Summer Music Festival 2020

A virtual mallet keyboard program for middle and high school students in Sarasota and Manatee counties, July 13-17.

Modern Marimba’s summer program is a place where young people can feel at home while learning music skills (listening, empathy, thinking creatively, working together) that will help them thrive after their school years are over. Our world needs these skills now more than ever.

And thanks to Modern Marimba’s generous donors, this summer festival is free of charge to ALL registered students in Sarasota/Manatee counties.

Tihda Vongkoth, its founder, has been presenting summer music programs in partnership with the Woodland Middle School Band program since 2013.

Modern Marimba will host this program online using a Zoom account moderated by David Wing, director of Bands at Woodland Middle School. Its faculty has created each day with regard that many of the attendees will not have access to a mallet instrument at home.

Make a difference. To support our educational programs, please click here to make a tax-deductible gift to Modern Marimba, a 501c3 charitable organization.


5pm-6pm Monday, July 13 on Zoom – Intro to Stevens technique, the malletSTATION & front ensembles with Angelo Outlaw a.k.a Jello Vibes

5pm-6pm Tuesday, July 14 on Zoom – Intro to Traditional grip & concert music with Michael Jones and Tihda Vongkoth

5pm-6pm Wednesday, July 15 on Zoom – Yoga for young musicians with Dr. Sue Marcus, PhD, CIYT, C-IAYT

5pm-6pm Thursday, July 16 on Zoom – Intro to Burton grip & jazz improvisation with Jalen Baker

7pm-8pm Friday, July 17 on Facebook – Faculty concert & career discussion (live concert +Q&A live-streamed from Modern Marimba’s Facebook page:

2020 Faculty

Tihda Vongkoth

Tihda is the founder of Modern Marimba, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. “I have been working with students in Sarasota County for ten (10) years. As a professional musician, I try to balance my artistic experiences performing with the Sarasota Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, St. Pete Opera, the Key Chorale, and Artis Naples with my commitment to sharing the benefits of music with young people. But of course, I end up learning so much from them, too!” Lean more about Tihda here.

Tihda will be present at all classes July 13-17. She will teach the fundamentals of Traditional Grip on Tuesday, July 14 at 5pm ET on Zoom and perform on the faculty concert Friday, July 17 at 7pm ET on Facebook.

Angelo Outlaw a.k.a Jello Vibes

Angelo was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. As a child, he started on the violin due to his mother’s skill with the instrument. “I grew up with music always in the house and listened to my mom’s violin playing. It made sense to start there.” Angelo has front ensemble experience with the DCI groups Crossmen and the Bluecoats. He also helped lead Music City Mystique to their 2011 WGI World Championship title as the center marimba. Learn more about Jello Vibes here.

Angelo will teach the fundamentals of Stevens technique, front ensemble skills, and give an introduction to the Pearl malletSTATION, a new electronic mallet keyboard instrument, on Monday, July 14 at 5pm ET on Zoom. He will also perform on the faculty concert Friday, July 17 at 7pm ET on Facebook.

Michael Jones

Co-founder and Vice President of Modern Marimba, Michael is a marimbist, percussionist, and educator based in North Texas. His performances of classical and contemporary works for marimba in mixed chamber settings and marimba ensembles have received critical acclaim and his solo performances, particularly of Japanese marimba repertoire, have been recognized in the United States and Japan. In 2016, Michael co-founded the Heartland Marimba Quartet, an M1 ensemble, and, from 2016 to 2020, completed over 100 performances and residencies during seven tours across the U.S. As an associate director of Heartland Marimba during that time, Michael was core faculty at the annual Heartland Marimba Festival and supported the commissioning efforts of Heartland Marimba Publications. Learn more about Michael here

Michael will teach the fundamentals of Traditional Grip and learning concert music on Tuesday, July 14 at 5pm ET on Zoom.

Dr. Susan Marcus

Dr. Marcus is a full time research professor in Psychology at Walden University, a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT), and a certified therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. “People who know me would agree that I am a bit of an academic nerd. I’m attracted to fields of study that have depth and breadth. I like to study and learn. Becoming a certified yoga teacher requires LOTS of study and continuing education – so that was a perfect fit. All of my Iyengar teachers are authentic in their knowledge, well-studied, and demonstrate compassion and rigor in their teaching, and they continue to serve as my role models. The Iyengar yoga method has been studied scientifically, and I appreciate the importance of documenting the causes and effects of changes in the physical body, nervous system, and consciousness.” Learn more about Dr. Marcus and Iyengar Yoga Sarasota here.

Dr. Marcus will lead a fun and accessible yoga experience for students of all abilities on Wednesday, July 15 at 5pm ET on Zoom.

Jalen Baker

Jalen, born in Washington DC and raised in Houston, TX, is a vibraphonist, percussionist, educator, and composer whose early training involved both classical and jazz. He decided rather early on to focus on jazz and in May 2017, Jalen received his BA in Jazz Studies from Columbia College Chicago. He then received his MM in Jazz Studies from Florida State University. Jalen has been an active performer with the Leon Anderson Quartet, The Ulysses Owens Trio, and The Ulysses Owens Quartet, as well as leading his own band Musiki Tano in venues in and around Georgia and Northern Florida. Jalen was also recently the featured guest with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra. Learn more about Jalen here.

Jalen will present a class on the fundamentals of Burton grip and jazz improvisation on Thursday, July 16, 5pm ET on Zoom. He will also perform on the faculty concert Friday, July 17 at 7pm ET on Facebook.

Important Information

Zoom K-12 Privacy Policy

We’re committed to providing a safe, online classroom for parents and students.

Online Class Info & Waiver

Please refer to this important document for accessing Zoom.

Participant Code of Conduct

Designed to provide a safe and fun environment for all students.

What other parents and teachers say

Tihda Vongkoth is just an outstanding teacher! Our Advanced Percussionists performed two pieces on marimba and the kids played by themselves without being conducted. I was impressed! So thankful that the kids have the opportunity to learn from world class people in this area!

― David Wing, Director of Bands at Woodland Middle School

Awesome Percussion Camp Concert today! Great job by all of you! Thanks Ms V & Mr. A for a great week!

― Chris Johnson, Grade 7 parent