Matthew Coley
 | Independent Artist


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Evans Drumheads have a sound that emphasizes the core timbre of the instrument the way it should be all of the time.

An Evans Drumheads player since 2007.

Internationally acclaimed marimba virtuoso Matthew Coley has distinguished himself as one of the country’s most versatile percussion artists and educators. Performing on marimba, percussion, cimbalom, hammer dulcimer, and glass, he has performed as a soloist and collaborator with orchestras and ensembles throughout the US and abroad including the Millennium Chamber Players, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, and Moldavian Philharmonic and Teleradio Symphony Orchestras. He has also been featured three times on Chicago’s WFMT Classical Radio Station and in a feature article in Time Out Chicago Magazine. Additionally, Matthew is currently serving as Percussion Faculty in the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre. Released in 2012, Matthew’s second album "Souvenirs" establishes him as one of the most innovative and exciting artists of his kind. T. Adam Blackstock (Troy University) wrote of it in the July 2012 Percussive Notes, “If you are in search of a disc with great recording quality, a high level of performance, and an eclectic collection of tracks, this title should be added to your iTunes wish list. Matthew Coley’s 'Souvenirs' delivers 80 minutes of diverse works for solo marimba, marimba and piano duo, and percussion ensemble.” In 2012, Matthew was a finalist in the International Web Concert Hall Competition and in 2008, he placed third in the prestigious 5th World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the only American ever to place. He also placed third in the 2005 WAMSO/Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He was a finalist in the 2004 Houston Symphony Orchestra Ima Hogg Young Artist Competitions, and he won first place in the 2000 Music Teachers National Association Solo Percussion Competition, the 2000 Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Marimba Concerto Competition, and the 1999 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award. Matthew has performed as a soloist at five PAS International Conventions; in 2000 with the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble, 2002 and 2007 with the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble, 2012 on the New Keyboard Literature Concert, and in 2013 on dulcimer with doumbek artist Jamal Mohamed. Other solo and chamber music performances include universities, institutions, and concert halls across the nation in over 25 different US states, and in Denmark, Germany, Moldova, and Sweden. Matthew has also appeared as soloist and clinician at Days of Percussion in Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, and Nebraska. In 2008, Matthew played the world premiere of "Tides and Riptides; Concerto for Marimba, Woodblocks, and Orchestra" written for him by Bjorn Berkhout with the Sherwood Symphony Orchestra of Chicago, and has released a recording of "Riptides", available on iTunes, with the Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, he did the world premiere of "The Breeze of South Latitudes Marimba Concerto" by Ghenadie Ciobanu in Chisinau, Moldova and the US premiere of "Concerto Rustico for marimba and string orchestra" by Marcin Błażewicz in Chicago, which was recorded for his first solo album, "Circularity". In 2012 and 2013, Matthew performed the premiere of the "Glass House Concerto" by Andrew Ardizzoia with the Iowa State University and University of Puget Sound Wind Ensembles, and in 2014 will perform it in Canada with the University of Alberta Wind Ensemble. Future premieres and commissioning projects include solos, concertos, and chamber music featuring the marimba or dulcimer by such composers as Steven Simpson, Igor Iachimciuc, Bjorn Berkhout, Brad Dutz, and Jeffrey Holmes. He holds percussion performance degrees from Northwestern University and the University of North Texas, and has studied with Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, James Ross, Leigh Howard Stevens, and She-e Wu. Matthew is an endorsed artist by Marimba One, Black Swamp Percussion, ProMark, Evans Drumheads, BDL Percussion, and Sabian Cymbals, and can be contacted on the web through and

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