Von Hansen is an active performer, composer and educator of percussion music.  A native of Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Hansen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Washburn University, a double Master’s in Music Composition and Percussion Performance from Central Michigan University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion from the University of Kansas. He is currently the Adjunct professor of Percussion at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, The President of the Kansas Percussive Arts Society and is an in demand clinician and private instructor. 

Von has performed throughout the United States, including in Carnegie Hall with The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Electronic Music Midwest, The Society of Composers, Inc. Regional Conference and with the Kansas City Electronic Music Alliance. He specializes in works combining percussion and electronics, performing his own compositions, premiering several works by other composers and presenting paper presentations, clinics and masterclasses on the subject.  Von actively performs with the Wichita Symphony, Wichita Chamber Chorale, The Wichita Grand Opera, The Great Plains Percussion Group and various jazz and theatre gigs.

As a composer, Dr. Hansen was named the winner of the 2009 Central Michigan Orchestral Composition Contest, and his works have been selected for performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States’ National Convention, The Society of Composers, Inc. Regional Conference and Electronic Music Midwest.  He has earned commissions from The Washburn Percussion Collective, Skiatook High School Percussion Ensemble, Washburn Rural High School Percussion Ensemble, Ross Elementary Band, Royal Valley Middle School band, percussionist John Brown, and pianist Emily Grabinski.  His compositions have been performed all over the world by artists such as Dr. Andrew Spencer, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, and the Kansas City Electronic Music Alliance

For more information and news about Dr. Hansen follow on Facebook and Instagram @vonhansenmusic or visit his website


Jeff Hewitt (D.M.A.) is a freelancing percussion educator and performer in the Kansas City area. He is currently the Percussion Instructor at Shawnee Mission East High School and Olathe South High School, a founding member of the Kansas City Percussion Group ensemble, and the Vice President of the Kansas Percussive Arts Society, and he also recently taught as an Adjunct Instructor in Music Theory at Park University's International Center for Music. In 2016, Dr. Hewitt served as the tour administrator, performer, and clinician of the World Percussion Group during their two-month university tour across the United States. Other recent performances include appearances at the 2015 & 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, and various universities throughout the country. His current research focuses on the objective grading of four-mallet solo vibraphone literature, a project that has spawned an extensive database containing pieces organized by difficulty level. As a music educator, Hewitt has taught students at the collegiate, secondary, and elementary levels in Kansas, Missouri, and Arizona. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Kansas State University, and his teachers include Norman Weinberg, Julia Gaines, and Kurt Gartner. Jeff is extremely proud to be a Vic Firth artist, a Beetle Percussion artist, and a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network.



Emory Dease is currently the District Director of Percussion in the Seaman School District, providing percussion instruction for students in grades 6-12. Under his direction, the Seaman percussion ensemble has been selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association convention in 2013, 2014 and 2019, and has performed at the Kansas Day of Percussion in 2013 and 2018. Emory currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer on the Kansas Percussive Arts Society Executive Board.

Emory is a 2003 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Central College, and more recently, his Master of Music Performance from Kansas State University. While at Kansas State, Emory served as the Percussion Graduate Assistant and Drumline Instructor. He has formerly held the position of Percussion Director at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, KS, and Newton High School, Newton, IA.


Chris Exum received both his Bachelors and Master’s Degree from Kansas State University. In his undergraduate years at Kansas State University, Chris was involved with various ensembles such as; The Pride of Wildcat Land, Kansas State University Concert Band, Symphony Band, Concert Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab A, Percussion Ensemble, Latin Jazz and various jazz combos.

After completing his Bachelors program, Chris spent the majority of his time as a freelance musician playing shows with the Chris Exum Trio, and The Manhattan Blues Project and a variety of other musicals. In the summer of 2008 Chris accepted his first position as Percussion Instructor with Riley County High School. There, he instructed middle through high school percussion along with private percussion lessons. In October 2008, while still teaching at Riley County, Chris took the position at Junction City High School as Drumline Instructor, and was later offered to help with the Percussion Ensemble and Wind Ensemble. While building these two programs, Chris had the opportunity to expand his percussive experiences when he was offered an additional position at Washburn Rural High School in January of 2009. There, his responsibilities included; drumline, private lessons, percussion ensemble, and writer and arranger. In the summer of 2009 Chris Exum began working on his Masters Degree at Kansas State University in a new program which granted him licensure and a Master of Music Education degree which he completed in May, 2011.

Currently Chris Exum is the Assistant Band Director/Percussion Instructor at Washburn Rural High school. At Washburn Rural, Chris assists with the marching and concert band, leads a jazz combo and oversees all things percussion. In addition to his musical duties, Chris is also a part of the REACH program which assists incoming freshman make the transition into high school by working with them in the areas of time management, organizational and test taking strategies, education and career planning. Chris Exum is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, K.M.E.A., C.M.E.N.C. and a member Percussive Arts Society serving as their Social Media Officer.