Skip To Main Content
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:


Dan C. Armstrong

Director of Percussion Studies
Headshot of Penn State Director of Percussion Studies Dan C. Armstrong
Contact
dxa5@psu.edu
814-863-4418
114 Music Building II

Dan C. Armstrong is Professor of Percussion at Penn State University, a position he has held since 1982. In 2020, he was honored by the PSU College of Arts and Architecture with an Outstanding Teaching Award.

A versatile musician, Dan has made recordings with the Armstrong Flute and Percussion Duo, the Grammy-winning Chestnut Brass Company, and (as a student) the North Texas 1:00 Lab Band. He has performed across the country, including Alaska, with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, and appeared at numerous jazz festivals as drummer for The Tarnished Six Traditional Dixieland Jazz Band.

As an orchestral musician, Dan has performed with numerous orchestras and music festivals including the Dallas, San Antonio, Florida (TFO), Jacksonville (FL) and Oklahoma City symphonies, as well as with the Aspen, Breckenridge, and Grand Teton music festivals and the Santa Fe Opera orchestra. He also performed with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, CO for many seasons.

Dan has been Principal Timpanist with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra for thirty-eight seasons and also serves as timpanist with the Academy Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra and Penn’s Woods Music Festival.

Dan’s strong interest in and involvement with mallet ensembles began early in his career when he was a student of James R. Dotson, concertmaster of The Marimba Masters of Eastman.  Dan organized and conducted the PASIC ’90 Marimba Orchestra and, in 1998, was principal advisor and co-principal bass marimbist with the 140-piece Marimba Festival Orchestra at West Point.  In 2015, Dan performed with and guest conducted the 112-piece “Celebrate Marimba” Festival Orchestra at Kutztown University. Dan’s mallet ensembles have been performed and recorded by numerous American university percussion groups as well as in Japan and South Korea.

Dan C. Armstrong is an artist for Sabian Cymbals and Innovative Percussion.

  • Education
    • BM from University of North Texas
    • M.MUS from University of Michigan
  • Courses Taught
    • Percussion
  • Expertise
    • Percussion
  • Publications & Presentations

    RECORDINGS

    • The Armstrong Flute and Percussion Duo
      Creative Mix
      Eleanor Duncan Armstrong and Dan Armstrong.
      Six recent works for flute and percussion duo by composers Welcher, Glassock, Wilson, Fenner, Hofmann, and Tanner. Gasparo Records GSCD-364
    • The Armstrong Flute and Percussion Duo
      Exotic Chamber Music
      Eleanor Duncan Armstrong and Dan Armstrong.
      Works by Philip Parker, Tauno Martinen, Elizabeth Walton Vercoe, Ingolf Dahl; Robert Mols, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Centaur Records CRC 2273
    • Lawless Percussion & Jazz Ensemble
      Jazz Behind Bars
      Jazz Behind Bars (On Amazon)
      Dan Armstrong, producer