Kathryn Irwin is a percussion performer and educator from Petal, Mississippi. She recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance at Michigan State University with Gwendolyn Dease and Jon Weber. She completed her Master of Music degree in percussion performance at the University of Kansas under the instruction of Ji Hye Jung and adjunct professors Lee Vinson and Brandon Draper. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University with percussionist Brett William Dietz.
Kathryn has performed with scholastic and professional ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Performances include Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo for renowned percussionist Keiko Abe, Soochow University in Taiwan, the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, the Eutiner Festspiele and Carl Maria von Weber Concert of Chamber Music in Germany, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis. Kathryn has also performed in notable masterclasses and clinics given by the members of Sō Percussion, Robert van Sice, Tom Freer, Keith Aleo, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Ayano Kataoka, Lee Vinson, Naoko Takada, and many others.
As an active soloist and chamber musician in the percussion community, Kathryn is an advocate of expanding the percussion repertoire and prioritizes commissioning new works. She has commissioned composers such as Elliot Cole, Molly Joyce, Joe W. Moore III, Brett William Dietz, and Dave Molk. Kathryn enjoys working on collaborative projects with artists of other mediums and professionals outside the field of music as well. The most recent commission of Is This Madness?, a work for solo percussion and electronics, aims to raise awareness and grow support for members of the bipolar community through performances and clinics. This project consisted of a collaboration with a member of the bipolar community, a licensed psychiatrist, and composer Joe Moore.
Kathryn has led masterclasses at schools in Taiwan and universities across the midwestern and southern regions of the United States. Additionally, she has worked with many middle and high school performing ensembles in Michigan, Mississippi, and Louisiana. She has a studio of private students and experience teaching percussion ensemble, marching percussion, concert band, and elementary music. Kathryn is currently responsible for coaching percussion chamber ensembles and teaching private percussion lessons to undergraduate students at Michigan State University.