John Will Parks IV
Dr. John Will Parks IV, Florida State University Distinguished Teaching Professor, earned the DMA degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, two Master's degrees in Performance and Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Furman University.
BORN IN: Gastonia, NC
LIVES IN: Tallahassee FL
PLAYING SINCE: 1987
BIGGEST INFLUENCES: Neil Peart, John Beckford, Patsy Dash, Bill Williams, John Beck
MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE YOU PLAYED IN: Eastman Wind Ensemble 2000 Tour of Japan, Tokyo Opera City (also live recording, EWE at 50)
MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE YOU DIDN’T PLAY IN: Snarky Puppy
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: PASIC 2007, 2011, and 2023 with my students
FAVOURITE SABIAN CYMBAL: HHX Synergy Orchestral Cymbals
Dr. John Will Parks IV, Florida State University Distinguished Teaching Professor, earned the DMA degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, two Master’s degrees in Performance and Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Furman University. His teachers include Patricia Dash (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), John H. Beck (Rochester Philharmonic), Michael Burritt, Paul Wertico (formerly of the Pat Metheny Group), and John Beckford.
Parks made his Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall in May of 2007 and has performed with diverse performing organizations ranging from the Eastman Wind Ensemble on their 2000 tour of Japan and Taiwan and the Schlossfestspiele Orchestra of Heidelberg, Germany to the Kansas City, Alabama, Key West, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras as well as the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Eastern Music Festival Faculty Orchestra.
Dr. Parks also leads the FSU Percussion Ensemble, featured on four critically celebrated full-length recordings and winners of the 2007, 2011, and 2023 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competitions, and has appeared as performer/clinician at the Belgium Basilica Festival, the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference, three Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics, twelve Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, National Public Radio, and state MENC conventions, as well as leading conservatory and university music programs throughout the United States.
In 2013 John was inducted into the Engineering Wing of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as a voting member of the GRAMMY® Awards based upon his numerous audio and video production credits. These include internationally acclaimed projects with She-e Wu, Will James (The Repertoire), Thomas Burritt, The John Psathas Percussion Project, Blake Tyson, Scott Herring, Omar Carmenates, Adam Silverman, and Line Upon Line among many others, and his presentations on the integration of audio and video recording technology into the classical curriculum have been hosted by the Eastern Music Festival, Spark Laboratory, and the Leigh Stevens Marimba Seminar, as well as podcasts including The Entrepreneurial Musician, Everything Band, The Percussion Educator, @Percussion, and The Percussion Conservatory.