Just prior to the pandemic, some of Matt Moore’s percussion students at V.R. Eaton High School were selected as winners of the Percussive Arts Society’s “International Percussion Ensemble Competition.” But instead of preparing to travel to PASIC to perform a showcase concert in the fall, schools around the country shut down and conferences, including PASIC, were either cancelled or moved to a virtual format. (Moore’s students performed at the 2021 event.)
Moore immediately realized that not having live musical performances would have a profound negative effect. “Very early on in the pandemic, I put together a social-distanced marimba choir project to help connect percussionists during a very strange time when we were all suddenly home and without live music,” he said. “I received 111 submissions from percussionists all over the world! Middle school to professional level, including a handful of my EHS kids.” The video of the compilation showcases the talent of all the participants.
Thanks to his technical skills, Moore continues to connect with his percussion students through virtual classes with engaging digital content, and he helps them maintain and improve their musical proficiency. In one of his “40 Under 40” nomination letters, a colleague wrote, “Matt’s professional and approachable demeanor have fostered an environment that students thrive in.”
Already a music educator, composer and arranger, Moore decided to add entrepreneur to his list of jobs. He launched Waveform Percussion with Luke Vogt, his percussion co-teacher at Eaton. They incorporate electronic media into percussion education to create music that’s fun to play. “We hope to engage students in a way that meets them where they are — always an arm’s length away from their phone and earbuds and possibly learning remotely from home,” Moore said. “The music is curriculum based and educationally focused, and it’s flexible enough to be used by students in whichever learning environment they’re in.”