Ray Aucoin has been a practicing percussionist for over twenty-five years and music educator for twenty. He holds a Master of Music degree in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music of Bard College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Westfield State University and is a certified music educator for the states of Massachusetts and Colorado. Ray has studied many forms of percussion with some of the world’s greatest educators including drum set with Gary Chaffee and Bob Gullotti, timpani with Alexander Lepak, mallet percussion with Sylvie Zakarian, multi-percussion with Taki Masuko, free improvisation with Joe Morris, and djembe with Famadou Konate and Mamady Keita.
As a performer, Ray has performance experience in a variety of musical genres ranging from rock to reggae - blues to Broadway and all points in between. He is currently music director and drummer for his own Third Stream trio “The Butler Band,” whose arrangements fuse the composed traditions of classical music with jazz improvisation. In addition to his teaching duties at NCMS, Ray also conducts workshops in West African percussion, song, and movement through his own teaching artistry company, “The Faama Dundun Project.”
Here at NCMS, Ray specializes in Rudimental and concert percussion, various ethnic percussion instruments, in addition to his innovative and multi-dimensional drum-set performance curriculum for all ability levels.