Non-Western Ensembles


As a music major at PSU we can offer you two main non-Western music ensembles to join: Taiko and Gamelan. Although both are relatively new, they are already known for their inclusive attitude and unique style.



The PSU School of Music’s Taiko ensemble teaches students a unique form of post WWII Japanese drumming. Whether hosting a performance with the Japanese Studies department or playing at a PSU fundraising event, this group of both music and non-music majors enchants audiences. There is no audition process for the Taiko ensemble. Taught by rote (a new experience for many music majors), participation requires an eagerness to learn and an enthusiasm for the music. Led by Wynn Kiyama, this ensemble performs 1-3 times per quarter.


One of PSU School of Music’s newest groups is the Gamelan ensemble. A non-Western music offering, this Javanese style of music ensemble was formed at Portland State following a generous donation of an instrument set for students to use. As a music major, you will rehearse weekly with community members and perform several times per quarter in various concert series and University events. Because of the nature and size of Gamelan ensemble instruments, there is no at-home practice required. All skill levels are welcome.

 Wynn Kiyama
Taiko Ensemble Director

Wynn Kiyama is an assistant professor of musicology and ethnomusicology and the music history coordinator at Portland State University. He received a Ph.D. in musicology from New York University and has taught at Rutgers University, Westminster Choir College, Columbia University, and held an artist residency at Colby College.