March 3, 2005

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Joseph C. Agbasi Student Assistant

VSU Professor Performs with Grammy Award-winning Atlanta SymphonyOrchestra and Chorus

Valdosta State University Professor and Valdosta Symphony Orchestra Principal Timpanist, Dr. J David Morris, is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Chorus that recently won a Grammy at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.

Conducted by Robert Spano, the ASO and Chorus performed the Berlioz Requiem. The performance was recorded by Telarc International in November 2003 and was engineered in surround sound. This recording was awarded the Grammy for Best Choral Performance.

"I was pleased that the Atlanta Symphony was recognized once again as one of the finest orchestras and choruses in the country," Morris said. "The ASO choir is second to none and we are very fortunate to have a fine major orchestra in our state and region. I was very honored when they asked me to be part of the project."

Morris has been serving as a substitute timpanist for the ASO for the past four years. He is also the principal timpanist for the Macon Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and Central Florida Symphony.

According to the ASO website,, the first concerts started in 1945. The orchestra is comprised of 95 orchestral members and 200 choral members. They perform more than 200 concerts a year. Their performance venues include the Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center and the Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

This year marks Morris' 20th year at VSU. He earned his doctorate in applied percussion from Michigan State University. He coordinates percussion studies, teaches applied percussion lessons, and also conducts the VSU Percussion Ensemble.

Morris has been professionally playing for 34 years, but actually started at the age of 12. He plays all percussion instruments, some guitar, and minored in trumpet in college. He plans to stay at VSU, while advancing his orchestral career in outside orchestras.

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