Dr. Robert LedBetter is Professor of Music at The University of Montana where he is Director of Percussion Studies. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, a M.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Akron, and a B.M. in Music Education from Mars Hill College. He served as President of the Montana Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society for over 15 years and is active on the regional and national level as a performer, clinician and adjudicator.
Prior to his appointment at UM in 1990, Dr. LedBetter taught at Eastern New Mexico University, Tarleton State University, Navarro College and held a Teaching Fellowship at the University of North Texas for a total of four years. Orchestral experience includes positions with symphony orchestras in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico and he currently serves as Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. LedBetter is active as a concert artist performing throughout the Northwest area and has premiered several percussion works including Neboja Zivkovic’s Tales from the Center of the Earth for Solo Percussion and Wind Ensemble. The University of Montana Percussion Ensemble and “Islanders” Steel Band have created quite a following in the region drawing large crowds to each concert. Some of the artists featured with this group recently include Steve Smith, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Mark Ford, Andy Narell, Lalo Davila, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Jim Atwood, Julie Spencer, Gregg Bisonette, Steve Houghton, Arthur Lipner, Gary Gibson, Chris Wabich and Will Kennedy. Artists specializing in ethnic percussion to visit campus include Jared Powell and Made Lasmawan on gamelan and Edi Gbordsi and Fred Simpson on African percussion.
Dr. LedBetter is also very active as a drumset artist performing regularly in the region with a variety of groups. As a member of the All-Star Trio at the UM Jazz Festivals, he has enjoyed playing alongside such jazz greats as Lou Soloff, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, George Robert, Bob Berg, John Fedchock, Andy Narell, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Terry Gibbs, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Eddie Daniels, and Buddy DeFranco. Dr. LedBetter is also an active composer/arranger for percussion ensemble and steel band with several published works to his credit. He is also an Educational Endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Latin Percussion and Innovative Percussion.
Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, a M.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Akron, and a B.M. in Music Education from Mars Hill College