School of Performing Arts
247 Squires (0138)
290 College Avenue
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5335 | email@example.com
Annie Stevens, an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and internationally, is the Associate Professor of Percussion at Virginia Tech. She has performed internationally at music conservatories in England, Spain, China, France, Germany, and Trinidad. In 2017, she was invited as a fellow to attend Ensemble Evolution, a performance seminar hosted by the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada. Nationally, she has collaborated with New York’s Ensemble Signal and the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble, as well as performed and lectured at over 35 universities, at four international conferences, and featured on NPR’s "Performance Today."
As a member of the percussion duo Escape Ten, Annie maintains an active performance calendar around the United States and abroad, having recently performed in 2022 at the Eastman School of Music, Steinmetz Hall in Orlando, and the Percussive Arts Society East Region Day of Percussion in Greensboro. In 2019, Escape Ten was featured at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference (WASBE) in Buñol, Spain, and the 3rd Meeting of Contemporary Percussionists in Xabia, Spain. Escape Ten collectively contributes to the growing repertoire of percussion music by commissioning composers, and publishing these new works under the Escape X Series through Keyboard Percussion Publications. Their Escape Ten Signature Mallets are available through Malletech, a series that includes 5 different types of mallets, perfect for chamber percussion repertoire. The duo has also performed a keyboard showcase concert at the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Festival, Atlanta's prestigious Spivey Hall, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum, and numerous universities.
As an advocate for new percussion solos and chamber music, Annie has been a part of commissioning over 45 new works for percussion. She has been featured in performances at the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S., and the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference. She performs in a faculty quartet, October Sky, whose mission is to actively commission, record, and perform works for tenor, violin, cello, and percussion. Their debut album will be released on the MSR Label in 2023.
Annie is the principal timpanist for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, where she was recognized as "impeccably responsive" by the Roanoke Times. On March 25, 2023, Escape Ten will be soloists on the U.S. premiere of John Psathas’ The All-Seeing Sky, with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the festival orchestras of the Music Academy of the West, the National Orchestral Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (Florida). She can be heard on the albums, Our Favorite Things (Ravello Records) and Colours of a Groove by Escape Ten, and Blue Earth County with the Kelly Rossum Quartet. Annie's primary teachers include Michael Burritt, Alan Abel, Chip Ross, Bill Cahn, She-e Wu, and Tom McGowan, and she holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.M.), Rutgers University (M.M.) and The Eastman School of Music (D.M.A).
Annie endorses Malletech instruments, Remo drumheads, Blackswamp Percussion, and Dream Cymbals and Gongs, and she is the Chapter President for the Percussive Arts Society, Virginia/D.C. Region. She lives in Blacksburg, VA with her husband and violinist, John Irrera, and their two young daughters.
Annie Stevens is the Associate Professor of Percussion in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech where she teaches studio percussion and directs the VT percussion ensemble (VTP). As a member of the percussion duo, Escape Ten (www.escapeten.com), she maintains an active performance calendar around the United States and abroad, having recently performed with the Escape Ten duo at the 2019 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference (WASBE) in Buñol, Spain, and the 3rd Meeting of Contemporary Percussionists in Xabia, Spain. Escape Ten, comprised of Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet, performs new repertoire throughout the U.S. and abroad, collectively contributing to the growing repertoire of percussion music by commissioning composers, and publishing these new works under the Escape X Series through Keyboard Percussion Publications. The duo has also performed a standing room only showcase concert at the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Festival, Atlanta's prestigious Spivey Hall, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Jacksonville's Cummer Museum, as well as numerous universities.
As a chamber musician and soloist, Stevens has performed internationally at music conservatories in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Xi’an, China, The Academy for the Performing Arts in Trinidad, the Paris Conservatory with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, and has toured throughout Germany as timpanist with the Detmold Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, she was invited as a fellow to attend Ensemble Evolution, a performance seminar hosted by the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada. Nationally, she has collaborated with New York’s Ensemble Signal and the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble. Local engagements include those with the Roanoke Symphony as the principal timpanist, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, and the Garth Newell Music Center. She can be heard on albums, Blue Earth County with the Kelly Rossum Quartet, and Escape Ten’s, Colours of a Groove and Our Favorite Things (Parma Recordings label).
Annie has been featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on numerous occasions, the Virginia Music Educator’s Association annual conference, the New Interfaces for Musical Expression international conference, the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, the International Trumpet Guild, the College Music Society National Conference, and the International Trombone Festival.
Stevens earned a D.M.A. degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied percussion with Michael Burritt. Her research interests are in the area of chamber percussion, percussion pedagogy, and world percussion. She has pursued research on the music of Paul Lansky, having presented a lecture recital entitled, "From Electronic to Acoustic: A Study on Paul Lansky's Acoustic Percussion Music." She also holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.M.) and Rutgers University (M.M.), and spent a semester abroad at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany. Her teachers include Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Bill Cahn, Alan Abel, Chip Ross, and Tom McGowan. Previously, she has served as a faculty member at Christopher Newport University and the University of West Georgia. Annie is a Malletech Performing Artist, a Remo artist, a Dream Cymbals and Gongs artist, and serves on the Board of Advisors and music technology committee for the Percussive Arts Society. Annie currently lives in Blacksburg with her husband and violinist, John Irrera.
- Performance and Recording of Chamber Percussion Music
- Percussion Pedagogy
- Electroacoustic Percussion Music
- West African Drumming
- Performance Practice of Orchestral Percussion
- DMA in Percussion Performance and Literature, The Eastman School of Music, 2012
- MM in Percussion Performance, Rutgers University, 2006
- BM in Percussion Performance, Northwestern University, 2004
- Board of Advisors, The Percussive Arts Society
- Music Technology Committee, The Percussive Arts Society
- Diversity Alliance, The Percussive Arts Society
- Diversity Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Science, Virginia Tech, 2019
- Our Favorite Things, Escape Ten Duo, Parma Recordings Label, 2020
- Blue Earth County, Kelly Rossum Quartet, 612 Sides Label, 2016
- Colours of a Groove, Escape Ten Duo, Escape Ten Records, 2015
- Introducing the MechDrum ™, Percussive Notes, Vol. 57, March 2019
- Tech-Centric Percussion Opportunities: Case Studies in Collaboration, Percussive Notes, Vol. 58, June 2020 by Kurt Gartner
Escape Ten Performances:
- Fast Lane by Aurél Holló
- Clear Midnight by Michael Burritt
- 2300 Degrees by Ivan Trevino
Virginia Tech Percussion:
- Fractalia by Clay Condon
- Shared Space by Ivan Trevino
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy the creative process of seeing a performance through to its completion — from diligently working with students in rehearsals and private lessons, to watching the final performance of a piece.
What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?
There must be a sense of community among percussionists, and this is what I strive to see my students cultivate. Our job is almost impossible to accomplish without the help, positive influence and musicianship of the entire studio.