The jury will consist of a panel of seven representatives from the United States and China. All scoring will be based on a system of 1 - 100 (highest) and the panel of judges will not discuss their decisions. Anonymous comments will be provided to each participant upon request. In the event of a tie, the panel of judges will take an anonymous vote and the participant with the most votes will be declared the winner. The panel consists of:

Jonathan Haas

Jonathan Haas is known worldwide as a solo artist, orchestral timpanist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, clinician, and entrepreneur.

He has garnered international acclaim for his performances of the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, which he commissioned and has performed seventy times around the world with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Sydney Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, BBC, Radio France, Istanbul Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Latvian National Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Mexico City, and many others.

Jonathan is the principal percussionist of the American Symphony, principal timpanist of the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, and percussionist of the American Composers Orchestra. He made his professional conducting debut for the Amazon Prime/Jet Blue Mozart In The Jungle video initiative.

Haas is the President of Gemini Music Productions, the largest employer of musicians in New York, contracting musicians for Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Carnegie Hall’s New York Pops, the Emmy Award-winning All Star Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, and the Little Orchestra Society.

Haas is a Professor of Music and Co-Director of the NYU Orchestral Program, Director of Instrumental Performance, Director of the NYU Percussion Program, conductor of the NYU Contemporary Music and Percussion Ensembles, faculty/artist of the Juilliard Pre-College percussion studio, and conductor of the JPC Percussion Ensemble. He is an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he conducts the Aspen Percussion Ensemble.

Haas has performed and recorded with Emerson Lake & Palmer, Aerosmith, the Grammy Award-winning Zappa's Universe, and many other innovative contemporary artists, commercial products, and movie soundtracks. In his quest to showcase the timpani in unusual musical settings, Haas is known for his legendary Hot Jazz Timpani performances, highlighting an unusual instrumental combination with his 9-piece Latin/Jazz ensemble, Johnny H. and the Prisoners of Swing.

Simon Boyar

Simon Boyar is a world-renowned percussionist, composer, producer, and educator. He is widely regarded as among the top percussionists of his generation, and he boasts a world class resume that in terms of sheer diversity is unrivaled by many is his field. He has given performances as a soloist, chamber musician, freelance percussionist, and outreach clinician across the globe to critical acclaim. An avidly sought out commissioner of new music, Simon has been called upon time and time again by elite composers to participate in the world premieres of many ground breaking works for his instrument. Simon has composed an entire catalog of marimba and percussion music. His unique brand of music has developed a global following and is performed around the world. As a producer Boyar has been sought out by many professional touring artists for collaborative efforts resulting in the creation of cutting edge experiences in performance and sound. In the field of education, his unique method and mentoring approach is in constant demand by the world's top conservatories and universities. He has served as a faculty member at both The Juilliard School and NYU Steinhardt and has produced successful students time and time again. Simon is also the owner and founder of the Simon Boyar School of Drums and Percussion in Westchester, NY. The SB School is a game changer for music education in the area with a variety of offerings including private lessons, a percussion ensemble program, a jazz program, and a summer drum and percussion festival.

Morris Arnie Lang

Morris "Arnie" Lang, born Morris Arnold Lang on February 2, 1932 in New York City, NY, is best known for his forty years as a percussionist with the New York Philharmonic. Lang attended the Juilliard School of Music. In 1955, shortly after graduation, he was appointed Associate Principal Timpanist and percussionist with the New York Philharmonic. He has performed with music directors from Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta to Kurt Mazur on hundreds of recordings and on television including the famous Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts" and "Live from Lincoln Center." Tours with the Philharmonic included all of Western Europe, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, India, South America, the former Soviet Union, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

Among his solo recordings is Stravinsky's l'Histoire du Soldat and he is the first person to have recorded all Eight Pieces for Timpani by Elliot Carter. His publications include The Beginning Snare Drummer, The New Conception (drum set), and Dictionary of Percussion Terms. Mr.Lang is Professor of Percussion at the Conservatory at Brooklyn College and in charge of the Doctoral Percussion Program at CUNY. At the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) 2000 he was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame.

In 2014, Hudson Music released Mr. Lang's instructional DVD, The Gladstone Technique – an important historical document of Billy Gladstone and his important contribution to modern drum technique.

Clint de Ganon

Drummer Clint de Ganon grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Before graduating high school, he'd performed for Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, and was given a pair of drumsticks by Gene Krupa himself. Following his classical training (Buster Bailey & Roland Kohloff), and drum set training (Sonny Igoe & Mel Lewis), Clint moved to NYC in the 1980's. Since then, he's established himself as one of the city's busiest and most versatile drummers.

