The Percussion Room is a website for percussionists, timpanists and anyone curious about the instruments and inner workings of an orchestra's percussion section.

The key features of The Percussion Room are currently:

  • Assignments: A crucial part of organizing a percussion section, the Assignments page is where you can look up compositions and find out what instruments are needed, how many percussionists and timpanists are required – or not required – and get part assignments, which are instructions about who should play what. The assignments have been gathered and organized over the course of many years. Many of the compositions have been performed and the assignments tested in professional orchestras.
  • Dictionary: A dictionary/translator of percussion instruments, percussion terms and phrases found in the repertoire and some general musical terminology.
  • Auditions: A collection of audition lists from orchestras around the world. These are the actual lists – job requirements – from orchestras that have (or had) job openings. If you want a job playing in an orchestra, here is the music you need to know before you audition.
  • Instruments Statistics (Stats): Currently contains instrument-usage statistics, which tells you how often instruments are used in orchestra repertoire.
  • Composers: A list of composers with their years of birth and death. An interesting glance at composers and their contemporaries.
  • Blog: Some research, some lists, some updates, some ramblings.


This may be a bit out-of-date now, but just in case, one quick point:

TLDR; – Use a modern, up-to-date browser.

It's quite important that you try to use this site on one of the following browsers (alphabetically): Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera or Safari. In other words, not Internet Explorer. The short story is that Internet Explorer has its own rules for displaying websites, and developing a site that works well on it is very tricky (i.e., it's a pain in the a**). Later versions of IE should be ok but I do minimal testing on them to see that things look OK (though everything should work). Everything works well and looks better on other browsers so there's no point in dealing with IE. So please, if possible, don't use Internet Explorer. Edge is totally fine.

Web design breakdown.


Founder, The Percussion Room

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Steven Wassmansdorf has been playing drum set since he was ten years old, percussion and timpani for over twenty-five years professionally, and has experience in nearly every musical genre.

Steven joined the percussion section of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998 – one of its original members – and held the position of Sub-Principal Percussion for eleven seasons. With the MPO, Steven was featured on several occasions as a multi-percussionist and drum set player. In the MPO chamber music series Steven appeared as an arranger/conductor and also as a percussionist in over a dozen concerts featuring standard repertoire, percussion ensemble music, contemporary music, and Ghanaian drumming. Steven toured with the MPO in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, throughout most of Malaysia and he can be heard on more than ten MPO recordings, mainly on BIS Records.

Steven was a member of the Windsor Symphony (Canada) from 1993-1998. During the 1996-7 season, Steven was a featured soloist with the orchestra performing Jeffrey Ryan’s Two-By-Four, for marimba and chamber orchestra.

Before leaving for Malaysia in 1998, Steven was a substitute and extra percussionist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over ten years and played with all of the major symphony orchestras in and around Toronto. Since returning to Canada in late 2010, Steven has performed with, among others, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and Vancouver Opera.

Steven has also played in several musical-theatre productions in Toronto including performances of In the Heights, Crazy for You, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera.

In September 1997 Steven traveled to Wildcat Lake in the Haliburton highlands of Ontario, Canada to perform in R. Murray Schafer’s Princess of the Stars, an environmental music-theatre piece performed at dawn around the perimeter of a small, remote lake.

In 2001 Steven traveled to Ghana to reconnect with the Ewe drumming he learned in university with Russell Hartenberger — three weeks immersed in African drumming, dancing and culture with Kwasi Dunyo.

Steven has performed twice at the Darmstadt Festival for New Music in Germany. One year in Darmstadt included a complete performance of Steve Reich's Drumming which was recorded live for German radio.

Steven has a music performance degree from the University of Toronto where he studied with Dr. Russell Hartenberger. After university, Steven studied privately with Alan Abel in Philadelphia. Steven's first teacher and mentor was David Kent, the timpanist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Steven also studied in Toronto with Robin Engelman (percussion) and Bob Becker (tabla and percussion), attended the 'Bob Becker Ragtime Xylophone Institute' and the Oberlin Percussion Institute (twice) where the faculty were Michael Rosen, Allen Otte and Eric Forester, and the guest artists were Cloyd Duff, Doug Howard, Richard Wiener, and Paul Yancich.

Steven can be contacted here.

Featured Image.
Copyright © 2004-2017 by Steven Wassmansdorf. All rights reserved.