John Tafoya serves as chairman of the percussion department and is professor of percussion at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. From 1999-2007 he served as principal timpanist for the National Symphony Orchestra and has held previous principal timpani positions with the American Wind Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony (KY), the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN), and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
An active educator and sought after clinician, Mr. Tafoya has presented numerous master classes and clinics at universities across the United States. He has also been a featured clinician at the Virginia/D.C. Percussive Arts Society's Day of Percussion and at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) in 2002, 2006, and 2011. Mr. Tafoya has served on the music department faculties at the University of Evansville, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland.
Mr. Tafoya has worked under many prestigious conductors including Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, James Conlon, Jiri Belohlavek, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Valery Gergiev, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vanska, John Williams, Hugh Wolff, and David Zinman.