Larry D Snider
Title: Distinguished Professor; Director of Percussion Studies
Dept/Program: Music - Percussion
Dr. Larry Snider is honored to be Distinguished Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Few percussion professors in the United States have achieved Distinguished Professor status.
Dr. Snider has built a strong percussion program whose graduates consistently achieve professional success as performers and/or educators throughout the world. The program’s most visible and widely acclaimed component is The University of Akron Steel Drum Band, which enables students to gain valuable experience in teaching and playing ethnic music and Latin accessory instruments.
Founded in 1980 by Dr. Snider as one of the nation’s first and foremost collegiate panorama-style ensembles, the UA Steel Drum Band performs locally and throughout the United States. Proceeds from sales of the band’s CDs benefit scholarships and other funds for students studying percussion at The University of Akron.
The band’s recent “Hammer on Steel,” a CD and DVD documentary, was nominated for eight Emmy awards for the 2011 broadcast year. “Hammer on Steel” showcases steel band music and the self-taught musicians who created it in the early- and mid-1900s during the heated struggle for independence in colonial Trinidad and Tobago. It also tells the unlikely story of how the Caribbean sounds of the steel drums have found a home in less-than-tropical Northeast Ohio.
Also widely acclaimed is the UA Percussion Program’s focus on new and experimental music.
Dr. Snider received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and The University of North Texas, respectively, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in percussion performance from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Snider received the first-ever Outstanding Arts Educator Award from the Akron Area Arts Alliance in 2001. He teaches regularly at the Oberlin Percussion Institute and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton University. He also has taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the International Percussion Workshop in Zagan, Poland, and adjudicated at the International Marimba Competition in Warsaw, Poland.
Dr. Snider is often invited to be the chief international adjudicator for World Steelband Festival competitions in Trinidad and the United States, which draw steel bands from around the world.
He is on the board of directors for internationally acclaimed Sō Percussion.
An accomplished performer, Dr. Snider was principal percussionist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra for 38 years and has served as an adjunct percussionist with the Cleveland Orchestra.