Dedication of "Fred Begun Percussion Suite"



In Memoriam

Fred Begun
September 23, 2012

Fred Begun passed away on September 23, 2012. 
Click here to read the Percussive Arts Society notice.

Click here to read the Washington Post obituary.


Fred Begun

After graduating from the Juilliard School Fred Begun was awarded the Principal Timpani chair of the National Symphony orchestra, a position he held from 1951 to 1999. He has performed under the batons of Mitchell, Copland, Dorati, Rostropovich, Slatkin, Bernstein, Stokowski, and Stravinsky, among many others. He also holds distinction of four world premiere concerto performances with the National Symphony, each work being written exclusively for him. An inspiring teacher, he spent many years on the faculty of the Peabody conservatory, and has presented master classes and clinics throughout the world.

The "Fred Begun Percussion Suite"

Through the generous support of Begun’s friends and colleagues, Mason has established the Fred Begun Percussion Scholarships and designated the percussion studio in the School of Music in his name. Begun has also donated his library – featuring timpani parts and scores, many autographed by renowned conductors and composers, all with his original markings – to Mason’s Fenwick Library.

For more information about the annual Percussion Ensemble concert or other School of Music performances and activities, please visit or call 703-993-1380.

For all donation inquiries, please contact Prof. John Kilkenny at:


About Percussion Studies:

The Percussion Studies program at George Mason University is committed to developing superb musicianship through performance and a deep, fundamental understanding of music. Students in the BM, BME, MM, MME, DMA programs in percussion study with faculty members who possess impressive performance and educational credentials. Percussionists are trained in virtually every aspect of percussion performance including: orchestral percussion, timpani, solo marimba, chamber percussion, and drum set and world percussion.

Students will have the opportunity to study with all of the professors in the percussion area, thus providing them with a well rounded education and thorough preparation for today’s competitive musical world.

The overall goal of George Mason University percussion program is to provide a rewarding and fulfilling musical experience while simultaneously preparing each student to be a serious competitor in the multi-faceted music industry.
Performance opportunities for percussion students include:
Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Contemporary Music groups, Indoor Drumline, Percussion Ensemble, Big Band, Jazz Combos, and Steel Pan, Green Machine

Spring 2013 performance date is to be determined.

Spring 2012 performance:

Percussion Concert



Area Coordinator:
Prof. John Kilkenny

Prof. Patricia Miller

Percussion Faculty

John Kilkenny
Applied Percussion
Percussion Ensemble

Kenneth Harbison
Applied Percussion

Joe McCarthy
Jazz Percussion

John Spirtas
Applied Percussion

Harold Summey
Jazz Percussion

Featured Media

George Mason University Percussion Ensemble at Kennedy Center

Click here to watch the video

Percussion Ensemble
The Kennedy Center
Millenium Stage

APRIL 7, 2011

Click here to watch the video

Washington Premier of
the Philip Glass Concerto
Fantasy for Two Timpanists
and Wind Symphony 
with the GMU Wind Symphony
and guest timpanists



Drumline Video