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Since 1995, Carlo Willems and Koen Wilmaers have been working closely together at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. Today their percussion class is the most prominent in Belgium, it has around 20 students.

In addition to increasing the knowledge and skills of the students in their field, both teachers try to prepare their future alumni to find their own place in the professional music world. For example, the requirements set in an orchestra or chamber music association and the qualifications required as a teacher (DKO) are integrated in the training.

At the end of the Bachelor's degree (3 years), the students must master all main percussion instruments: Timpani, Snare Drum, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Drums and Set-up. All these instruments are presented and evaluated annually at different show times and exams.

During the master's degree (2 years), students can further extend the studies of all instruments and start creating their own paths according to their personal professional goals. For example Orchestra play in general, Timpani, Melodic Percussion, Set-up, Contemporary programmes…

In order to maximize the way of studying, concert visits, master classes, CD listening and internships are on the agenda during the training. The student is always central during the course. During the bachelor's degree he follows (in addition to the established material) a personal trajectory in which he can explore his specific talents and develop his personal accents to the maximum.

Carlo and Koen ensure that the students do not have to enter the market unprepared.


During the training, extracurricular relationships are already realized, for example, orchestra playing, seminars, competitions, recitals, etc. Both teachers pass on the concert practice through active participation in concerts. They keep the students up-to-date on technical developments and they process the theoretical or practical instrument and repertoire-related professional literature.

Both teachers are open to all kinds of interpretations and techniques in order to inspire students to an open-minded attitude. The students will process the important advice and adopt the inquisitive attitude of the teachers.

The percussion practice field has undergone a spectacular evolution during the past 20 years. The professional literature and the new contemporary techniques changed radically. The challenge for the current student is to grow into a contemporary percussionist who is at home in all markets, with some specializations as an asset. In this way, he can play in a multifunctional way, from baroque orchestra to contemporary ensemble, from session musician to improviser, from soloist to an inspired teacher.

A few alumni of the previous years:

Bart Van Aken 

Session-musician, teacher at Baarle-Hertog and Schoten


Nico Schoeters

Soloist Percussion with the Belgium National Orchestra

Peter Van Tichelen

Soloist Percussion with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège


Pieterjan Vranckx

Soloist Timpani Antwerp Symphonic Orchestra

Tom Raes

Percussionist with Night Of The Proms, conductor


Arne Lagatie

Soloist Percussion with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège

Astrid Lecluyse

Teacher Percussion at Kadens Diksmuide


Adriaan Feyaerts

Freelancer with the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest


Peter Cools

Teacher Percussion at the academies Hemiksem, Lokeren, Brecht en Buggenhout


Sam Gevers

Soloist Koninklijke Belgische Marine, member Percussive,

Coach Creative Project Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen, Composer

Pieter Nieva

Managing Director at United Music & Media Publishers

Chapel master – Conductor with the Royal Music Chapel Antwerp Police 


Ilya Dynov

Drummer & Composer with MicroCorgi (NY)


Alexander Ponet

Principal Timpanist with Macau Orchestra


Mathias Gesquiere

Teacher Percussion at the music academies Wijnegem, Class&Jazz, Slac/Conservatorium


Michiel Dehondt

Teacher Percussion at Drumstudio Michiel Dehondt


Jonathan Beyers

Percussionist Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen


Wim Slangen

Teacher Percussion Academie Voeren-Riemst, Kunstkoepel Academie voor Muziek en Theater


Paul Janssens

Teacher Percussion Mortsel en Brasschaat 


Matthias Van Nuffelen

Teacher Percussion AMWD Mortsel

Pieter Mellaerts

Soloist Percussion with La Monnaie De Munt


Heigo Rosin

International soloist, Percussion teacher at Heino Elleri nimeline Tartu Muusikakool 


Iris Verbeeck

Teacher Percussion ART Tienen, Academie Boom,

freelance Orchestra musician

Robbe Vandijck

Teacher Percussion ART Tienen


Glenn Engelen

Freelance drummer/Percussionist

Sylvie Erauw

Teacher Percussion Stedelijke Academie Vilvoorde,

Percussionist bij AkroPercu

Thomas Raemaekers

Freelance Orkestmuzikant

Jef Callebaut

Teacher Percussion at Wisper


Sander Van Der Kloot

Teacher Percussion DKO, conductor


Benjamin Verstraete

Teacher Percussion Academie Wilrijk, Conservatorium Kortrijk

Tiit Joamets

Teacher Percussion Tallinna Muusikakeskkool


Ken Gybels

Soloist Timpani with Opera Vlaanderen


Koen Maes

Freelance Percussionist Nationaal Orkest van Belgie, dirigent


Stijn Paredis

Assistant artistic affairs Antwerp Symphonic Orchestra


Maarten Warson

Teacher Percussion Stedelijke Humaniora Dilsem-Stokkem, conductor


Paul Moreau

Freelance, drummer with Black Mirrors


Aldo Aranda

Artistic Director at Modern Troubadours

Job Van Duijnhoven

Teacher Percussion academie Wilrijk


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