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Bradford Ralston is a dynamic young composer with a diverse background in percussion performance and music composition. While earning a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition and theory from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, he studied composition with renowned classical composers such as Dr. Michael Kurek and Dr. Stan Link.
His experience in percussion performance is marked by two national tours playing snare with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, and four years as an active member in the Vanderbilt Steel Drum Band under the direction of Mat Britain, in addition to numerous performances with the Blair Percussion Ensemble and various other ensembles at the Blair School of Music. He has studied percussion and jazz drumset with distinguished drummers and percussionists such as Bill Wiggins, John R. Beck, Michael Holland, Tommy Giampietro, and Brian Tinkle, and has taught drums and percussion lessons at the W. O. Smith School of Music in Nashville, TN, as well as privately in Winston-Salem, NC.
Bradford’s background as a drumset player and a drum corps snare drummer is a persistent influence in his classical works, which are rich with rhythmic complexity, energy, and an insistence on grooving. His works for steel pan band introduce a unique stylistic approach to the ensemble, combining classical and modern percussion ensemble writing techniques with the accessibility and excitement offered by steel drums.
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