Murray Houllif

A native of Woodbourne, New York, he holds degrees from the State University of New York at Potsdam (BS Music Education) and the State University of New York at Stony Brook (MM Percussion Performance) plus 63 additional credit hours. His teachers include Raymond Des Roches, Richard Fitz, James Petercsak, Sandy Feldstein, Dom Famularo, and Bey Perry (organist Jimmy Smith’s drummer). Having subsequently served as co-coordinator of percussion at North Texas State University in Denton, Murray has recently retired from 32 years as a band director and percussion specialist in the public schools of Smithtown, New York.

As a member of the percussion section of the Long Island Symphony under Seymour Lipkin and the Nassau Symphony directed by Andrew Schenk, he has performed with Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Itzak Perlman, Bryon Janis, Stanley Drucker, Julius Baker, Lynn Harrell and Phil Smith. He co-founded, wrote for and performed with the Ambira Mallet Quartet. Murray performed with Theatre Three as show drummer for 8 years. He was drumset player with Art Rollini (formerly with the Benny Goodman band) for 7 years. He has been the timpanist with the Symphonic Pops Orchestra for the past 5 years.He endorses Pro-Mark sticks and Grover Pro-Percussion products. Murray is also an avid flatpicker of bluegrass on his collection of acoustic steel-string guitars and practitioner of the art of Tai Chi.

With approximately 250 concert and pedagogic publications to his credit, he has written numerous articles for such professional journals as “Percussive Notes”, “Modern Drummer”, “The Instrumentalist”, “School Band and Orchestra Magazine”, and the “Music Educator’s Journal”.

Murray won the Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest twice and the Distinguished Music Leadership Award for excellence in percussion education which was presented to him on May 3, 2015 by the New Jersey Youth Symphony Percussion Ensemble directed by Dr. Kenneth Piascik.

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