Dr. Matthew HarderDr. Matthew D. Harder, Associate Professor of Percussion and Music Technology, was recently named Program Director of the Division of Music at West Liberty. Dr. Harder teaches Electronic Music, Recording Techniques, Fundamentals of Percussion, Private Lessons in Percussion, Private Lessons in Composition, Percussion Ensemble, and The Panhandle Steel Ensemble (WLU’s steel drum band).
Dr. Harder holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Illinois Wesleyan University, two Masters degrees from Bowling Green State University in Percussion and Composition, and a Doctor of Music degree in Composition from Northwestern University. He studied drumming with the Ewe people of Ghana in the summer of 1998 and often leads Ghanaian drumming workshops.
Dr. Harder is active as a composer, performer, and clinician and is currently Vice-President of the West Virginia chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. As a composer, he has had his works performed in numerous cities around the country. In July 2008, he performed his piece Dark Wood for marimba and bassoon at the International Double Reed Society Conference in Provo, Utah. Dr. Harder has been commissioned to write music for a wide variety of instruments and electronic media. His compositions have received numerous awards, including a First Place award for Skies of Couple Color from the Music Teacher’s National Conference (East Central Division), the William T. Faricy award for creative composition from Northwestern University for Chin Music, and a performance of his orchestral piece Catharsis by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.