Interlochen announces new instructor of percussion

Keith Aleo has been hired to succeed recently retired John Alfieri as instructor of percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy. An alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy himself and a former student of Alfieri’s, Aleo has served as the Coordinator of Percussion at Interlochen Arts Camp since 1991.

“As a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and as a camp alumnus, Keith understands what it takes for Interlochen students to succeed,” said Director of Music Dr. Kedrik Merwin. “He brings a depth of understanding to his teaching of gifted high school students that translates into effective mentoring.”

Aleo has a long and decorated career as a percussion educator: He comes to Interlochen from a full-time position as an instructor of percussion at the Boston Conservatory which he has held since 2004. Aleo also is also the Director of Percussion at the University of Connecticut and a percussion coach for the Boston Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to arriving at the Boston Conservatory, Aleo taught percussion at the University of Miami from 1994-2003.

Aleo has also contributed to percussion education through the publication of several books including Advanced Etudes for Snare Drum, Advanced Duets for Snare Drum and Complementary Percussion: A Handbook for Tambourine, Triangle, Cymbals and Bass Drum.

Equally in demand as a performer and educator, Aleo’s playing career includes 14 years as a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra’s percussion section and appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “Keith has the rare attribute of combining both the highest level of personal performance achievement with a distinguished background as a world-class educator,” said Merwin. “Not every great performer is an equally gifted teacher.  In Keith we see the best of both qualities.”

Aleo is actively involved in the percussion community and has served on the Board of Directors for the Percussive Arts Society. In 1994, he was awarded the Percussive Arts Society’s Chapter President of the Year award for his work as president of the society’s Florida chapter.