John Lawless, Director of Percussion Studies, School of Music
John Lawless, Senior Lecturer, joined the music faculty of Kennesaw State University in 1998 and became the Director of Percussion Studies in 2004. Principal Timpanist of the Atlanta Opera orchestra since 1979, John held the same position with the Chattanooga Symphony for 21 years. Since 1978, Mr. Lawless has performed, toured and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra while maintaining a thriving freelance career as a studio and pit percussionist.
A founding member of the Atlanta Percussion Trio, Mr. Lawless performs hundreds of school concerts a year for thousands of children throughout the Southeastern United States. Along with Scott Douglas and Karen Hunt, the trio has been a performing group for 32 years, bringing educational programs to children of all ages.
As a soloist, Mr. Lawless played several concertos with the Chattanooga Symphony, including: The Olympian for 8 Timpani and Orchestra as well as The Messenger for Multiple Percussion and Orchestra, both written by James Oliverio. In 2009, Mr. Lawless performed Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion with the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he performed the Southeastern premier of Christopher Theofinidis' Marimba Concerto with the KSU Wind Ensemble for the Festival of New Music.
A graduate of Georgia State University, Mr. Lawless' teachers include Tom Float, Jack Bell, Cloyd Duff, Paul Yancich, Bill Wilder and Mark Yancich. Previous faculty appointments include those at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University and West Georgia State University.