Robert Slack is a leading Timpanist/Percussionist in the Southern California area. Winner of a national audition for a percussion position in the Pacific Symphony in 1990 he then became the Principal Percussionist in 1992. In addition to his work with the Pacific Symphony he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic the San Diego Symphony Opera Pacific the Long Beach Symphony and in many Ballet performances at the Los Angeles Music Center the Kodak Theater and other venues. Major performances with ballet orchestras include the American Ballet Theater Joffery Ballet Bolshoi Ballet of Russia Royal Danish Ballet Dance Theater of Harlem Kirov Ballet and Miami Ballet. Broadway show productions include The Car Man Annie Evita Fosse and others. Previous to his position with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Mr. Slack held positions as Timpanist with the Nassau Symphony on Long Island and Assistant Principal Timpanist/Percussionist with the Naples Florida Philharmonic.
Mr. Slack received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia the Nation?s premier music conservatory. While at Curtis Mr. Slack studied with Gerald Carlyss Principal Timpanist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Michael Bookspan Principal Percussionist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Slack received an Orchestral Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1989. He also performed and studied with Roland Kohlof former Principal Timpanist of the New York Philharmonic at the Waterloo Festival in New Jersey. During high school Mr. Slack attended the Juilliard School of Music Pre- College Division and studied extensively with New York Philharmonic Principal Percussionist Christopher Lamb at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Mr. Slack has appeared as soloist with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra under the direction of composer/conductor John Williams in the Williams work Escapades for vibraphone and alto saxophone and also performed the work at Disneyland with the Chapman University Orchestra. He has also been featured in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra?s American Composers? Festival with internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma. Additional solo appearances include the Pacific Symphony Family concerts and the New Sousa Band under the direction of Keith Brion at the Ambassador auditorium in Pasadena. He has also been a soloist on the Pacific Symphony Pops series with the jazz vibraphone classic Midnight Sun. As a solo Marimbist Mr. Slack is known among Musician for his musical interpretations of the Music of Bach having performed solo recitals of Bach?s music at Chapman University Biola University and at the Orange County High School for the Performing Arts.
Highly sought after as a teacher Mr. Slack has had many of his students placed in major music conservatories and universities such as the Juilliard School Indiana University School of Music and others. Several of his students have earned positions in professional orchestras. He has held teaching positions at Fullerton College at Fullerton Santa Ana College and Chapman University. Currently Mr. Slack maintains a private teaching studio in Orange County.
Also active as a jazz musician Mr. Slack heads a Jazz trio 'Rob Slack and Friends' which has been a featured group at local venues. Mr. Slack studied Jazz Vibraphone with the area's leading Jazz Vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake and studied drum set with jazz legend Joe Morello of the Dave Brubek quintet in the 1950?s. Mr. Slack can often be seen 'sitting in' at local jazz spots after Pacific Symphony concerts.
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