Dr. Don N. Parker, a native of Washington D.C., has been involved in total percussion playing in a variety of styles and genres. Over the years, Don has performed with artists such as Ellis Marsalis, Marchel Ivery, James Polk, Mark Whitfield, Ray Barretto, Oliver Lake, Buster Cooper, the Arianna String Quartet, and Jeff Jarvis to name a few.
He has served as a clinician, and a guest conductor for many conference band and percussion clinics in South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Maryland, Washington D.C., Texas, Missouri, New Jersey, and the Carolinas (North and South). He was a faculty member of the United States Percussion Camp held at Eastern Illinois University (1988-99) and the UNLV Percussion Camp 2000, and hosted two summer percussion workshops at UM-St. Louis in 2000 and 2001. Dr. Parker served as the host and clinician during the Missouri Day of Percussion 2002 at UM-St. Louis featuring drum-set artist Ndugu Chancler.
In 2003, Dr. Parker co-presented a clinic at the Missouri Day of Percussion in Columbia, MO. and taught/performed as a faculty member at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Western Michigan. In 2005 Dr. Parker performed as part of a percussion Ensemble Literature reading Session North Carolina Music Educators, Conferences in Winston-Salem, NC. and presented two clinics as part of the Mississippi Day of Percussion, Jackson, MS. Most recently he presented clinics at New Jersey and North Central/Nebraska Music EducatorsConferences, and co-hosted the 2007 North Carolina Day of Percussion with Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raliegh, NC.
Dr. Parker has appeared as a guest artist/adjudicator at the Augustana College Jazz Festival, The University of Nebraska at Omaha Jazz Festival, DePauw University, Greenville College, The University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of New Mexico, The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Tennessee State University, and the Austin Jazz and Arts Festival. Most recently he was featured at the Columbia Basin College Jazz Unlimted Festival in April 2006. Dr. Parker has performed with the modern American music group out of St. Louis, Synchronia, and the St. Louis Brass Band. For the past four years, he performed with African American Jazz Caucus Big Band at the International Association for Jazz Education Annual Conference.
Dr. Parker currently performs contemporary and traditional chamber literature with his trumpet/percussion duo, Double Take, which has a self-titled CD through PL Productions and his jazz vibes and piano duo, The Haydon/Parker Duo, which has a CD on the ACA Digital Recording Label, entitled “My Foolish Heart”. Both recordings have received favorable reviews by the Percussive Arts Society and the International Trumpet Guild. Double Take has recently commissioned several prominent composers for pieces to record on a 2nd second CD during the summer of 2007. Don is also a principal timpanist/percussionist with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to his appointment at Fayetteville State University as Assistant Professor of Music (Percussion), he also held positions at University of Missouri - St. Louis, Chadron State College (Nebraska) and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. At all of these institutions, he successfully wrote grants for cultural, equipment, and research projects through organizations such as the Nebraska Arts Council, NewBlom Foundation, the Title III Federal Program, and the City of St. Louis.
After completing his B.M. in Performance and Music Business from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN., he completed his M.M. and a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Parker holds membership in Percussive Arts Society (PAS), International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), MENC, NCMEA, African American Jazz Caucus, and American Federation of Musicians (AFM). Many of the activities Dr. Parker has undertaken have been supported by his endorsements from Sabian Cymbals, Sonor Drums, Mike Balter Mallets, Calato Regal Tip Sticks, Remo World Percussion, LP Music Group, Dynasty Marching Percussion, and Ross Mallet Instruments.