Lynn Vartan

Professor of Music


Known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage, Dr. Vartan brings that same passion for music into her classroom.



Percussionist Lynn Vartan is an international performer and educator who is an advocate for diversity in music. Known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage, Dr. Vartan brings that same passion for music into her classroom.

In 2016, Dr. Vartan became the first American percussionist to design and launch her own signature line of marimba mallets for Marimba One. She has performed with dozens of ensembles and orchestras, including the Hubei Opera and Dance Company of Wuhan, China, the Sierra Wind Symphony, the Helena Symphony, the Orchestra of Southern Utah and Southwest Chamber Music. As a recording artist, Dr. Vartan was three times Grammy nominated on the Cambria label with Southwest Chamber Music in the “Best Classical Album of the Year” and “Best Ensemble with or without a conductor” for The Complete Chamber Music of Charlos Chaves, Volume III and for the “Latin Classical Album of the Year” for William Kraft’s Complete Encounters Series.

A devoted ensemble musician, Lynn has been actively involved with Southwest Chamber Music, the violin/percussion duo 61/4 which she founded with Shalini Vijayan, and a duo percussion group Exacta that she formed with Tambuco’s Miguel Gonzalez and Duo LinLynn with percussionist Wei Chen Lin. At the University of Southern California, Dr. Vartan earned a master’s and doctorate in music. She is endorsed by the Paiste Corporation, Remo Inc. and Marimba One.


1 min

Carolyn Maull McKinstry Speaks at SUU

A.P.E.X. Events is proud to continue the spring season by sharing the life of Carolyn Maull McKinstry and her voice in the Civil Rights Movement. Join A.P.E.X. Events on Thursday, February 6 at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall on the campus of Southern Utah University. "Carolyn’s story is incredible, and she represents both the history and the now of civil rights in our country,” said Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of A.P.E.X. Events. “We can all learn so much from her story, her history and her now.”McKinstry is a survivor and eyewitness to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963. As a teenager, McKinstry marched under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and bravely faced Bull Connor's German shepherds and stinging fire hoses during the battle for equal rights in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. In 2013, McKinstry authored While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement, an account of the bombings, riots, assignations, and the historic marches and triumphant moments of the Civil Rights movement.A.P.E.X. Events is Southern Utah University’s premier weekly lecture series, with speakers and presenters invited from all areas of the world. Attendees to our events are students, faculty, staff and community members, and the series features a diverse range of topics and disciplines. 

Lynn Vartan

2 min

The Greatest Scholar of Mexican-American Fast Food - Gustavo Arellano

Award-winning columnist, author and food activist Gustavo Arellano is set to present at Southern Utah University’s A.P.E.X. event series Thursday, September 13, 2018. His appearance, titled after his book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, will share how a rich heritage’s culinary traditions have influenced everyday dining experiences throughout the United States.Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of A.P.E.X Events at Southern Utah University, is proud to have Gustavo Arellano share his story with the SUU campus and community. “Celebrating our diversity and learning about aspects of culture are so important to the A.P.E.X. Events Series. Gustavo’s writings, travels, and renown in the international food scene is like having our own food network star here on campus!”Taco USA debunks the myths of what we perceive as Mexican food in America and speaks to the cultural impact of Latin America on our tastes and senses. Arellano explains how many recipes were conceived and/or were altered and modified after crossing the border. “Gustavo Arellano…is perhaps the greatest (and only) living scholar of Mexican-American fast food.” (New York Times)“For his visit to SUU, we plan to generate as much contact as possible with our students and community. In addition to the actual A.P.E.X. event, he will be doing an intimate conversation with our students and a Taco-Run competition with local restaurants in Cedar City!”“In our mission to bring diversity and culture to our audience, we are thrilled to have Gustavo deepen our perceptions of a favorite American food culture. All who attend are sure to enjoy – buen provecho!!”Dr. Vartan and her team are passionate about the broad spectrum of thoughts, ideas, disciplines, backgrounds and cultural themes that can be showcased and shared, all within the context and with the consistency and organization of A.P.E.X. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.Source:

Lynn Vartan

Industry Expertise

Writing and Editing
Performing Arts

Areas of Expertise

Music Performance
Project Management
Percussion Literature
Percussion Pedagogy


University of Southern California


Percussion Performance

University of Southern California


Emphasis in Percussion, Music History, Music Education and Theatre Design


Director of APEX Event Series


Signature Line of Marimba Mallets


Recital Soloist Feature

Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series

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  • Southwest Chamber Music
  • Exacta
  • Marimba One
  • Paiste Corporation
  • Remo Inc.

Media Appearances

SUU Satellite Salon Series Presents Christopher Swist

SUU News  online


SUU’s Satellite Salon Series is hosting Christopher Swist in a concert titled Duality – The Life of the Composer/Performer.
Created by SUU faculty member Dr. Lynn Vartan, the Satellite Salon Series is hosted twice a year and provides local students and music lovers an opportunity to attend master classes held by professional musicians. The Series is an educational program, designed to give southern Utah rural high school students the opportunity to learn from professional musicians and artists.

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SUU Percussion Ensemble’s multimedia ‘Sci-Fi Odyssey’ will take listeners out of this world

Cedar City News  online


Under the direction of Lynn Vartan and featuring more than just instruments, the Southern Utah University Percussion Ensemble will perform the free concert “A Sci-Fi Odyssey”.
“The concert is centered around a large ensemble piece called ‘Science Fiction’ that pays homage to old sci-fi films,” Vartan said. “It even has voice-over quotes from old films as well as a film montage that will play with it that shows old sci-fi movie bits! Other pieces include the ‘REM Cycle’ by Dustin Schulze and ‘The Martian Chronicles’ by Shaun Tilburg.”

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SUU Hosts Annual Percussion Festival

Southern Utah University  online


SUU Department of Music hosts their Annual Percussion Festival on Saturday, April 15, 2017, beginning with a workshop at 2 p.m. and culminating with a concert that evening at 7:30 p.m. given by the Percussion Ensemble featuring Dr. Lynn Vartan and special guest artist Michael Burritt.
Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of Percussion at SUU, said, “Michael and I will be premiering a new piece he wrote for us to perform. The piece, (Sweet Dreams) and Time Machines, honors his former Dean, Doug Lowry, at the Eastman Conservatory. Doug was also my Associate Dean and conductor at USC. Doug passed away in 2013 and was an inspiration to both of us.”

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New York Times in education

Phillip Eliasoph, Lynn Vartan, Michael J. Kimball, Taso Lagos, Elaine Leeder, Robert Schmuhl, William McKeen

“[The New York Times] has been a GREAT thing for our music students. Every week we have our New York Times round robin discussion, in which students have read an arts article and brought it in for discussion. It has really added to the class and made students much more aware of the arts in the nation. We have had some very lively talks about what makes art and what is happening in the arts based on the New York Times articles … I am looking forward very much to using it again!”

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MUSC 3240 Percussion Ensemble

The Percussion Ensemble performs historically significant works for percussion, contemporary percussion literature and traditional non-Western world music. The ensemble comprises both music majors and non-music majors.

MUSC 3241 Advanced Percussion Ensemble

The Advanced Percussion Ensemble performs advanced literature from the percussion ensemble repertoire. The course is designed for students with considerable experience in playing and reading music.

MUSC 3242 Drumline

The Drumline is a marching percussion ensemble that prepares and performs music of the marching percussion repertoire. Music to be learned includes cadences, street beats, in-stands music and marching percussion show music. The ensemble performs at university events such as athletic events and recruiting events. The ensemble comprises both music majors and non-majors.

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