J. Michael SAMMONS, Dr. portrait
  • Percussion Area Coordinator, School Of Music
  • Assistant Professor, Percussion Percussion Area Head, School Of Music
  • Assistant Professor, School Of Music

Research Summary

Cloning is a phenomenon dealing with neuroplasticity involving brain symmetry and proposed anatomical connections through corpus callosum, referred to as unilateral transfer by motor control physiologists. Its’ application to percussion comes about in response to strength training of one limb or homologous muscle, shown to be due to neural, rather than muscular adaptations.


  • D.M.A. Percussion Performance and Pedagogy , School of Music, University of Arizona. Project: “A Performance Guide to Áskell Másson’s Marimba Concerto”
  • D.M.A. Minor in Instrumental Conducting, School of Music, University of Arizona
  • M.M. in Percussion Performance , School of Music, University of Arizona
  • B.M. in Music Education / Performance Certificate, School of Music, University of Florida


Michael Sammons, D.M.A. serves as the Percussion Area Head at the University of Utah. Sammons is recognized as a versatile performer in solo and chamber, symphonic, marching percussion arts and non-western musical styles. In addition to his work with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, he performs with the Utah Opera, Ballet West Orchestra, various theater venues including Pioneer Theater Company, Capitol and Eccles Theaters, Utah Chamber Artists and NOVA (New Music Chamber Series). He also directs the newly founded “Street Drumline” for the NBA’s Utah Jazz. His work can be heard on ESPN, TNT, TBS and local media outlets as well as diverse recording projects including the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

Sammons has appeared extensively throughout the U.S. and in Brazil as a guest artist and clinician including multiple performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro and de Recife in Brazil, various Percussive Arts Society’s “Days of Percussion”, National Association for Music Education, and numerous state Music Educators Association Conventions as well as prominent universities across the U.S.

He has performed with orchestras in Florida, Arizona, and Alabama where he was percussionist / assistant timpanist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2012. Sammons is an artist endorsee for Vic Firth Sticks/Mallets, Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion and a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Sammons has served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Percussive Arts Society as well as other appointments including University Pedagogy Committee Chair, Education Committee and Collegiate Committee, founding member. From 2013-2016, Sammons served as President for the Utah PAS Chapter, which won the award for “Chapter of the Year” in 2015. He is a contributing author to Percussive Notes and PAS Educators’ Companion as well as text and video in the 3rd edition of Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook, a percussion methods book used worldwide. In addition, he has commissioned several new works for percussion by prominent composers including Anders Koppel, Dwayne Rice and Christopher Deane.

Sammons previously served as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of South Alabama from 2008-2012 where he founded and established the USA Jag’ Drumline, USA Steel Band and World Music Group, touring extensively throughout the region. Sammons continues to direct the Treasure Coast Percussion Camp in his hometown of Vero Beach, FL., founded in 2005.

His travels abroad include Trinidad, Ghana and Brazil.