Our Story

The roots of the Iowa/Hungary Percussion Project date back to 2006.  In the fall of 2016, Matt attended the University of Debrecen, Hungary where Gabor was enrolled as a fellow percussion student.  At that time, Matthew became exposed to the repertoire of many Hungarian musicians.  These composers were often well-known to Hungarian musicians, but not well known in other communities.  After returning to Iowa, Matthew and Gabor had many discussions about composers from their homes, thus the Iowa/Hungary Percussion Project was born.  Armed with a mission to share the music of Iowan and Hungarian composers, the duo set out to begin performing.  

This performance series presented a unique opportunity to share a cultural exchange of music.  We decided to employ 6 Iowan and Hungarian composers to write new works for our percussion duo, representing our respective musical cultures.  In 2013 we toured in both Hungary and Iowa performing original music by: Jeffrey Smith (IA), Matthew Coley (IA), Sandy Nordahl (IA), Gyula Csapa (HU), Miklos Maros (HU) and Csaba Marjan (HU).

In 2014, the project added works for solo percussion.  Jillian Whitaker attended the project's 2013 performance at UNI, where she was a student of composition.  Inspired by the performance, she wrote and dedicated "Ewoe" to the project. 

In an effort to collaborate with a larger network of musicians, the 2015/16 season was dedicated to a large scale work for two percussionists with choir by Brooke Joyce. The duo partnered with UNI’s Women’s Chorus to premiere this work followed by a subsequent performance with Luther’s Collegiate Chorale.  

In the 2017, the duo set out to record their debut CD, All Systems Go. The recording features highlights of the duos commissioned works. 

The project is continually evolving as we continue to work with more musicians.  We look forward to the future collaborations this project brings!