Melinda Leoce is the Instructor of Percussion and Director of Athletic Bands at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, the Coordinator of the Graceland Music Department, and the President of the Iowa Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. In her role at Graceland University, she directs the Graceland Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble, and the the Marching Yellowjackets, and teaches Applied Lessons, Percussion Methods and Pedagogy, Music Theory and Ear Training, and World Music. Her research interests include marching percussion, steel pan performance and pedagogy, percussion ensemble, and non-western percussion.

Recent highlights of Melinda’s professional career include appearances with the Des Moines Symphony during the 2017-18, 2018-19, and upcoming 2019-20 seasons, clinics at the University of Central Arkansas Percussion Festival, the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point, and the Virginia/DC Day of Percussion, and performing on the John Psathas Percussion Project’s CD, Volume I, which was released in January 2019 on Navona Records. She has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention with the Indiana University and Florida State University Percussion Ensembles.

Melinda has an extensive background in percussion education. Prior to her position at Graceland University, she served as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Florida State University. She has presented clinics and masterclasses at Days of Percussion and Percussion Festivals throughout the United States, and has also been one of the Snare Technicians at Crossroads Indoor Percussion based in Des Moines, Iowa since 2018. Active as an arranger for steel drum ensembles, groups including Indiana University, the University of North Texas, Graceland University, and the University of Central Florida have performed her arrangements.

Melinda is actively pursuing the Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University where she achieved A.B.D. status in July of 2019. She holds a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance and a Certificate in World Music from The Florida State University and a Bachelor’s of Music Education Degree from the University of Central Florida. Her teachers include Jeffrey Moore, Kirk Gay, Dr. Thad Anderson, Dr. John Will Parks IV, Dr. Michael Bakan, Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, and John Tafoya.

Daniele Morgan Photography