Percussive Arts Society and Yamaha Announce 2012 Scholarship Winners

Thaddeus Tukes

BUENA PARK, Calif. — The Percussive Arts Society and Yamaha Corporation of America recently named Thaddeus Tukes as the winner of the 2012 PAS/Yamaha Terry Gibbs Vibraphone Scholarship and Yuko Sato as the recipient of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) Scholarship.

The Vibraphone Scholarship, funded by Yamaha, honors legendary jazz vibraphonist and Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame member Terry Gibbs. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time student registered in an accredited college or university school of music for the following academic year.

Thaddeus Tukes, a freshman at Northwestern University has played percussion and piano in the Jazz Combo, the Wind Ensemble and the Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, in Chicago. In addition to performing with the Jazz Combo at the Chicago Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Tukes received superior ratings in solo competitions and earned recognition as the best Illinois jazz vibraphonist among high school competitors. He has studied with Dick Sisto, Kim Cooper, Brandon Podjasek, Gallery 37, Ravinia Mentors and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Percussion Scholarship Group and took several master classes with many premier Chicago-area musicians.

The PASIC Scholarship lets students attend Percussive Arts Society International Convention, by providing $500, complimentary registration and a one year PAS membership. 

Scholarship winner Yuko Sato, a music performance graduate student in percussion at the University of Memphis, started playing piano at age four and percussion at age 12 in her junior high school band. Sato, who grew up in Japan, has participated in bands, orchestras, percussion ensembles, jazz ensembles, jazz combos and the early music ensemble. Professionally, she played with the Boise Philharmonic while studying at Boise State University and now currently performs with the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. She also performs with the Memphis Occasional Orchestra, the Balmoral Chamber Orchestra and the Latin band Los Cantadores.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include winning the 2009 concerto competition at Boise State University, becoming a semi-finalist on the Southern California Marimba Competition duo category in 2011 and a finalist in the concerto competition at the University of Memphis in 2012. Sato has studied with Dr. John Baldwin, Ed Murray, Dr. Frank Shaffer and Dr. Miho Takekawa and has taken lessons with Tim Genis of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Fernando Meza of the University of Minnesota.

"Before winning this scholarship, I had never been able to afford to go to PASIC," she said. "This scholarship allowed me to make one of my dreams come true and it was such a great experience. I learned a lot as a percussionist and I appreciate this wonderful opportunity from Yamaha."

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For more information about Yamaha, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail; or visit