Jesse Willis is currently the Director of Percussion Studies at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. He holds a B.M.E. and a B.M. from Texas Tech University and a M.M. from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is currently pursuing a DMA at Texas Tech. At CCU, Jesse is the percussion arranger for the Spirit of the Chanticleer Marching Band and directs all of the CCU Percussion ensembles including: the Steel Pan Ensemble; Percussion Ensemble, Brazilian Samba Bateria; and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music Ensemble.
Prior to his appointment at CCU, Jesse was an Associate Instructor at Indiana University, where he was a private lesson instructor and directed the Indiana University Steel Pan Ensemble. He also assisted with teaching responsibilities for the IU Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, IU Afro-Cuban Percussion Ensemble and Latin Jazz Band.
As a performer and clinician, Jesse has played or presented at music conferences all over the country, including PASIC, Oklahoma PAS Day of Percussion, South Carolina PAS Day of Percussion, SCMEA, TMEA, CMEA, LMEA, The National Kodaly Convention and the National Orff Conference. He has also performed on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's "Monarch of the Seas." He is currently a member of the Long Bay Symphony Orchestra in Myrtle Beach has played with several symphony orchestras in South Carolina, Indiana and Texas.
Jesse has also had an active career as a performer and teacher of the marching arts. He has worked with several championship high school programs in Indiana and Texas, including Northview High School and Center Grove High School. He was the drumline instructor for the Sudler Award winning Texas Tech Marching Band (2004-2005). Jesse has also been heavily involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for many years. He has performed and taught with several DCI World Class drum and bugle corps including the Blue Knights, Blue Stars, Madison Scouts, and Carolina Crown.
Jesse's principal teachers include Lisa Rogers, Alan Shinn, Michael Spiro, Steve Houghton, Kevin Bobo, John Tafoya, Brent Montgomery, and Pat Amann. He is in demand as a performer and clinician at high schools and universities throughout the country. Jesse is a Yamaha Performing Artist and is currently an educational endorser for Vic Firth and Remo.