Niel DePonte is the Principal Percussionist of the Oregon Symphony, a post to which he was appointed in 1977 at the age of 24. Mr. DePonte was born in New York City and received his training at the Eastman School of Music where he earned a Master of Music degree and the Performers Certificate. He also holds a degree in education from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. He has appeared with the Oregon Symphony and other orchestras numerous times as a marimba and percussion soloist, playing a varied repertoire including his own compositions. He appears regularly as solo percussionist for Chamber Music Northwest.