Follow Innovative Percussion on Facebook Follow Innovative Percussion on Twitter Instagram YouTube

Rich Trelease

Share On
Share on FacebookTwitter
Rich Trelease graduated from Northern Illinois University where he studied with G. Allan O'Connor and members of the Black Earth Percussion Ensemble including Gary Kvistad, and was a concerto competition winner there. Prior to attending NIU he performed with the McDonald's All-American High School Band marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day and Rose Bowl Parades having the opportunity to work and record with Doc Severenson. He was the John Philip Souse award winner for his high school band and won first chair in the Illinois All-State band.

Professionally Rich is a freelance drummer, percussionist, and teacher in the Chicago area specializing in musical theater and has been the house percussionist for the Drury Lane Theaters for the past 18 years having played over 90 productions there. In addition to the drum set he plays all of the mallet percussion instruments, timpani, Latin and electronic percussion. He has also played numerous Broadway shows and tours in Chicago including Wicked, Fiddler On The Roof (with Topal), Dirty Dancing, The Lion King, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Show Boat and Les Miserables.

Recently Rich has been playing the drum set book for the 2nd national tour of the wildly successful musical production of Wicked visiting cities including Norfolk, Memphis, Tulsa, Nashville, and Des Moines.

As a studio musician Rich has played on numerous commercial jingles for clients including Applebee's, Oust, and Rent-A-Center and has been on countless recordings for local artists and songwriters. He has provided drum and percussion tracks for many of Hope Publishing's work and played drums on both of Willow Creek Community Church's 'Preludes' CD's, playing along with recording artists Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson, and Eric Darken.

As a freelance drummer Rich's playing has run the gamut from big band work with the Les Elgart, Jimmy Dorsey, and Ray McKinley bands, to pop, rock, jazz, and Latin playing with some of Chicago's finest musicians including Maynard Ferguson band alums Mark Colby and Tom Garling. He has played with many name artists including Red Skelton, George Burns, Bob Hope, Rich Little, Ethel Merman, Sid Caeser and Imogene Cocoa, Shecky Greene, and Danny Gans as well as Broadway stars Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and Stephen Sondheim's conductor Paul Gemignani.

Regionally Rich has performed with the jazz fusion group Juggular at colleges, universities, and clubs across the Midwest sharing the stage with notable jazz and fusion artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Jeff Lorder, and the Dixie Dreggs.

Rich is an active teacher and clinician in the Chicago area and was an adjunct faculty percussion instructor at Lewis University. He has served on the board of directors of the Chicago area chapter of Theater Musicians Association's (TMA) and has written articles for the TMA newsletter addressing the challenges of subbing in a theater pit orchestra. He is also a member of the Percussive Arts Society and alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha professional music fraternity.