Biography

Neil is an instructor for the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University teaching in both the dance and music areas.

Neil is Dance Production Coordinator and instructor for the Kansas State University Dance Program.  Neil teaches Rhythmic Notation for Dancers, Dance and Technology, Composition for Dancers, and Dance Accompanying. Neil also advises undergraduate dance students, produces all staged dance concerts, and does lighting design for main stage dance concerts.  Neil teaches applies percussion and directs the K-State Percussio Ensemble II. Neil is also director of the K-State African Music and Dance Ensemble and a trained HealthRHYTHMS facilitator.

Neil earned a Master of Music with Percussion Emphasis from the University of Arizona in 2002. Neil currently serves as Principal Timpanist for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra andfor the Arizona Opera Company. From 2000 to 2005, Neil was senior dance accompanist at the University of Arizona, Dance Division.  Since 1994, Neil has worked extensively with Dance as a composer and performer and has performed internationally at venues in Spain, Taiwan, Canada, and Mexico.

Percussionist

Recently, Neil studied Lobi music with Dorwana Tijan, from Ghana and with Bernard Woma in Ghana, west Africa at the Dagara Music Center. Neil Dunn took up percussion as a teenager with the purchase of his first drum set and currently plays orchestral percussion, drum set, African drums, and African xylophone.

He studied percussion at Weber State University in Ogden, UT, earning a bachelor's degree in music. In 2002, Neil earned a Masters Degree in Music with an emphasis in percussion performance at the University of Arizona in Tucson AZ. Some of Neil's teachers were Gary Cook, Norman Weinberg, Bernard Woma, Robin Horn, and Don Keipp. While in Tucson, Neil performed with several symphony orchestras including the Arizona Opera Company orchestra and the Tucson Symphony. Neil currently holds the position of principal timpanist with the Arizona Opera Company.

Dance musician/Composer

Neil Dunn has been involved with dance since 1994. He was introduced to dance accompanying at Weber State University in 1994. His love for dance was immediate and has been a big part of his career ever since. After moving to Tucson, Neil worked as a dance accompanist for the University of Arizona, School of Dance. From 2000 to 2005 Neil was senior accompanist, playing for modern, jazz, tap, and ballet classes. Click HERE to go to the Quick Course in Dance Accompanying page.

Compositions

2013 ETP4, Julie L. Pentz, Choreographer.

2011So Tolle for gyil (African xylophone) and tape. Commissioned by Michael Vercelli, premiered February, 2011

2009, Jolt,  Julie L. Pentz, Choreographer.

Backfire for two percussionists

2008, Dali after the Trees (There Are No Words), a multi-media work with Julie Pentz, choreographer, and Dan Matthews, designer performed at SpringDance 2008, KSU

2007, Echo, WINNER of the James P. and Shirley J. O'Brien composition contest sponsored by the University Of Arizona Ensembles, Crosstalk and World Music Gang, with Julie Pentz, choreographer featuring the KSU Percussion Ensemble, performed at SpringDance 2008.

Catch 22, with Julie Pentz, choreographer featuring the KSU Percussion Ensemble, performed at SpringDance (Live) 2007, KSU.

2006, Ah, Ha! (Typhoid Stella), Julie Pentz, choreographer. Performed in Sterling, Virginia, Banyoles, Spain, and Castelfollit de la Roca, Spain.

2006, Heartbeat, David Ollington, choreographer

2005, Echoes, James Clouser, choreographer

StepOff, Julie Pentz, choreographer

Episode 2, duet for Percussion, Dance, and Recorded Music, Julie Pentz, choreographer, Premiered in Taipei, Taiwan in May, 2005

2004, Cocoon, (Co-composer, Percussion, Piano, Violin)Nanette Robinson Choreographer / Zuzi Move It! Dance Company

Eclipse, (Percussion and tap dance) Julie L. Pentz, choreographer

2003, ffloid (Electronic percussion and tap dance) Julie L. Pentz, choreographer

Speaking of . . .  (Percussion and tap dance), Julie L. Pentz, Choreographer.

2002, Puddles of Smiles, (Co-composer, percussion, piano, voice, tap dancer)  John Altieri, co-composer, piano and voice, Julie L. Pentz, choreographer 

Untitled, (Percussion duet and dancers) Anton Smith, Choreographer

Improvisation (Percussion and dancers), Tammy Rosen, Choreographer

Improvisation No. 2 (Percussion quartet and dance ensemble), April Greengaard, Choreographer.

N’dowd  (Percussion and dance) Sukie Keita, choreographer

2001, Beatnik (Jazz combo) Holly Seitz, Choreographer

Etude No. 1 for Marimba, Matt Henley, Choreographer

1999 Boundaries, (Percussion and dancers) Holly Seitz, Choreographer

1998 Water, falling, (Co-composer, percussion, piano, cello)  Laura Donnelly, Choreographer

Neil has credit for numerous collaborations with student dance choreographers at the University of Arizona, Weber State University, and local dance companies in Tucson, AZ including ZUZIMoveit! Dance Company and NewARTiculations dance company.  Currently, Neil is working on a series of “customized” CDs for dance class; please feel free to contact him for more information.

Teacher

Neil teaches private and group lesson in percussion Click here for more information on Neil's teaching studio.

Performer

Neil is active with the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, Neil is "retired" from the with the Red State Blues Band, "The best damn blues band west of the Big Blue River." Neil has performed at international venues on dance stages and orchestral settings and has a regular post with the Arizona Opera Orchestra. Most recently, Neil traveled to Ghana, West Africa to study the music of the Ga, Ewe, and Dagara cultures.