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December, 22, 2023
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM




High School Percussion Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Riley Warren

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

The Forney High School Percussion Ensemble is a premiere performance ensemble based in Forney, Texas, about 20 miles east of Dallas. The city of Forney is located in Kaufman County, which is currently the fastest growing county in the nation. Students begin their percussion studies in the 6th grade at Rhea Intermediate School, and continue as 7th and 8th graders at Warren Middle School. Every student in the Forney High School Percussion feeder pattern is taught by the directors on a daily basis. Intermediate and Middle School percussionists prepare solos, perform in one of four concert ensembles, a jazz band, and prepare percussion ensembles for the annual "Night of Percussion" concert. Additionally, Warren Middle School percussionists perform as members of the Warren Middle School Indoor Drumline, which competes in the Scholastic Cadet Class at North Texas Colorguard Association events throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. At the high school level, Forney Percussion competes as part of the Forney High School Band at University Interscholastic League, Bands of America, and other local marching band contests across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and the state of Texas. The Forney High School Drumline competes in local fall drumline competitions, such as the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Drumline Contest, the Lone Star Classic Drumline Competition, and the North Texas Drumline Contest, hosted by Forney ISD. During the spring semester, the Forney High School Indoor Drumline participates in North Texas Colorguard Association and Winter Guard International Indoor Drumline events in the Scholastic Open Class. During this time, many high school students assist in instructing the middle school indoor performing ensemble. This creates a strong bond between the middle and high school members while providing unique teaching and leadership opportunities for the high school students. In addition to being competitive in local indoor circuits, all students participate in percussion ensemble preparation as members of the 2022 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition Champion Forney High School Percussion Ensemble. During this time, students prepare ability-based percussion ensemble literature during their band class in anticipation of the annual “Night of Percussion” concert. Members of the Wind Ensemble percussion section participate in multiple recording sessions and percussion ensemble festivals, including the North Texas Percussion Festival, hosted by Forney ISD. The 31 outstanding young men and women who comprise Forney Percussion are AP and Dual-Credit students and are represented across many Forney High School organizations including the National Honor Society, Student Council, Tennis, Powerlifting, ROTC, and Information Technology. Alumni of Forney Percussion can be seen performing around the country in university music programs, collegiate marching and concert bands, independent indoor percussion ensembles, local community bands, and even on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. The mission of Forney Percussion is to develop strong leaders, create powerful and lasting relationships, and promote excellence in life through music.

Forney High School Percussion Ensemble

Conductor's Bio

Riley Warren is a native of Austin, Texas where he attended Round Rock High School and performed with the award-winning Rock Drums. He holds a Bachelor of Music Studies Degree and Performance Certificate from University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Thomas Burritt, Bob Duke, and Jerry Junkin. While at UT, Riley performed with the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, New Music Ensemble and Longhorn Band. In 2022, Riley earned his Masters of Music Education Degree from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, where he studied with Sarah Allen, Lynne Jackson, and Frank Troyka. Riley is currently in his 6th year as Director of Percussion at Forney High School. Under his direction, the Forney HS Percussion Ensemble performed at the 2022 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN as a winner of the prestigious International Percussion Ensemble Competition, and recently earned an invitation to perform at the upcoming 2023 Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, IL. In addition, the Forney HS Drumline and Indoor Drumline have earned high accolades at contests in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, as well as percussion captions at multiple area marching band competitions. Riley spent six consecutive summers from 2010-2015 performing in Drum Corps International as a member of both The Crossmen (2010-2013) and The Cadets (2014-2015), serving as Front Ensemble Section Leader for both groups and earning the distinction of Rookie of the Year in 2014 and Cadet of the Year in 2015. During his time with these organizations, Riley studied with Iain Moyer, Colin McNutt, Ian Hale, and Nathan Ratliff. Riley recently founded Rhythmic Wavelengths LLC, which specializes in custom percussion arranging and design for performing ensembles as well as professional consultation for percussion directors. He is an Educational Artist for Vic Firth and Zildjian, and currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Additional Directors

Additional Conductor Image

Shannon Jacobs