The University of Central Arkansas Percussion Studio will host the UCA Percussion festival March 5 at the Snow Fine Arts Recital Hall.     

Events ranging from clinics to distinguished performances will be held all day. Events are free and open to the public.    

The festival will feature guest artist and virtuoso percussionist Payton MacDonald, as well as a lineup of UCA percussion alumni.    

"This will be a very special festival because the guest artists will be made up almost entirely of graduates of the UCA Percussion Studio," said Blake Tyson, assistant professor of music and the studio’s director. "They will be returning to present clinics and performances and to conduct their own percussion ensembles."     

The alumni who will be returning are currently respected band directors, university professors, soloists, composers, orchestral musicians and recording artists.    

"UCA’s percussion graduates are doing amazing things as educators and performers," Tyson said. "I wanted to give them a chance to come back home and share their talents with my current students and with younger students from around the state."    

The festival will feature alumni Justin Alexander, Jason Edwards, Ben Finley, Josh Knight, Benjamin Martin, Neal Moss, Ricky Morrow, Kevin Pierce, and Erick Saoud. It will also include performances by several high school percussion bands across the state.    

"Everyone is welcome," Tyson said. "Whether you’re a band director or a student in high school, college or elementary school, you’ll have a great time learning about what the world of percussion has to offer."    

Tyson started the UCA Percussion Festival in 2002, and interest in it has continued to grow.    

"The first year of the festival, we only had about 25 people attend," he said. "But it has grown and we’ve had well over 100 attendees at the past couple of festivals. I’m hoping we can set an attendance record this year."    

For more information, contact Tyson at 501-450-5263 or