Matthew Darling, DMA

Dr. Matthew Darling

Dr. Matthew Darling (Professor of Music) has taught and headed the percussion area at Fresno State since 1991, and has been Chair of the Department of Music since Fall 2016.  He has appeared as a soloist, performer, adjudicator, clinician, conductor, and/or presenter throughout the United States at festivals, universities, state and international music conventions, including the Percussive Arts Society (PASIC), California Music Educators Association, and California Band Directors Association.  As a performer, Dr. Darling is the principal timpanist/percussionist with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (Nevada City, CA), principal timpanist with the Sacramento Choral Society Orchestra and principal percussionist with the Fresno based Orpheus chamber ensemble.  He also actively performs with the Fresno Philharmonic, Sacramento Philharmonic, and Modesto Symphony.  For years he performed regularly with the Arizona MusicFest Orchestra and the former Sacramento Symphony, and has also performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, and California Symphony.  Dr. Darling has appeared professionally as a soloist with numerous organizations, including the Music in the Mountains Orchestra, the Merced Symphony, Orpheus, and the Percussion Ensembles at the University of New Mexico, University of Arizona, University of South Dakota, Southern Oregon University and Sacramento State University.  In addition, Dr. Darling has performed as a percussionist for the Fresno stops of national Broadway tours of Wicked (2011, 2014, 2019) and The Producers. 

An avid supporter of new music for percussion, Dr. Darling has been involved with the premiere of dozens of solo and chamber works.  Premiered works written solely or in-part for Dr. Darling include: Prayer for Peace for marimba solo by Dr. Benjamin Boone (2011); Neurotica (2008) for solo flute and three percussion by Dr. Kenneth Froelich; Accidental Migration for solo marimba and percussion ensemble by Dr. Froelich; Nyumbani (2008), a commissioned three movement work for solo marimba by Mark Vance; Braided River Nights (2006) for flute and marimba by Howard Hersh, recorded on Albany Records. 

As a teacher and professor, Dr. Darling was presented the CBDA Don Schmeer Friend of Music Award in 2019, received a Fresno State Outstanding Adviser Award in 2012, and was named College Educator of the Year by both FMCMEA and the Central Section of CMEA in 2007.  He has hosted the Annual Central California Day of Percussion since 1992, which has seen a long list of world renowned drummers and percussionists including Kevin Bobo, Michael Burritt, Thomas Burritt, Ndugu Chancler, Anthony Cirone, Peter Erskine, Pete Escovedo, David Garibaldi, Jeff Hamilton, Emil Richards, David Samuels, John Santos, Julie Spencer, Michael Spiro, Leigh Howard Stevens, John Tafoya, and Nancy Zeltsman.  Dr. Darling has held the position of President of the California Chapter of Percussive Arts Society (CA-PAS) since 2009.  In 2013, he oversaw the return of the Annual CA-PAS Competitive Percussion Festival, which is hosted at Fresno State in early May.  He has also served as a Percussion Manager and Coordinator with CASMEC since 2015, and held the position of Percussion Representative with FMCMEA 2013-2020.  He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance from the University of Arizona, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from California State University, Sacramento.  Dr. Darling endorses Grover Pro Percussion, Innovative Percussion Mallets & Sticks, Sabian Cymbals, and Yamaha.

Office Hours

Administration (MB 242)

Day Hours
Monday 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Percussion and Ensemble Directors (MB 144)

Day Hours
Monday 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.