Dr. Matthew Darling (Professor of Music) has taught and headed the percussion area at Fresno State since 1991. Dr. Darling 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. In addition to teaching, 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, Modesto Symphony, California Symphony, and Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra. 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 National Tours of Wicked 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. Recently 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, and recorded on Albany Records. In addition to performing and teaching, Dr. Darling is currently the Assistant Chair of the Fresno State Department of Music and the President of the California Chapter of Percussive Arts Society. Dr. Darling was named College Educator of the Year by both FMCMEA and the Central Section of CMEA in 2007, and last year he received the 2011-2012 Fresno State Outstanding Adviser Award. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance from the University of Arizona, as well as a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Sacramento State. Dr. Darling endorses Sabian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion Mallets and Sticks, and Grover Pro Percussion.