Gwendolyn Dease is professor of percussion at the Michigan State University College of Music. Dease is passionate about educating the next generation of young musicians. She regularly gives master classes at universities throughout the US and abroad and is currently on the faculty at the Brevard Music Center. She has served on the faculty for the Filarmonica Joven de Colombia and the Interlochen Arts Camp.
Dease began her musical career very early, studying piano and violin at the age of two. As a percussionist, she has maintained a career as an active solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She has performed solo and chamber recitals throughout the United States, Asia and South America. Dease is passionate about new music and has participated in consortium’s to commission new works from composers such as Rufus Reid, Alejandro Vinao, Peter Klatzow, Paul Lansky, Martin Bresnick, John Serry and Roshanne Etezady. She is currently principal percussionist with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. She has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Solisti New York Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, Lansing Symphony and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.
In January of 2012, Dease was a recipient of the Michigan State University Teacher Scholar Award. She was the winner of the Keiko Abe Prize at the second World Marimba competition in Okaya, Japan, and the top prize winner at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ ARTS competition. She was awarded the performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music and has also been the recipient of the Outstanding Young Musician award from the Peabody Conservatory and the Yale Alumni Award.
Dease’s impressive discography includes four solo CDs: "Marimba Suites" released in October of 2007 on the Blue Griffin label; "Boomslang: New Works for Marimba" released on the Blue Griffin label in October 2012; "Idle Fancies" released on the Bridge Records label in December of 2015 and "Beguiled" released on the Origin Classical Label in October 2016. Her collaborative projects include "Textures" (Percussion Chamber Music by Paul Lansky) released on the Bridge Records Label in August 2014 and "In the Shadow of No Towers" (The Phillip Glass Double Timpani Concerto) released on the Naxos Label in November 2013.
Dease has studied with world-renowned professors Robert van Sice, Keiko Abe, and John Beck. She holds degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and the Yale School of Music.