Orchestra: Arizona - The Big List of timpanists - Phoenix Symphony
Dr. Mark E. Sunkett has been a member of the performance faculty at Arizona State University since the fall of 1976. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University in Philadelphia where he received his undergraduate and Masters degrees. Dr. Sunkett also holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Sunkett has performed with numerous professional organizations including the Philadelphia Ballet and Opera Orchestras, Penn Contemporary Players, United States Marine Band, Arizona Ballet and Arizona Opera Orchestras. During the 1975-76 season, Sunkett was an extra "on call" with the world renown Philadelphia Orchestra. For four years from 1978 to 1982 Dr. Sunkett was principal timpanist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as percussionist with jazz, rock, and other popular artists touring the country.
As an ethnomusicologist Dr. Sunkett's principal areas of research are African American and African music, percussion performance practices and aesthetics. From 1984 to 1996 Sunkett was director of the Kawambe drum and Dance Ensemble. He has recently stepped out of this position to pursue his current research in Senegal, West Africa. Since 1994 he has been principal investigator on the "Drums of Sénégal Project." This project seeks to document rhythms, history and performance practices among the various ethnic groups in Senegal. His publications include: 1) Mandiani Drum and Dance: Djimbe Performance and Black Aesthetics from Africa to the New World, White Cliffs Media; 2) The compact disk, Mandiani Drum and Dance, White Cliffs Media; 3) A video tape to accompany these titles was completed in January, 1997; 4) A compact disc featuring Omar Thiam and Jam Bugum entitled, Sabar, the Soul of Senegal , was released in October, 1997.