Recent television performances include Stevie Wonder at Radio City Music Hall, Paul Shaffer at the Kennedy Center, Carole King on Good Morning America, and Sutton Foster on "Live From Lincoln Center." A few of Clint's recent recording sessions include David Letterman's new Netflix series, Sutton Foster's new orchestral record, and a recording for Renee Fleming. Clint also recorded all the drums for the tv show, Hairspray Live! In the jazz world, Clint appears regularly with The Manhattan Transfer. He's also played with contemporary jazz artists Larry Carlton, John Pizzarelli, Hiram Bullock, Bob James, Michael Franks, Chuck Loeb, Tom Scott, Jeff Lorber, Andy Snizter, John Tropea, and David Sanborn.

Honored to have played with symphonies all over the country, Clint frequently appears with the Houston Symphony, the New York Pops in Carnegie Hall, and has even appeared on television with the All-Star Orchestra.

Clint was honored to have played a series of concerts with The Fab Faux. Clint's also performed with Paul Shaffer, Billy Preston, Cornell Dupree Phoebe Snow, Kid Rock, Elvis Costello, Edgar Winter, The Blues Brothers Band, Sebastion Bach, Cissy Houston, Brook Benton, Fantasia, Deborah Cox, Christopher Cross, Art Garfunkel, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, and Orleans. He's a current member of the legendary band Stuff, led by Gordon Edwards.

Clint's Broadway work includes tours, recordings, and television with Liza Minelli, Christine Ebersole, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Linda Eder, Burt Bacharach & Sutton Foster. He has been the drummer for 12 Broadway shows (for which he wrote the drum books for 10 of them), including Hairspray, Footloose, Catch Me If You Can, Next to Normal, and Bonnie & Clyde. Clint can be heard regularly at his current show, the Grammy and Tony Award- winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, now in their fifth year.


Pablo Rieppi is a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He is a regular guest with New York Philharmonic and has performed with numerous esteemed ensembles, in a multitude of styles. Mr.Rieppi was involved in many Broadway productions, recorded numerous film scores and premiered compositions with several ensembles.

An enthusiastic educator, Mr. Rieppi presents masterclasses abroad and throughout the United States, and is a faculty member at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, where he teaches private lessons, presents masterclasses and co-directs the percussion ensemble. Former faculty positions include Columbia University, Hofstra University and Purchase College. He has been a teaching artist with Carnegie Hall, The New York Philharmonic and The American Composers Orchestra, and has adjudicated on numerous panels.

Equally interested in composition, and the development of pedagogical materials, Pablo Rieppi has several works available online, including Snare Drum Technique: Essential Basics for Daily Practice (cited as one of the 30 most used snare drum method books in the March 2015 issue of Percussive Notes), Accompaniment Music for Solo Snare Drum, Vol. 1 and Rhythmic Roots.

Pablo Rieppi holds a Masters Degree and Professional Studies Certificate from The Juilliard School, and a Bachelors Degree from George Mason University. You can find more information at prieppimusic.com.


Praised for her ‘mesmerizing combination of sound and sight’ (Irish Times), the award-winning marimbist, Eriko Daimo, is one of the leading artists of her field.

Her recent performances include concerto performances with some of the world’s leading orchestras such as the RTE Ireland National Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and Orchestra Nipponika; as well as recital tours in Asia, Europe and the Americas. She has given recitals and masterclasses in some of today's most recognized percussion festivals, including the Taiwan International Percussion Convention, Italy PAS Percussion Festival, International Marimba Festival in Minneapolis, Internacional de Marimbistas in Mexico, Festival des Journees de la Percussion in Paris, Universal Marimba Festival in Belgium, KOSA International Music Festival in the US, International League of Artists Marimba Festival in Tokyo, and PASIC.

As an educator, she has given concerts and masterclasses at music institutions including the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Paris Conservatory, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, San Francisco Conservatory, Colburn Conservatory, etc.  Also, she has been presenting a series of masterclasses at New York University since 2013..

She served as a judge for the Percussion Arts Society International Percussion Solo Competition, Majaoja Percussion Competition (Finland), Italy PAS Percussion Competition, Latin America Marimba Competition, and Bamberg International Marimba Competition.

As a student, she has won top prizes in numerous competitions, including 1st prizes at the International Marimba Competition 2004 in Belgium, Japan International League of Artists Competition, Japan PAS 20th Annual Percussion Solo Competition 2004, and Japan Soloist Music Competition.

