Nick Petrella is on the faculty at Kent State University where he leads efforts in Arts Entrepreneurship in the College of the Arts and is on the percussion faculty at the Glauser School of Music. An advocate of Arts Entrepreneurship, he co-founded Arts Entrepreneurship Podcast: Making Art Work in 2020, and has given arts entrepreneurship and music business lectures at universities throughout the US and in the UK. In 2018, he co-presented “The Entrepreneurial Mindset from Theory to Practice: Developing What Entrepreneurs Value in Their Young Colleagues” for the GenNext series from the College Music Society at NAMM 2018.
Nick has extensive music business experience. From 2000 to 2019 he was the Director of Education for SABIAN Ltd., where he was responsible for sales, marketing, and artist relations for the Band and Orchestra/Educational division. Early in his career he worked in retail and as a drum stick distributor. Since 1992, he has been a consultant to companies in the music products industry and has designed 14 percussion implements, accessories, and instruments currently on the market. In 2014, Nick was presented with the President’s Industry Award from the Percussive Arts Society. He launched nickpetrellapercussion.com for online lessons and presentations and has published numerous articles in US and European music journals. He is the author of two Carl Fischer publications: “The Ultimate Guide to Cymbals” and “The Multiple-Percussion Book,” which was translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. In 2006, Nick and Diane Petrella published “The Musician’s Toolbox, Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Music,” now available as an e-book.
As a performer, Nick has commissioned and premiered over a dozen compositions and has many solo and chamber music performances to his credit. He has performed with the Kansas City Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Michigan Opera. In 2002, he and pianist Diane Petrella formed the Petrella Ensemble, which has appeared throughout the US, Europe, and Mexico. Nick has appeared as a clinician, adjudicator, teacher, and performer in over 30 countries.
Nick previously taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Oakland University, Texas Christian University (TCU), and the Royal Northern College of Music, where he developed a percussion pedagogy course. Additionally, he served as the percussion instructor/arranger for the marching bands at the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, and TCU. Twice, Nick has been the percussion coach with the World Youth Orchestra and in 2008 was the percussion coach for Xenakis’ Pleiades at the BBC Proms Festival in Royal Albert Hall. Under his direction, the TCU Percussion Ensemble performed as the first percussion ensemble invited to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Nick received a D.M.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.M. from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in music education from Penn State University.