CCM percussionist joins the cast of STOMP

Alumnus Declan Hayden tours with the drumming sensation, which stops in Dayton in October

UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnus Declan Hayden (BM Percussion Performance, ‘20; BM Music Education, ‘20) won a position this summer with the touring production of percussion and theatre troupe STOMP. The ensemble has 12 members, with eight of those members performing on any given night. Hayden’s character is called “Potato Head,” whom STOMP describes as “the rock steady rhythmic center of the show.

Declan Hayden poses beneath the STOMP marquee.

Declan Hayden poses beneath the STOMP marquee.

Hayden was surprised when he won his new job, in part because of the theatrical aspect of the role. It requires top-tier musicianship as well as serious acting chops.

“STOMP was definitely on my radar, but I always assumed it would be out of my league in some way,” Hayden says. “Playing for the musical theatre folks and dancers were some of my favorite parts of my time at CCM, but I assumed my future would be in the pit and not on the stage!”

Not only that, but this was Hayden’s first professional audition. He credits both his performance and music education experiences at CCM with giving him the skills he needed to join STOMP.

“Making good sounds with strange objects in percussion ensemble, exploring theatrical chamber music in recitals, making sure the groove sits just right in steel band, learning about improvisation and movement through accompaniment and collaboration with the dance department, amalgamating different styles in musical theater productions…I feel like I could shout out every ensemble I ever played with at CCM,” said Hayden.

His biggest advice to today’s CCM students? Stay physically healthy and become as well-rounded as you can, because you never know when you’ll be asked to step out of your comfort zone.

CCM audiences who want to see Hayden in STOMP can catch the tour in Dayton on Oct. 15, 16, and 17.

Featured image at the top: Declan Hayden performs during CCM's Moveable Feast.

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Alexandra Doyle

CCM Graduate Assistant , Marketing + Communications

Alexandra Doyle is a doctoral candidate studying clarinet performance at CCM. Alexandra’s master’s degree is also from CCM, and she holds bachelor’s degrees in clarinet performance and journalism from the University of Houston.