Brian Yarkosky's playing has been described as, "Pleasurably eclectic and smoothly virtuosic" by Seattle Times writer Michael Upchurch. He is an active full-time freelance percussionist working all over the Pacific Northwest. As an arranger, his music for marimba ensemble has been performed nationally, and his recordings have been licensed internationally for use in film, radio, and podcasts. He has performed with over thirty Western Washington based ensembles. From larger groups such as Northwest Symphony Orchestra and Everett Symphony to smaller groups such as Seattle Musical Theatre, Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Spectrum Dance Theater, Brian is a continuously sought after musician. He co-founded the Evergreen Duo, a flute and marimba duo with flutist Torrey Kaminski. He also performs on Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussion with Pan Leggo, a steel drum ensemble performing all over the Northwest. Brian also co-founded Seattle Marimba Quartet, the Northwest’s most active professional level percussion ensemble. Seattle Marimba Quartet, or SMQ, has performed on live radio in Seattle’s 98.1 KING FM studios many times. Those recordings are aired regularly on American Public Media’s Performance Today. SMQ has released two albums to critical acclaim. The first, titled "Singing Wood," and the second, "A Thousand Pictures" which was released in January of 2017. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.
Brian served as conductor of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensemble from its inception in 2011 to 2018. He also instructed the award winning Ballard High School Drum Line and Percussion Ensemble from 2011-2016. He now directs the Islander Middle School Percussion Club, co-teaches 5th grade band in the Mercer Island School District and is a regular guest instructor for Mercer Island High School's Percussion Ensemble as well as a guest clinician in many Bellevue School District schools. He is also an instructor at the Summer Music Institute in Bellevue (BYSO), and the Affetti Summer Music Festival in Anchorage, Alaska.
is a graduate of the University of Washington, where he studied with Thomas Collier and Michael Crusoe, and received majors in both Music Performance (classical percussion) and Music Education. He has taken a total of 23 years of lessons on both percussion instruments and piano, his first instrument, as well as nine years playing the French Horn and Bass Guitar. Prior to his involvement with SMQ, he has gone on two national tours of America with the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps, an international tour of Japan with the University of Washington Wind Ensemble, and has participated in various ensembles ranging from the Everett Youth Symphony and the Everett Symphony to the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra.
holds a Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of Washington and a Bachelors of Music in Percussion Performance from Eastern Washington University. Wende's main performance teachers include Marty Zyskowski, Tom Collier and Michael Crusoe. He has performed under the batons of renowned conductors such as Frederick Fennel, Anthony Meiello, Gordon Johnson, and Frank Battisti. As a percussionist Wende has performed with a number of groups including the Great Falls Symphony, the Great Falls Symphony Pops Orchestra, the Great Falls Municipal Summer Band, the Winds of Montana, the Puget Sound Symphony, the Sammamish Symphony, the Lyric Opera Northwest, and the Summer Stock pit orchestra in Idaho. Wende has been a guest performer with several different groups including the Spokane Area Children's Choir, the United States Air Force Brass Band, and the United States Army Field Band. He has also had acclaimed performances on KPBX public radio as a guest soloist in Spokane, Washington.
Christian started taking private percussion lessons in 6th grade from Paul Raymond, the principal percussionist of the Spokane Symphony. After high school, Christian majored in percussion and minored in physics at the University of Washington, studying the relationship between music (sound) and physics. After teaching and playing percussion professionally in Seattle for three years, Christian moved to Sapporo, Japan to teach English with the Jet Program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program). In addition to teaching English, Christian also played with many local jazz groups around town and met many great musicians. Upon finishing the JET Program in 2006, Christian returned to Seattle and spent the next two years working towards his masters degree in percussion performance at The University of Washington. Since graduating in 2008, Christian has been performing with his own jazz vibraphone group, Ian Dobson's Pan Leggo Steel Drum Band, Million Dollar Nile, The Lee Redfield Quartet, and playing freelance percussion for orchestras, musicals, and other ensembles in the Seattle area.