On Thursday, Jan. 24, percussionist and University of Maine Alum, Scotty Horey returned to campus to host a percussion clinic as well as a solo performance later in the evening. Despite the rather bleak and messy weather, several students, community members, along with friends and family of Dr. Horey made their way to Minsky Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. for his performance.
In the show, he played pieces on the marimba, snare drum and the drum set which highlighted his primary concentrations in the vast array of percussion instruments. With a focused and energetic attitude throughout the performance, Horey’s complex melodies on the marimba and masterful technique on the drum set and snare drum demonstrated the many wonders that can be created out of percussion instruments.
Horey graduated in 2007 from UMaine and went on to receive a master’s degree followed by a doctorate in percussion at the University of Minnesota. He currently resides in Minneapolis where he is an assistant professor of percussion at the University of Minnesota-Morris campus as well as conduct performances and clinics in the twin cities area and around the world. Recent trips have taken him to Poland, Greece and Denmark and past trips have taken him to countries like Brazil and Argentina.
Horey began his collegiate music education chiefly under the instruction of Professor Stuart Marrs. At UMaine, Horey described his study as mainly focused on classical music as well as jazz.
“The program is focused on classical music and actually, I’ve always liked classical music, but I had always seen myself as a teenager getting more into rock and things like that,” Horey said.
Despite the deviation from his original goal, Horey found his classical education to be a transformative experience.
“When I started working with Stuart in particular, Dr. Stuart Marrs, I became more interested in it and I really opened up more possibilities. I actually really got into classical music and jazz,” Horey said.
This exposure to classical music in many ways helped guide him towards a new musical interest: teaching. Horey found the nuances of classical music to be so complex and engaging that he wanted to continue learning and sharing it with others.
“Classical music just works really well with this idea of education because there is a lot of lineage attached to these things,” Horey said. “There’s a lot of performance practice. There’s a lot of history. It’s very intricate music there’s a lot to say about it.”
It was due to this interest in education sparked by his study of classical music that Dr. Horey decided to do positive work with music through its educational avenue.
“I made the conscious choice that my career would be based in education,” Horey said. “I mulled over a lot of things in my mind when I first started getting serious about music and I gave it a lot of really deliberate thought. All of my family has careers in education, my grandparents, my mom and my dad. I’ve always loved teaching. I have always loved talking about music. I like playing music but I love explaining things and reflecting on it and having discussions about it.”
Performance and education are equally important to Horey as outlets to spread a positive message through music. He is often doing both, and to him a common as well as fulfilling schedule is one which integrates both elements of his passion.
“One day of the week I could be teaching a child how to hold a pair of sticks, which seemingly is quite boring, and then another day I could be talking about interpreting contemporary music with an advanced college student. And the third day of the week I could be playing a concert. It really doesn’t matter, the more different conduits we can reach people through, various different ways in the area of music, the better,” Horey said.
Horey also maintains a Youtube channel called “Snapshots of a Journey,” on which he performs and gives lessons with the hope of reaching more people through the the internet. The aim of these videos, for Horey, is to maximize the demographic he can reach by crafting videos that are accessible and understandable. These videos are usually around five minutes long and balanced in concept, not too academic and not too pop music oriented. This way, the videos can be a learning tool which allow people to discover a new technique or learn a new song.
“I just want someone to watch one of the videos and get something out of it personally. Music is like that. I don’t want a certain group of people to just take in my stuff, I want, [through] my performing and teaching, as many different kinds of people to get something out of it,” Horey said.
Whether it is through hands on teaching or online instructionals, Horey shares his passion for music around the world. He likes to keep himself busy with as many projects and outlets he can pursue, all with the goal in mind of spreading a positive message through music. Whether he is traveling to the far reaches of the globe to teach or releasing online tutorials, Scotty Horey is a prime example of the vast impacts music can have, and all the ways that music can both adapt to culture as well as enact positive change for culture.