Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA, displays some of the sticks, mallets, brushes and timpani sticks Vic Firth Inc. donated to the university's percussion program.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A drumstick and mallet company has made a generous donation to the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and its percussion program, providing a valuable resource for students.

Vic Firth Inc. has donated several thousand dollars of sticks, mallets, brushes and timpani sticks to the SFA Percussion Studio, making it possible for students in the percussion program to try different types of mallets and sticks at any time, according to Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA.

The donation allows students to experiment using a variety of mallets in class and during lessons and practice sessions instead of having to wait until February when their traditional opportunity for such experimentation occurs in the vendor area at the Texas Music Educators Association's annual conference in San Antonio, Meyer explained.

"Being able to make musical choices regarding the implements students use in solo and ensemble compositions is crucial in developing their personal, musical voice," Meyer said. "Now, students have this new resource - the SFA Percussion Studio Mallet Library - to help them achieve their full potential as musicians and music educators."

Vic Firth's donation amounted to more than 200 pairs of sticks and mallets. Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Boston, Mass., the company bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of drum sticks and mallets, which are made in Newport, Maine.

"No other university in the United States has such a wide selection of implements at its programs' or students' disposal," Meyer said.