Position: Professor Emeritus, Percussion
Employed Since: 2007–2021
B.M., Northwestern University; M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
Earl Yowell is currently professor of percussion at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. He was appointed as the director of percussion studies in 2007. In addition to his teaching, he has also appeared as soloist with the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. He is the director of the (SU)PERcussion Ensemble at Shenandoah.
In 2012 he served as a judge for the mock percussion audition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. In 2011 Yowell was invited to be a guest artist at the 9th International Patagonia Percussion festival in Argentina. He was also in 2011 a featured Timpani clinician at the 50th Anniversary International Percussive Arts Society Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2010 he was a guest lecturer for the Atlanta International Timpani Seminar.
While teaching he has also maintained an active performing schedule. Performing solo and chamber works and with orchestras. He performed as timpanist with the Atlanta Symphony in 2008 and 2011 and percussionist with the Maryland Symphony 2009. In 2010 he also performed with the internationally acclaimed percussion group, Nexus. In the fall of 2008 he performed the world premier of William Cahn’s “Night Ride for Timpani and Orchestra.” Also in 2008 he co-founded the Ear Candy Contemporary Music Series. He presently serves on the Symphonic Committee of the Percussive Arts Society.
Prior to his appointment at Shenandoah, he performed for 20 seasons as the principal timpanist and percussionist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He toured extensively with the SPCO throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He was a featured soloist with internationally famous percussionist Evelyn Glennie in the SPCO performances of Andrzej Panufnik’s “Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings” and was timpani soloist in the Chamber Orchestra’s premier performances of Johann Carl Christian Fischer’s “Symphony for Eight Obbligato Timpani.” In 2006 and 2007 he has appeared as a Chamber music soloist with the SPCO. His performance of Marta Ptaszynskas multiple percussion solo Spiderwalk in 2007 received both audience and critical acclaim. He was also a regular performer with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota where in 2001 he premiered, with cellist Yo Yo Ma, a concert of new chamber music works. The making of this concert was the subject of a PBS television production.
In addition to participating in numerous recordings with the SPCO. Yowell has also played on two Grammy A ward-winning albums: “The Art of Arleen Auger” and Samuel Barber’s ” Anthony and Cleopatra.” He has appeared on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Saint Paul Sunday” and “Prairie Home Companion” programs.
He has given clinics and master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States including the Stephen F. Austin University International Percussion Symposium, OberlinnCollege, the University of Illinois, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, and the Tri- College Day of Percussion in Fargo North Dakota. He performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival in 1989 and 1990. Yowell also spent several summers playing in the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and appeared as a percussion soloist with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra on Italian National Television. Yowell formerly served on the percussion faculty of the University of Minnesota.
From 1991 to 2000 he was a member of the percussion faculty at the McPhail Center for the Arts. For numerous summers he has also performed with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and the North Star Opera. While principal timpanist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (1976- 1987), he also taught at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His principal teachers include Cloyd Duff, and Richard Weiner, (Cleveland Orchestra), Terry Applebaum and Glenn Steele, (Northwestern University.)