Here you can learn about the MTSU Percussion studio, as well as its instructors/professors.

About the Studio

(coming soon!)

Instructor Bios

Lalo Davila - Director of Percussion Studies

Lalo Davila is currently Director of Percussion Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. Lalo received his Bachelor of Music degree from Corpus Christi State University and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas.

Originally from Corpus Christi, Lalo has extensive experience both as an educator and performer. Lalo was named Nashville¹s Top Five 1998 Percussionist of the Year Award. Lalo spent three years (1984-1986) performing and instructing with University of North Texas Percussive Arts Society Championship Drum Line and has served as an instructor for the Phantom Regiment and the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps. Lalo has toured with many artists including the "Take 6" Summer 1996 tour of Japan. Other performances include; the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, Six Pence and None The Richer, Clay Walker, Vickie Carr, Sherry Lewis, The Panhandlers Steel Band and Max Carl and the Big Dance.  Mr. Davila has recently performed percussion and lead vocals for the American Bible Society CD project and can also be heard on Kirk Whalum's Grammy-nominated CD.  Currently, Lalo performs with several Latin groups including "Orkesta Eme Pe"

Known as an outstanding clinician and adjudicator, Lalo has conducted clinics throughout the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and Japan. Lalo is the author of  'Contemporary Rudimental Studies and Solos' and 'Play at First Sight'. Lalo is an active clinician/performer for the Pearl Corporation, Row-Loff Productions, Avedis Zildjian Co., Innovative Percussion, and EVANS Drumheads.

Julie Davila - Adjunct Professor of Percussion

Julie Davila is a member of the chamber percussion ensemble, the CAIXA TRIO.  In addition to her membership in the CAIXA TRIO, she has served as the chair of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Percussion Committee and is the founder and executive director of Percussion XS, a dynamic new honors percussion group featuring middle and high school students.  Prior to Julie launching Percussion XS, she was the percussion specialist at several high schools in Nashville, Tennessee.  Many of her groups have medaled in all divisions of the WGI activity.  In 1996, the John Overton High School indoor drum line, under her direction, won a National Championship.  Julie has recently joined the nationally recognized adjudication team for WGI.  As a member of the Caixa Trio and as an active clinician specializing in contemporary and marching percussion, she has performed in Seoul, South Korea, Paris, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil and extensively throughout the United States.  Julie received her degree from the University of North Texas.  She has published numerous marching and concert percussion features through Row-Loff Productions and Drop6 Media.  She is the author of the "Modern Multi-Tenor Techniques and Solos” and “Impressions on Wood” published by Row-loff, and is a co-author of “Aptitude” - an innovative solo snare book published by Drop 6 media.  Julie is an endorser and clinician for the Pearl Corporation, Innovative Percussion, the Avedis Zildjian Company, Grover Pro Percussion, and Evans Drum Heads.

Paul Garretson - Adjunct Professor of Percussion

(bio coming soon)

German Baratto - Adjunct Professor of Percussion

German Baratto finished his Bachelor in Arts at the University of Puerto Rico and did additional studies at the Puerto Rico Conservatory and Berklee School of Music. After that he attended Middle Tennessee State University where he earned his Master in Arts in Jazz Studies and Percussion under the direction of Mr. Lalo Davila. While in school German played with well known artists such as Jim McNeely, Eddie Daniels and Jeff Coffin. Currently German works as an adjunct Professor at Middle Tennessee State University and is the Percussion Coordinator for the Oakland High School Marching Band. Recently one of German’s articles “Afro-Cuban Facility Exercises for Drumset” was published by the Percussive Notes Journal. You can see German playing around the Nashville area with country artists like Diona Devin, with his own jazz septet Jazzet and with Afinke Salsa Orchestra. German proudly endorses Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets.

Tom Giampietro - Adjunct Professor of Percussion

Tom Giampietro holds a Bachelor of Music in Studio Music in Jazz from the University of Miami (FL), and a Masters in Music in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa. He has studied with such well-known Educators as Dr. Bob Washut, Steve Rucker, Chris Merz, Jim Chapin, Vince Maggio, and Ron Miller.

As a drummer, Giampietro was a member of Grammy-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin's eclectic jazz group the Mu-tet. While with the Mu-tet, Giampietro performed on Coffin's award-winning and critically acclaimed CDs Go Round, and Commonality. During Giampietro's tenure with Coffin, the Mu-tet also completed national tours of the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest, including an appearance at the 2001 IAJE conference in New York City. Giampietro has also recorded or performed with such artists as Rod McGaha, Victor Wooten, Beegie Adair, Ben Monder, Chris Walters, Liz Johnson, Pat Bergeson, The Chris Merz X-tet, Ricky Woodard and Peter Erskine. From 2003-2005, he was a member of the University of Northern Iowa Faculty Jazz Ensemble. He has also been active in leading his own jazz group in and around the Nashville area.

Giampietro has appeared as a clinician or adjudicator at The University of Georgia, Belmont College, Austin Peay University, Brevard College, The SEIBA Jazz Competition, as well as various high schools in Tennessee and Iowa. He was also a member of the all-volunteer faculty at the non-profit W..O. Smith Community Music School.

In addition to his performing and teaching activities, Gampietro is also active as a composer. Student and faculty ensembles at The University of Northern Iowa and Eastern Kentucky University have performed his original compositions and arrangements.