Drew Morris

Drew Morris

I began composing in high school. I got a little more serious and took some lessons while attending college at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After graduating I continued composing as much as time allowed for the ten years that I was a band director in Berryville and Green Forest, Arkansas.

In my third year as a band director I was thrust into the world of percussion when I was asked to take over the entire percussion program in Berryville. Until that point my only experience with percussion was “Beginning Percussion Methods” in college where I received the grade of a “C”, thinking at the time, “I’ll never teach percussion. I’m a trumpet player.” For the next four years I immersed myself in all things percussion, putting in the time practicing any percussion instrument I could get my hands on and calling for help from trained percussionists when I didn’t know the answer. By the end of the fourth year teaching percussion I felt like I’d made up for my inattention in college when I no longer felt like a total newbie in percussion rehearsals and started becoming the person others called on for percussion answers. (and also because in my last years as a percussion teacher my percussion sections went undefeated throughout marching season!)

By that time I’d written a handful of percussion ensembles and even had my first piece published through Row-Loff Productions, “Alpha Bravo Niner”. My time in the world of percussion taught me the value of good percussion writing in concert band, marching band, and beyond, which is why I tend to have A LOT of percussion in my music. Just look at any of my concert band pieces! (Check out “Yellow”, Finalist in the Third International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, “The Midnight Circus”, or “Threshold”)

Though I managed to write a handful of pieces I was proud of while I was teaching, I knew that if I wanted to give my composing a real chance I was going to have to commit to it. In 2017 I left my teaching job to compose full time.

Over my time as a composer I’ve written music for concert band, percussion ensemble, marching band, electronics, indoor drumline, British brass band, orchestra, various chamber groups, jazz band, marimba solo, piano solo, the Drew Morris ensemble, and the group I co-founded and currently perform with – “Thought Form Collective”.

I currently live in Springdale, Arkansas with my wife Holly, my cat Pumpkin, my dog Grady, and an ever growing synthesizer collection.

Works by Drew Morris