This month Richard Gipson will receive the Percussive Arts Society’s highest honor awarded to an educator—the Percussive Arts Society Lifetime Achievement in Education Award.
The award, established in 2002, recognizes the contributions of the most highly regarded leaders in percussion education. Recipients of the award have demonstrated the highest ideals and professional integrity in percussion education and pedagogy with a significant history of exceptional and innovative teaching practices, with strong reputations in the areas of private teaching, ensemble directing, presentation of workshops and pedagogical publications.
Gipson, who’s been the director of TCU’s School of Music since 2002, is credited with the school’s significant growth, including overall program quality, the number of full-time faculty members, and the number of students majoring in music. He continues to teach percussion and regularly conducts the TCU Percussion Orchestra and Ensembles as a colleague of Dr. Brian West, TCU Head of Percussion Studies. Before joining TCU, Gipson served for 26 years as the professor of percussion at the University of Oklahoma, where he also held several administrative positions at the school and university levels. He performed as timpanist and percussionist for more than 30 years with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Oklahoma Symphony and the Austin and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras, taught percussion at six universities and composed more than 30 original works and special arrangements for marimba and percussion ensemble. In February, Gipson was named the Music Administrator of the Year by the College Orchestra Directors Association.
“This award is particularly meaningful to TCU given Richard’s dedication to percussion and TCU’s School of Music,” said Anne Helmreich, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “He has led the development of a nationally recognized program that burnishes the reputation of TCU and delights audiences at home as well as everywhere our music students travel.
“Our community is greatly enriched by having a School of Music of this caliber and we are delighted by this national recognition of Richard’s myriad achievements.”
PAS is the world’s largest percussion organization and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages.