Rich Holly holds the position of Executive Director of Arts NC State at North Carolina State University. Previously, Rich served as Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University where he was also a Professor of Percussion since 1983.
Rich remains active as a solo performer and clinician, and has appeared over three hundred times at schools, colleges, universities, conventions and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. Rich received his formal training at the State University of New York at Potsdam and East Carolina University. His principal teachers were Henry Gates, Howie Mann, James Petercsak and Harold Jones. In addition, Rich studied Brazilian percussion with Manoel Monteiro, Afro-Cuban drumming with Frank Malabe and West African drumming with Abraham Adzenyah and Famoudou Konate. Rich was a founding member of the Abraxas Percussion Group, and has performed with the Long Island Holiday Festival Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of New York, and the North Carolina Symphony. For eleven seasons, Rich was Timpanist of the Illinois Chamber Symphony.
As a drumset artist, Rich has appeared with Terminator X, Petey Pablo, Allen Vizzutti, John Fedchock, Dave Samuels, Bill Molenhof, Ethel Merman, Red Skelton, Bob McGrath and Sesame Street and many others. From 1984 to 2000, Rich played drumset and percussion with Inner City recording artists Rhythmic Union.
Rich’s numerous articles have appeared in almost every major music journal, and from 1986 to 2002 he was Associate Editor for Percussive Notes magazine. His published percussion compositions are sold around the world, and his popular book, Majoring in Music: All the Stuff You Need to Know, is available from booksellers worldwide.
Rich is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society, the world’s largest society for percussionists.