Scott R. Harding (b. 1968) is a lifelong Michigander, born in Bay City and growing up in rural small-towns Auburn and Cass City. Dr. Harding earned his BM in Theory/Composition from Central Michigan University in 1991, studying with award-winning band and percussion composer David R. Gillingham. Dr. Harding also studied percussion with the late Robert Hohner while at CMU, and was a member of the legendary Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble for five years. Following a compositional chain-of-command, Dr. Harding went on to earn the MM and PhD in Composition at Michigan State University, working primarily with Gillingham’s teacher Jere Hutcheson (himself a student of the incomparable H. Owen Reed). Performing remained a strong interest for Harding while at MSU, and he studied traditional percussion with Mark Johnson as well as swing drumset and Afro-Cuban percussion with former Sun Ra and Max Roach percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett.
A 3-year graduate assistantship in aural skills ignited Dr. Harding’s passion for teaching, and he stepped into his current position at CMU while completing his last year of doctoral work in 1998. As a member of the CMU School of Music faculty, Dr. Harding teaches in the core theory/aural skills area, coordinating the ear-training curriculum and working privately with composition majors. He also teaches jazz history, music appreciation and world music as part of the university-wide liberal arts regimen. Dr. Harding’s commitment to teaching was acknowledged with a nominations for the 2004-2005 and 2007-2008 Excellence in Teaching Award.
As a composer Dr. Harding works frequently with small chamber ensembles, writing music of intricate playfulness, knotted interwoven lines and excellent craftsmanship. He has accepted commissions from colleagues both at CMU and across the country, resulting in the creation of works like Four Short Dances, Episode I for Clarinet and Electronic Accompaniment, Duo Concertante, Birdsong and Cork Pine Suite. Dr. Harding’s love of percussion is evident in the pounding rhythms of Taiko, Criss and The Summoning Of Katakhanes, as well as in the somber, lyrical strains of his homage to Robert Hohner entitled Eulogy. His music is published by C. Alan Publications of Greensboro, NC.