Born in Kagoshima, Japan, Ms. Daimo began her musical studies at age five on the piano. She started studying the marimba when she entered high school in 1997, and went on to study at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music and the Boston Conservatory.

Ms. Daimo is an endorser of Marimba One and Vic Firth, and Zildjian, currently a visiting faculty at The Juilliard School pre-college division.

Gang Liu

Gang Liu, associate Prof., Central Conservatory of Music, first timpani NCPAO, former first percussion CNSO. His arrangements When I Fall in Love, Sunshine Tashkurgan, Crack the Walnuts, are widely played in the nation. Gang's percussion hand book published by Shanghai Musical Publisher is the first western percussion instruments translation book in China. Liu Gang endorses Zildjian cymbals, Sonor Drums and Remo heads.

Hongyu Li

LI Hongyu, founder of Nine Beats, serves as: chairman of board of directors of Tianjin Nine Beats Education & Technology Group, member of China Percussion Institute, executive member of Shanghai Percussion Association, specially-appointed member of International Percussion Education Association (IPEA), professional teacher of modern percussion of the Affiliated Middle School of Tianjin Conservatory of Music, National Distinguished Percussion Teacher, excellent instruction teacher of China Percussion Institute, member of Tianjin Heping District Youth Association, member of Tianjin Heping District Youth Entrepreneur Association, deputy director of Tianjin Chamber of Commerce for Education and Training Industry.

Mr. LI Hongyu has been engaged in drum performance and education for 30 years since he established Nine Beats in 2003. By June 2017, Nine Beats has established over 700 branch schools in 390 cities among 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions throughout China with a number of 162,000 current students and more than 5,000 full-time teachers. Based on many years of teaching and performing experience, Mr. LI Hongyu has developed a complete set of "Nine Beats teaching system", "Nine Beats staff training system" and "Nine Beats Business School management system". Numerous excellent students have stand out through Nine Beats special teaching methods, namely as "Nine Beats collective teaching method", "Nine Beats effective class training method" and "Nine Beats thumb education concepts", which are truly step-wise teaching materials for drum set learners; over 5,000 teachers have attended Mr. Li's training programs and teach at different centers of Nine Beats; The management system of Nine Beats Business School insures the all-round development of all Nine Beats branch centers.

The Nine Beats Drum set Course System, edited by Mr. LI Hongyu in 2004 and published in 2008, including 18 books in 6 collections, has been highly praised by drum-set masters such as Virgil Donati of Australia and Thomas Lang of Austria, and American drum-set educators and performers Rich Latham and Dom Famularo as "the most logical textbook in drum-set". It has been widely adopted by teachers and peer institutions over the decade. In 2017,Nine Beats Electric Guitar Course System, Nine Beats Electric Bass Course System, Nine Beats Marching Percussion Course SystemandNine Beats Marimba Course System, edited by Mr. Li have been published consecutively. Nine Beats guitar teaching system will change the development direction of China's modern music education and training industry.

Over the 14 years history since the establishment of Nine Beats, Mr. LI Hongyu has been always dedicated to the popularization and promotion of China's basic modern music education. Being invited to give lectures to numerous places by China Hongkong, Singapore, Japan and many others, each year, Mr. Li Hongyu conducts many masterclasses and staff training programs among the music conservatories in China and the branch certers.

Mr. Li has cultivated numerous excellent students such as An Yu who was admitted by Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Han Bingchen and Cao Jiayu by Rotterdam School of Music, the Netherlands and many others who represent China's excellent young drummers. Over the recent 10 years, hundreds of young drummers of Nine Beats have consecutively won the first and second prizes in various percussion contests in China and aboard.

Mr. Li's achievements in China's modern music education have been acknowledged by numerous percussion masters, educators and music industry peers and have also attracted massive media at home and abroad, namely as Reuters, National Broadcasting Company of America, Al Jazeera Television, British TV, French Television, Germany Television, Dutch Television station, Japan Television, Singapore Television, China Taiwan TV Station, China Hong Kong Television Station, programs like "Wealth Story", "Oriental Horizon", "Story", "Human and Society", "Data Confidential", and "News Saloon" of CCTV, Phoenix TV Chat Show Columns, Tianjin TV "Men's world" and many others. Dozens of domestic and foreign TV media have interviewed Mr. Li Hongyu or filmed programs and China documentary program also featured Mr. Li a documentary entitled "Drum Speakers".