Nick Petrella is currently on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where he coordinates the percussion program and teaches courses in Arts Entrepreneurship. Nick previously taught at Oakland University, Texas Christian University, and the Royal Northern College of Music where developed a percussion pedagogy course. Additionally, he served as the percussion instructor/arranger for the marching bands at the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and TCU. Twice Nick was the percussion coach with the World Youth Orchestra, and in 2008 was the percussion coach for Xenakis’ Pleiades at the BBC Proms Festival in Royal Albert Hall. Under his direction, the TCU Percussion Ensemble performed as the first percussion ensemble invited to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He has appeared as a clinician, adjudicator, teacher and performer throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.
As a performer, Nick has commissioned and premiered over a dozen compositions and has many solo and chamber music performances to his credit. He has played with the Kansas City Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Michigan Opera. In 2002, he and pianist Diane Petrella formed the Petrella Ensemble, which has appeared throughout the US, Europe and in Mexico.
Nick also has extensive music business experience. From 2000 to 2019 he was the Director of Education for SABIAN Ltd., where he was responsible for sales, marketing and artist relations for the Band and Orchestra/Educational division. Early in his career he worked in retail and as a distributor of drum sticks. Since 1992 he has been a consultant to companies in the music products industry and has designed 14 percussion implements, accessories and instruments currently on the market. In 2014, Nick was presented with the President’s Industry Award from the Percussive Arts Society.
Committed to music education, he has published numerous articles in US and European music journals. He is the author of two Carl Fischer publications: The Ultimate Guide to Cymbals and The Multiple-Percussion Book, which was translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. In 2006, Nick and Diane published The Musician’s Toolbox, Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Music, now available as an e-book here.
Nick received a DMA from the University of Iowa, an MM from the University of Michigan and a BSMusEd from Penn State University.