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Lynn Vartan - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Lynn Vartan

Professor of Music | Southern Utah University


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.







Industry Expertise (4)


Writing and Editing


Performing Arts

Areas of Expertise (8)

Music Performance

Project Management

Percussion Literature

Percussion Pedagogy





Education (2)

University of Southern California: M.M., Percussion Performance

University of Southern California: D.M.A., Emphasis in Percussion, Music History, Music Education and Theatre Design

Accomplishments (7)

Director of APEX Event Series (professional)


Signature Line of Marimba Mallets (professional)


Recital Soloist Feature

Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series

Recital Soloist Feature

Los Angeles Philharmonic Different Trains Series

Grammy Nomination

Cambria label, Southwest Chamber Music in "Best Classical Album of the Year"

Grammy Nomination

Cambria Label, Southwest Chamber Music in "Best Small Ensemble with or without a conductor"

Grammy Nomination

William Kraft's Complete Encounters Series in "Latin Classical Album of the Year"

Affiliations (5)

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

Media Appearances (7)

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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Vartan Becomes First American to Create Signature Mallets

Music Connection  online


Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of percussion at Southern Utah University, is the first American percussionist to design and launch her own signature line of marimba mallets for Marimba One. Vartan is a world-renowned percussionist, performer and tenured professor at SUU since July 2008.

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Heartland Marimba Festival Comes to Cedar City

Southern Utah University  online


The Heartland Marimba Festival Academy Out West will be held June 3-14, 2016 at Southern Utah University. Multiple concerts will be available to the public in the Thorley Recital Hall. These concerts will feature various guest artists, including Matthew Coley, Michael Burritt, Clocks in Motion, and Southern Utah University’s own Director of Percussion, Lynn Vartan.

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Miming to the Music: Free Mime Workshop and Concert

Southern Utah University  online


This unlikely duo is percussionist and SUU instructor Lynn Vartan and professional mime and choreographer C. Nicholas Johnson as the mime. “Each person in attendance will learn about the principles of miming, an art form that is rarely seen at this high of level,” said Vartan. “The Sounds of Silence Series makes available artists like Johnson to viewers who are unlikely to ever see and perform next to a professional mime.”

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Feel the Rhythm at SUU Percussion Ensemble Concert

St. George News  online


CEDAR CITY — The Southern Utah University Percussion Ensemble presents its fall concert on Monday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall. Admission is free and the performance is open to the public.

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Articles (1)


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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Courses (5)

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.

MUSC 3740 Percussion Methods

Prepares music education students in the pedagogy, methods and techniques of teaching percussion instruments.

CONV 2010 Passport to SUU

Passport to SUU is a course that allows the students to experience many live events on campus, including Convocations lectures, theatre, dance, and music performance events. The course seeks to add richness, depth, and opportunity for personal, professional growth for the student, maximizing the experiential and integrated experience they have on campus every semester.