J. Michael Sammons
Assistant Professor, Percussion
Percussion Area Head
DMA University of Arizona
MM University of Arizona
BM with Performer's Certificate University of Florida
Office: DGH 268
Michael Sammons, D.M.A. serves as the Percussion Area Head at the University of Utah and is recognized as a versatile performer in solo, chamber, symphonic, marching percussion and non-western musical styles. In addition to his work with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, he has performed with various national theater touring shows including Aladdin, Harlem Nights, Mean Girls and Mamma Miaamongst others and regularly performs with Utah Opera and Ballet West. He has appeared as a guest artist with Utah Chamber Artists and NOVA New Music Chamber Series. His work can be heard on ABC, ESPN, TNT and local media outlets as well as diverse recording projects for WarnerChappell Music and the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Sammons previously served as director for the NBA’s Utah Jazz “Street Beats” Drumline.
Sammons has appeared extensively throughout the U.S. and in Brazil as a guest artist and clinician including multiple performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro and de Recife in Brazil, Northwest Percussion Festival, various Percussive Arts Society’s “Days of Percussion”, National Association for Music Education, and numerous state Music Educators Association Conventions as well as prominent universities across the U.S. Sammons is an artist endorsee for Vic Firth Sticks/Mallets, Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion and is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Sammons has served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Percussive Arts Society as well as other appointments including University Pedagogy Committee Chair, Education Committee and Collegiate Committee, founding member. From 2013-2016, Sammons served as President for the Utah PAS Chapter, which won the award for “Chapter of the Year” in 2015. He is a contributing author to Percussive Notes and PAS Educators’ Companion as well as text and video in the 3rd edition of Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook, a percussion methods book used worldwide. In addition, he has commissioned several new works for percussion by prominent composers including Jason Baker, Chris Bradford, Christopher Deane, Chad Floyd, Anders Koppel, Askell Masson, Marc Mellits, Josephy C. Phillips, Brian Nozny, and Dwayne Rice.
Sammons previously served as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of South Alabama from 2008-2012 where he founded the USA Jag’ Drumline, USA Steel Band and World Music Group, touring extensively throughout the Gulf Coast region. Sammons continues to direct the Treasure Coast Percussion Camp in his hometown of Vero Beach, FL., founded in 2005.
Michael Sammons received his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Arizona, where he served as Graduate Teaching Assistant and Director of the UA Steel Band Program from 2003-2007. He earned the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Arizona in 2005 and the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, with a Performer’s Certificate, from the University of Florida in 2002. His travels abroad include Trinidad, Ghana and Brazil.
- Percussion Ensemble
- Chamber Percussion Group
- Utah Drumline
- World Percussion Group
- Graduate Percussion Pedagogy
- Percussion Literature
- Applied Lessons