Heartland Marimba

Celebrating classical marimba year-round with community, artists, and students through an all-encompassing mission!

Matthew COley

HMP Compositions & Arrangements/Transcriptions

  • 80 On 80 for Keyboard Percussion Quintet – Educational Series

  • Allegro from Concerto in C, F. J. Haydn – A concerto adopted from Haydn's first cello concerto for solo marimba.

    • Marimba solo part only. (Use this link for the piano accompaniment.)

    • Marimba and percussion ensemble (8 players) version.

    • Redux version for solo marimba and 4 beginner/intermediate percussionists.

  • Aravot Lousaber (2013), traditional – Armenian chorale for two (or three) marimbas.

  • Crazy Characters – A wild, fugal solo for marimba.

  • Elucidatrix (2016) – An advanced work for solo marimba and 8 percussion based on material from Bartok's Second Piano Concerto.

  • Grand galop chromatique (1838/2015), Franz Liszt – A virtuosic, exciting, and carnival-like arrangement for keyboard percussion.

    • Marimba trio version, all using 4 mallets.

    • Sextet version for xylophone and marimbas, all using 2 mallets.

  • Habanera from Carmen (1875), Georges Bizet

  • Intermezzo in A Major (1893/2013), Johannes Brahms –  A solo marimba arrangement of a popular piano piece.

  • Laylit Houb, traditional – An arrangement of the evocative Egyptian love song, lyrics by Oum Kalthoum, for dulcimer, plus optional xylophone/djembe, vibraphone, two marimbas, and doumbek.

  • Maneuveresque (2013) – Advanced duo for percussion, inspired by the complex forms in art, dance, and music of the Arabesque.

  • Morning Across the Fields for Percussion Sextet – Educational Series

  • The Morning of Life (2014), traditional – Duet for flute and marimba, based on Irish folk melodies and harmonies.

  • The Morning of Life (2005), traditional – Trio for marimba, voice, and percussion, based on Irish folk melodies and harmonies.

  • My Fugal Things (2014) – A fugue based on the theme of My Favorite Things.

  • Pelagic Winter Wanderings – A four movement work for percussion quartet, dulcimer, and harpsichord featuring the unique timbre and capabilities of zithers.

    • I. Tide Pools (Point Loma)

    • II. Oceanus Borealis (Mars)

    • III. Icy Beauty (Lake Michigan)

    • IV. Blue-green (San Juan Beach)

    • Instruments: hammered dulcimer (and optional extended range psaltery, or multiple psalteries, or similar instrument for bowing, and multiple triangles), harpsichord (mvts. I and III), prepared vibraphone, vibraphone, glockenspiel, xylophone, two marimbas, and crotales.

  • Pentagonal Arabesque (2013) – Advanced marimba solo, incorporating intertwined polyrhythms (duple / quintuple).

  • Polka; Op. 22b from the Ballet "L'Age d'or" (1935), D. Shostakovich

  • Por una Cabeza, Carlos Gardel – A famous tango for solo marimba.

  • Prelude from Suite Bergamasque, Claude Debussy – An arrangement for vibraphone and marimba.

  • Ragtime, Igor Stravinsky – Arranged for solo marimba from the piano version by Stravinsky.

  • Seasons May Change (movements sold separately) – A solo for marimba inspired by the shifting atmosphere from one season to the next.

  • Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, J. S. Bach – Arranged for solo marimba.

  • Waiting – A trio for hammered dulcimer, cello, and vibraphone.

Biography

Matthew Coley is an internationally acclaimed performer and the artistic director of the Heartland Marimba Festival. He has been described as "off the charts" (John Cook, Westminster Presbyterian Fine Arts Series, Des Moines, IA), while "delivering virtuoso...exquisite soloing on marimba" (Lauren Warnecke, seechicagodance.com). Performing on marimba, percussion, hammered dulcimer/cimbalom, and glass, Matthew travels regularly bringing the beauty of the marimba's singing wood and the diverse timbre of other percussion and dulcimers to many audiences. About his dulcimer performing it has been written that “Coley rips across the strings of the hammered dulcimer with abandon bordering on delirium!” (Linda Shapiro, Chicago Press Review). Matthew has performed in over 30 US states, 10 countries, and as a soloist with ensembles throughout the US and abroad including Clocks in Motion Percussion, Heartland Marimba Festival Collective and Quartet, Sudar Percussion of Croatia, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, and Moldavian Philharmonic and Teleradio Symphony Orchestras.


Matthew served as the Percussion Faculty in the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre from 2009-2015 and also now directs the Academy, SoundWAYS, Collective, Quartet, and Publications divisions of HMF. After six years teaching at ISU, Matthew is once again a full-time performer, and will continue his passions of building a bigger and better Heartland Marimba Festival and bringing the marimba, dulcimer, and their composers into the spotlight through unique projects for many diverse audiences.


Matthew regularly collaborates with composers looking for unique ways to push the percussion repertoire. Works that he has commissioned and/or premiered include: Lurgy for Carillon and Percussion Ensemble by Neil Thornock (premiered at Iowa State University, 2013); Rural Sketches for Marimba and Contrabass Ensemble by Igor Iachimciuc (premiered at Chicago Cultural Center, 2014); Glass House Concerto for Solo Percussion (glass, metal, wood, and stone) and Wind Ensemble by Andrew Ardizzoia (premiered at University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 2013); Images of Africa for Dulcimer and Percussion Sextet by Steven Simpson (premiered at University of Iowa, 2014); and most recently he has created and premiered with the Central Iowa Symphony a version of Haydn’s Concerto in C for cimbalom, vibraphone, and marimba. In addition, he has commissioned and/or premiered many solos for marimba and dulcimer.


Released in 2012, Matthew’s second album Souvenirs establishes him as one of the most innovative and exciting artists of his kind. Adam Blackstock (Troy University) wrote of it in the July 2012 Percussive Notes, “If you are in search of a disc with great recording quality, a high level of performance, and an eclectic collection of tracks, this title should be added to your iTunes wish list. Souvenirs delivers 80 minutes of diverse works…” Other critically acclaimed solo albums include, Circularity (“most enjoyable…world-class performing,” [2010, Jason Baker, Percussive Notes]) and Between the Lines (“performed luminously, with intense vigor” [Brett Dietz, Percussive Notes]), which is a collaborative disc of all of Neil Thornock’s percussion music, released in early 2015 on New Focus Recordings.


Matthew has performed as a soloist at five Percussive Arts Society International Conventions; at universities, institutions, and concert halls across the nation in over 30 different US states; in Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland; and as soloist and clinician at several state Days of Percussion. He has won several prizes from national and international competitions and holds percussion performance degrees from Northwestern University (DM and MM) and the University of North Texas (BM) (teachers included: Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, James Ross, Leigh Howard Stevens, and She-e Wu). Matthew is an endorsed artist by Marimba One, Black Swamp Percussion, ProMark Drumsticks and Evans Drumheads, Beetle Percussion, and Sabian Cymbals, and is published by Innovative Percussion, Edition Svitzer, and Heartland Marimba Festival Publications. His signature mallet percussion practice pad system is available through Beetle Percussion. More information can be found at www.hearMatthewColey.com and www.HeartlandMarimbaFestival.com.