Grad school! – In May, I left my 8-year adjunct percussion position at Reinhardt University, to go formally study Composition. I’m now in my first year at UW-Milwaukee (in my home state of Wisconsin!). It’s never too late to pursue what you love, and to try and make a better life for yourself. AHOY!

Percussive Arts Society! – In January, I’ll be giving a lecture recital called “Good Vibes” at the 2018 Wisconsin PAS Day of Percussion! It’ll be about the business and inter-personal aspects of composing & performing your own music, with a performance of “10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone“. “10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone” was reviewed in the May 2017 issue of Percussive Notes

The 2nd Edition of my Toy Piano Book is out! – “The Texture of Activity”, 2nd Edition, is now out! It was edited and revised in tandem with Douwe Eisenga, and these 55 short solos are off the chain so come and get it! They can be played on a variety of instruments besides the toy piano…check it out! You can watch/listen to a playlist of the pieces.

Current Compositions in progress! 

a piano solo with electronics for Ann Yi (for UWM’s “Sensoria” commission)

a multi-percussion solo for Nathaniel Gworek

a saxophone quartet consortium




Olivia Kieffer is an American composer, percussionist, and educator. She is former adjunct music faculty at Reinhardt University (2009 – 2017), where she taught Applied Lessons and World Music, and directed the Percussion Ensemble. She has degrees in percussion from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Allen Otte and the Percussion Group Cincinnati; and Georgia State University, studying with Stockhausen specialist Stuart Gerber
She feels at home in both the classical and rock worlds, and was an active performer in Atlanta’s vibrant contemporary classical music scene, including her work as bandleader and drummer for the chamber rock band Clibber Jones Ensemble. She is a long-time member of the Chix With Stix Percussion Group, and was timpanist for the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra. She also performed regularly with Terminus Ensemble and Bent Frequency, and is co-director of the Reinhardt Contemporary Arts Festival as well as Atlanta’s SoundNOW Festival. Olivia served on the Music committee at Eyedrum Music & Art Gallery for 2 years, where she curated the Composer’s Concert Series.
As a composer, she has enjoyed performances by many ensembles and soloists, including the Mana Saxophone Orchestra, the A/B Duo, GremlinsDuo, BF Duo, Terminus Ensemble, neoPhonia, toy pianist Amy O’Dell, percussionists Brandon Dodge and Nathaniel Gworek, tubist Bill Pritchard, pianist Marvin Rosen, and the Italian chamber ensemble Piccola Accademia Degli Specchi
Olivia collaborates regularly with composers William Susman and Douwe Eisenga, and often arranges + performs their music, as well as the music of Marc Mellits. In the fall of 2016, she performed a recital of minimalist and postminimalist keyboard percussion works, featuring her “10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone”, plus world premieres by William Susman, Brian Kozaczek, and Francesco Di Fiore. She currently studies composition independently with Marc Mellits, and with Amanda Schoofs at UW-Milwaukee, where she is studying for a Master’s degree in Composition. She has studied engraving independently with Douwe Eisenga.
Her projects and compositions have been highlighted in ArtsAtl, TomTom Magazine, the Atlanta Creative Music podcast, the A/B Duo blog, WABE-FM (90.1), New Music Conflagration, Eyedrum Periodically, listening to ladies, and Music, Polyphony, and Polyrhythm
Most recently, Olivia was Composer in Residence at the Mana Saxophone Institute. 

My newest project – Texture of Activity videos!