Dr. John Will Parks IV, Professor of Percussion and 2018-19 FSU Distinguished Teaching Professor, earned the DMA degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, two Master's degrees in Performance and Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Furman University. His teachers include Patricia Dash (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), John H. Beck (Rochester Philharmonic), Michael Burritt, Paul Wertico (formerly of the Pat Metheny Group), and John Beckford.
Dr. Parks made his Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall in May of 2007, and has performed with diverse performing organizations ranging from the Eastman Wind Ensemble on their 2000 tour of Japan and Taiwan and the Schlossfestspiele Orchestra of Heidelberg, Germany to the Kansas City, Alabama, Key West, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras as well as the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Eastern Music Festival Faculty Orchestra.
Dr. Parks also leads the FSU Percussion Ensemble, winners of the 2007 and 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competitions, and has appeared as performer/clinician at the Belgium Basilica Festival, the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference, three Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics, twelve Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, National Public Radio, and state MENC conventions, as well as leading conservatory and university music programs throughout the United States. In 2006 he won a university-wide teaching award at FSU, and in 2013 was inducted into the Engineering Wing of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as a voting member of the GRAMMY Awards.
Dr. Parks’s recording and editing credits include projects with She-e Wu, Thomas Burritt, Will James, Blake Tyson, Payton MacDonald, Scott Herring, Omar Carmenates, The John Psathas Percussion Project, Line Upon Line, the City of Tallahassee, the Percussive Arts Society, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and many others through his audio/video/image production company, Garnet House Productions, LLC. He has given lectures on the integration of technology into the classical curriculum at the Eastern Music Festival, Spark Laboratory, the Leigh Stevens Seminar, and appeared on podcasts including The Entrepreneurial Musician, Everything Band, The Percussion Educator, and @Percussion.