Lucas Bernier, D.M.A.

Dr. Lucas Bernier holds a degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in audio production and percussion performance (B.M.) and degrees from the University of Iowa in percussion performance and pedagogy (M.A. and D.M.A.). He has embraced various genres and frequently performs in diverse musical settings, including contemporary, classical, jazz, popular, and world music.

Dr. Bernier is the principal percussionist with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and leads a jazz combo and steel drum quintet. He works throughout the midwest as a performer, adjudicator, and clinician. Dr. Bernier is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Innovative Percussion and Sabian Cymbals

Courses/About Program:

Dr. Bernier is currently an associate professor of music and the director of percussion studies at the University of Mary and teaches the following courses: Applied Percussion, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, and Music Technology.

The University of Mary Percussion Studio has a long history of success as a close-knit studio focusing on individual attention and mentorship while preparing performers and educators for diverse careers in music. The percussion program offers a total percussion approach with serious study in classical, contemporary, jazz, improvised, and ethnic music. The University of Mary’s Percussion Studio is one of the most active in the area, performing concerts both on and off-campus. The musicians perform in wide-ranging ensembles, including percussion ensemble, steel band, concert band, jazz ensemble, jazz combos, and pep band (drumline). Students also gain real-world experience by performing in professional ensembles including, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, and local jazz groups. Our graduates continue their education in master’s programs, teach K-12 music, and perform professionally.  

Performances and Ensembles

Selected Performances

  • Marimba Soloist with Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra (2020)
  • Percussive Arts Society International Convention with the Varying Degrees Trio (2019)
  • Robert Moran Ensemble at the University of Iowa (2018)
  • Dan Moore Percussion Group, 10th Annual Patagonia Festival Internacional de Percusión, General Roca, Argentina (2012)

Performing Ensembles

  • Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra (BMSO), Principal Percussion
  • Varying Degrees Trio
  • Lucas Bernier Jazztet
  • Lucas Bernier Caribbean Jazztet (steel drums)
  • BisMan Big Band
  • Robert Moran Ensemble

Presentations, Groups Conducted, and Clinics

Bernier has directed the St. Mary’s Central High School Steel Band. He has also directed the award winning Jefferson High School ‘Band of Blue’ Drumline and Front Ensemble in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Bernier has served as a Faculty Percussion Artist for the International Music Camp, Percussion in the Valley Summer Camp (Alaska), Lutheran Summer Music Academy, and the University of Iowa Summer Camps.

Bernier has presented clinics and workshops to schools throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Northern Plains Kodály Chapter, and the North Dakota Music Educators Association Conference.

He has presented numerous clinics and presentations on topics including drum set, mallet percussion, improvisation, and hand drumming, to name a few. Highlights include:

  • Percussive Arts Society International Convention
  • North Dakota Music Educators Association Conference
  • South Dakota Music Educators Association Conference
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Northern Iowa
  • Northern Plains Kodály Chapter