Percussion, Music Education, World Music & Dance, Coordinator of Music Education
John Rack teaches instrumental methods, supervises field experiences in instrumental music, and is responsible for curriculum development in the music education program. As a former high school-level instrumental music teacher, he brings practical experience to his courses for future music educators. Content ranges from marching band techniques to developing comprehensive musicianship to a music learning theory for beginning instrumentalists. His Ph.D. studies in music education include a minor in psychology and a dissertation on performance anxiety.
In teaching world music and dance he introduces students to concepts learned through personal experiences in Ghana and through study with musicologists and natives of places such as Bali.
As a percussionist, Rack's performing experience ranges from playing with the UNCW Faculty Brass Quintet and Early Music Consort, to being soloist with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and the UNCW Wind Symphony. He has performed with a diversity of artists including Johnny Mathis, Tim McGraw, the McLain Family Band (Bluegrass), and Mac Frampton and the Hollywood Hills Orchestra. He has served as timpanist and/or percussionist with orchestras throughout the Northeast and South, including the Wilmington Symphony, Oleander Chamber Orchestra, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony (TX), Altoona and Nittany Valley Symphonies (PA), Norwalk, New Britain and Waterbury Symphonies and New Haven Ensemble for New Music (CT), Long Bay Symphony (SC), Princeton Pro Musica, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra and South Jersey Symphony (NJ).
His percussion training includes a master's degree in performance, studying with Fred Hinger, former timpanist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera. Rack teaches percussion lessons, percussion methods class, percussion pedagogy, and directs the percussion ensemble, which includes at times a Central American marimba ensemble and Ghanaian drumming group.
His articles have been published in the Music Educators Journal, North Carolina Music Educator, The Instrumentalist, Jazz Player, and Percussive Notes. His music is published by Colla Voce Music. Formerly Rack was percussion instructor at Penn State University and Susquehanna University, and instrumental music teacher at Eastern Regional High School in New Jersey. He taught and performed as a percussionist for eight summers at the New England Music Camp.