Teacher Profile: Marcia McCants

Marcia McCants

Marcia McCants

Instrument(s): Drums, Percussion, Piano

City: Washington, DC

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    About Marcia McCants

    Music has and always will be Marcia's focus in life. From a young age, Marcia has always been drawn and attuned to music, beginning with piano lessons at age 5. Since then she has participated in all sorts of music classes and ensembles. Her first instrument was voice, singing and reading music in choirs all through out K-12 and on and off since her undergraduate years. Although she doesn't play piano or sing as much as she used to, her primary instrument and focus in life is being a percussionist, more specifically a marimbist.

    Marcia began her percussion journey at the age of 11, falling in love with the concepts and instruments that comprise of percussion. She has was blessed with incredible middle and high school teachers and private lessons that gave her experiences that led her to pursuing this as a career. In 2017, Marcia graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Industry. During her time at JMU, Marcia participated in a variety of ensembles and playing different genres and styles of music, such as percussion ensemble, steel drum band, Marching Royal Dukes where she served as Front Ensemble section leader in 2013, Massanutten Brass Band, and more. Her teachers at JMU were Bill Rice, Casey Cangelosi, Michael Overman, and Laurel Black. Marcia continued her percussion studies in graduate school, completing her Master of Music in Performance in percussion in 2021. While there, she participated in their wind ensemble and percussion ensemble under the direction of John Kilkenny, who was also her teacher. She recently had the opportunity to take her skills and expertise overseas as she completed another degree, a Master of Arts in Applied Psychology of Music from the University of Leeds in 2023. While she was overseas, she began a percussion ensemble with a fellow percussionist, played in a contemporary music ensemble, and sang in a student run Jazz and Blues society. With her new degree in music psychology, Marcia hopes to cultivate better and more holistic music making environments based on research and studies done. Her focus of study is in emotion and body movement, something she integrates into her self practice and teaching approach.

    Marcia has also had plenty of performance opportunities. In 2017, she took part in the Sandbox Percussion Summer Seminar, playing with members of the esteemed group as well as other students. She has also aided the Brass Band of Northern Virginia and Massanutten Brass Band. In 2021, Marcia was invited to play with the Colour of Music orchestra, an orchestra comprising of primarily African American and Black musicians. The concert series for that season was headlined by Vanessa Williams. That same year, the Colour of Music percussion section gave a premiere performance at PASIC, an annual Percussive Arts Society convention that Marcia is also a member of. She is also a member for the Percussive Arts Society Scholarly Research committee and Diversity Alliance. Her hope is to elevate research into emotions, mental health, and well being of musicians and more specifically percussionists and let them be seen.

    When she isn't doing music related activities, Marcia spends time with her dog, Chili. She also loves to dance and does dance fitness as much as she can. Some of her other hobbies include reading and watching all things Batman, anime, free writing, and cheering on her JMU Dukes! She is a trivia and music bingo host and loves every minute of it, always wanting everyone she encounters to leave feeling good regardless of the outcome of the game, or lessons!

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