Tristan Swihart is a percussionist based in Madison, WI. Being equal parts performer, educator, and arts administrator, Tristan keeps himself busy as a freelance artist. When not on the road performing or teaching private lessons, Tristan enjoys reading, kayaking, and riding his bike. He is also actively involved in the process of creating new works for percussion, having been a part of multiple commissions and world premieres with several composers such as Andrew Patzig, Victor LaBozzetta.
Tristan is a co-founder and member of pax duo, a percussion project based in Goshen, IN and Madison, WI. Along with collaborator Micah Detweiler, Tristan aims to break preconceptions of contemporary percussion through collaboration and new creation. pax duo has performed over twenty concerts and clinics during their premier 2021-2022 tour season and recently released Bloom Suite, by Elliot Cole.
As an educator, Tristan teaches numerous junior and senior high school percussionists as a private instructor in Madison, WI. Currently, Tristan is a co-director of the Indiana All-State percussion ensemble, assists with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony percussion ensemble, and is the director of world percussion studies at the International Music Camp in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakoda. In this role, he teaches introductory non-western drumming techniques to students of all ages with the goal of sharing his appreciation of these musical cultures. Tristan has also assisted in teaching Western and Brazilian percussion at the Birch Creek Summer Music Academy for Percussion and Steel Band. In addition, he is an experienced marching band instructor, teaching drum lines and front ensembles throughout Indiana and Wisconsin since 2017.
Tristan received a Bachelor of Music degree and Arts Leadership certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Professor Michael Burritt as well as Brian Kushmaul, Chip Ross, Jim Ross, and Rich Thompson. Tristan previously studied with Micah Detweiler.