“I am honored the Board of Directors has entrusted me with leading this distinguished organization and am eager to start working with members around the world to build on 55 years of amazing history. Together, we will ensure PAS continues to be the global leader in percussion and drumming, and as our mission states, inspire, educate, and support percussionists and drummers throughout the world.”

Joshua Simonds is currently Executive Director of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. He holds a Master of Arts in Arts Management from American University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Percussion from California State University, Long Beach.

During his tenure, CYSO has more than doubled its programs, built strong relationships with world-class composers resulting in numerous world and local premieres, and initiated groundbreaking artistic collaborations, including performances with Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, The Second City, My Brightest Diamond, the Chicago Bulls, and multiple performances at the legendary rock festival Lollapalooza.

His passion for percussion has always been at the forefront of his work at CYSO. During his tenure at CYSO, the organization built one of the largest youth steel pan programs in the midwest, performed multiple times with Chicago’s Blue Man Group in Chicago’s Millennium Park, engaged Third Coast Percussion on multiple occasions including a 2014 year-in-residence resulting in a New Music USA grant for a video recording of David T Little’s Radiant Child for Percussion Quartet and Orchestra, and most recently secured Glenn Kotche as CYSO’s 2016-2017 Composer in Residence. These are just a few examples of Joshua’s life-long commitment to percussion performance and education.

In addition to artistic achievements, he has been instrumental in overseeing CYSO’s rebranding efforts, growth of the Board of Directors, re-establishing an international touring program, and increased financial support on a national and local level.

Joshua currently sits on the Youth Orchestra Division Board of the League of American Orchestras, has served as an instructor of Performing Arts Management at DePaul University, and is very active in both local and national arts advocacy.

While at California State University, Long Beach, Joshua studied percussion with Raynor Carroll, Principal Percussionist of the LA Philharmonic, Dr. Dave Gerhart, and the late Dr. Michael Carney. Joshua is also a proud alumnus of the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Joshua Simonds as the new PAS Executive Director. The skill set one must possess for a job such as this is extremely diverse and we had to find the right person. Joshua Simonds is that person and the future of PAS is very bright. Onward! ” — Dr. Julie Hill, PAS President

Visit the Percussive Arts Society for more information.

Dave Gerhart
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