ed Stephan at Duquesne, Michael was appointed 2nd percussion in the West Virginia Symphony and Canton Symphony. From 2010-2015, he performed as a regular extra in the Pittsburgh Symphony, including several tours with performances at Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, and the Berlin Philharmonie, among others.

Michael LaMattina

Michael LaMattina holds the position of Principal Percussion with the Dayton Philharmonic and is the director of Percussion Studies at Miami University, where he also conducts the Miami University Percussion Ensemble. In his capacity with the DPO, he performs classical programs, pops concerts, chamber music, ballet, and opera. Additionally, Michael is the principal percussionist with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. Previous positions Mr. LaMattina has held include Principal Percussion with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder from 2007-2014, Principal Timpani & Percussion with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, Principal Percussion of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Section Percussionist with the Erie Philharmonic, and Associate Section Percussion with the Columbus Symphony. He has also played with the Cincinnati and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. His teachers have included Michael Rosen, Tom Freer, Mark Yancich, and Mitchell Peters.

Steven Starks

Steven Starks is a jazz drummer from Oklahoma City, OK. After attending Oklahoma State University for 2 years, Steven transferred to the University of North Texas. During his time at UNT he was fortunate enough to receive the prestigious Shelley Manne Memorial Scholarship and studied privately with Ed Soph, Quincy Davis, and Jose Aponte. He has also studied privately with Ari Hoenig, Benny Greb, and Mike Clark. Steven performed in many groups during his time at UNT, including the award-winning U-Tubes, the Zebras ensemble, as well as various big bands. Today, Steven continues performing and teaching throughout the DFW area.

Patrick O'Rourke

Patrick O’Rourke is a percussion educator specialized in rudimental and marching styles. He is currently enrolled at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, majoring in Instrumental Music Education with percussion emphasis. There, he is a student of PAS hall of fame inductees Rusty Burge and Jim Culley. In 2017, Patrick was a part of the world class marching percussion ensemble Rhythm X where he played marching bass drum. In 2018 he was the silver medalist at the PAS International Marching Snare Solo Competition at PASIC. Since the summer of 2016, Patrick has taught drumlines at 5 different schools throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and is currently head of percussion at Moeller High School and Williamstown High School. In his spare time, Patrick creates videos online based around marching percussion in a project known as ChopOut. The instagram page (@chop.out) amassed 500,000 total view in the first 100 videos and surpassed 5,000 followers in March of 2019. The music written for this project has been played by students from coast to coast, as well as the UK, Netherlands and South Korea.

Mark McCafferty

Mark McCafferty is an instructor and chairperson for the Department of Music, serving as the Director of Bands and Percussion at the University of Mount St. Joseph. Studying at Morehead State University, McCafferty earned his Bachelor of Music Performance in 2007, and Master of Music Performance in 2009. Since that time, he has pursued private and ensemble teaching in the Greater Cincinnati Area, with many students earning awards and scholarships. McCafferty also maintains an active performance schedule, regularly appearing in jazz combos around the region, as well as performing with academic and liturgical productions. He has also appeared on a number of recordings, most prominently on guitarist Bob Ross’ debut album, Arriving, and on Paul Jenkins' recording dedicated to Lauren Hill, Lauren’s Light. McCafferty is also an active composer and arranger, and his pieces are available on

In the fall of 2013, McCafferty was appointed the Adjunct Professor of Percussion at MSJ, and was appointed the Band Director the following fall. In those capacities, he has revitalized the band program, increasing membership, awareness of the organization, and the number of performance opportunities open to students. Having re-formed the MSJ Drumline in Fall 2014, McCafferty also founded the MSJ Steel Drum Band in Spring 2015, and re-formed the MSJ Pep Band in Fall 2015.


Scott Lang, Performance

Scott K. Lang is currently the Percussion Area Coordinator for the Music Program at Northern Kentucky University where he teaches applied percussion, directs the percussion ensemble, and teaches Percussion Methods and the Music of World Cultures. Mr. Lang is the principal Timpanist/Percussionist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and is also a frequent performer with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras as an extra percussionist having played on 20 different recordings and appearing in the 2014 Lumenocity simulcast on WCPO-TV and WCET-TV. Mr. Lang also appeared on a PBS National Broadcast as an extra percussionist with the Cincinnati Pops in Take Me to the River. He also appears on two nationally broadcast PBS specials that began airing in 2007 and continue to air periodically. These specials, Fifties Pop Parade, My Music and Sixties Experience Part II, My Music, feature a variety of famous pop and rock and roll artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

Michael Kennedy, Music Education

Michael Kennedy is a 2004 graduate of Miami University with a degree in Music Education. He received a full scholarship from the Miami University School of Music as a result of his excellent musicianship. In 2001 Michael began his involvement in the Finneytown Music Program by serving as a private lesson teacher and Marching Band clinician. He wrote the music for numerous Finneytown Marching Band shows and assisted in many music-teaching opportunities. Michael student taught at Finneytown in 2004 and then was hired as the Assistant Director in August 2004. Under Michael Kennedy’s direction, he has led the band to State, won Grand Champion, and received numerous superior ratings at local and state competitions. He received the PTA Friend of Students Award in 2010 for his close connections with students and community. Michael’s energy and passion for educating students is infectious and he hopes to connect the students to the community in a special way. Michael lead the band to their first ever MidStates Finals appearance in 2018 where they earned 4th place.

Amy Catanzaro, Arts Administration

Amy Catanzaro has over 20 years of Marketing and Sales experience with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra where she serves as the Director of Sales. Amy supervises incoming sales departments at the CSO in addition to working closely with senior management on forecasting, pricing and revenue management. Amy has presented at the annual Tessitura Learning and Community Conference many times on behalf of the CSO on the topics of dynamic pricing and yield management. In 2016, she was selected as a member of the Tessitura Membership Advisory Committee and is in the final year of her three-year term.

Jim Loughery, Composer

Jim Loughery is a composer-performer from the Midwest and currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio. His premieres of contemporary piano music, especially of composer Michael Schelle, have been lauded by the New York Times and others as “riveting” and "possessing vigor and panache”. Loughery's original music has been praised for having "a deep wisdom constantly running underneath" and frequently integrates narrative elements and abstract forms of expression as well as aleatory and improvisation. Jim has won numerous awards, commissions, and grants for his work, and holds a MM in Composition from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is also engaged as a freelance pianist and private instructor.