Rich O’Meara (b. 1957) is fluent in a wide variety of musical styles. He is currently a member of Kwo’m Percussion Group, which is focused on composing and performing new music for percussion. As a member of One Earth Percussion Theatre he took part in innovative multi-media performances. He has performed with the Contemporary Music Forum, the Lenox Ensemble, and the New York based ensemble Sky Music. He was featured as marimba soloist with the Women Composers Orchestra and under the direction of Michel Camilo, was guest artist at the 1998 Latin-Caribbean Festival at the Kennedy Center. He has also spent time playing jazz with the Bruce Middle Group, Jeffrey Chappell and Millennium, and alternative rock as the drummer for Kismet. Alongside the members of So Percussion and his son, Kevin O’Meara, he was a member of the Dan Deacon Ensemble at the premiere of material from Dan’s album Bromst.
jh variations, a commissioned work for the Lamont School of Music Percussion Ensemble at the University of Denver, was completed in March 2006 and received a premiere that May. He has written many works for percussion and small ensemble, some of which are published by Music for Percussion and Marimba Productions. His piece for solo marimba, Restless, was required repertoire for the 48th International Competition in Geneva, Switzerland. Wooden Music for two marimbas was a first round choice for the International Marimba Competition 2004, Belgium. He took second place in the 1999 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest with looking at “r”, for two marimbas. His work was featured several times on the NPR program “New Sounds” and has been recorded on the Audite, Cybele, Animato, Codamusic, and Koch Discover International record labels. O’Meara is a three time winner of the ASCAP Plus award and is currently working on a commissioned solo marimba work to be premiered by Lin Chin Cheng in Belgium in 2010. He has been invited to participate in the International Festival of Percussion in Patagonia, Argentina in June, 2010.
Since the fall of 1999 O’Meara has been a creative partner in Silent Orchestra; a collaboration with composer/ keyboardist Carlos Garza to develop and perform new scores for classic silent films. Recent performances include the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Virginia Film Festival, the Savannah Film Festival, AFI Silver Theater and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Silent Orchestra scores for Nosferatu (1922) and Salome (1923) are available on DVD from Image Entertainment.
He studied percussion with Randy Eyles, Gar Whaley, Ron Barnett, and Leigh Howard Stevens and received a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.