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Simon Phillips
Chad Wackerman
Dave DiCenso
Ithaca, NY April 17th – April 22nd, 2016
Sponsored in part by DW Drums.

Explore the depths of your drumming in this powerhouse retreat. Join us in Ithaca, New York, in the world-famous Finger Lakes, as Simon Phillips, Dave DiCenso and Chad Wackerman guide your drumming journey. Enjoy Masterclasses at the Hangar Theatre by day, laid-back private group dinners at night, plus bonus entertainment along the way. You can even bring a spouse or companion (restrictions apply).

Rhythm Retreat participants get their own lakefront guesthouse with private rooms at the exceptional Inns of Aurora 20 minutes away. A variety of amenities and activities are available, from kayaking to bicycling, gym facilities and more.

Choose from 6-day, 4-day and 3-day all- inclusive packages. Complete itinerary provided upon registration.

Questions about anything? Feel free to contact us.

Master Clinicians

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips enjoys a longstanding reputation as one of the world’s most renowned and respected drummers. His style reflects his technical gift and his distinct musical sensibility. From Rock to Fusion and Jazz, Simon has done it all, applying the same precision and intensity found in his drumming to each project.

A professional musician since age 12, Simon has a litany of artists to his credit, including Toto, Mick Jagger, The Who, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Peter Gabriel, Joe Satriani, Tears for Fears, Judas Priest, Roxy Music, Michael Schenker, Nik Kershaw, Phd., Al DiMeola, 801, Pete Townshend, Russ Ballard, Robert Palmer, Stanley Clarke, The Pretenders, Jon Anderson, Whitesnake and Dave Gilmour… to name but a few.

In addition to his playing career, Simon has ventured deep into solo projects, including his first album “Protocol” in 1988, followed by “Force Majeure” in 1992. “Symbiosis”, which he recorded in 1995, showed a change of direction in the compositions. “Out of the Blue”, a live album, ushered in another musical shift, as did “Vantage Point”, a pure, straight- ahead jazz album.

Simon continues to perform with a range of artists today, and remains sympathetic to a range of musical styles. His interest in sound and arrangements continue to propel his career.

Chad Wackerman

A phenomenally skilled jazz and rock drummer, Chad’s professional career began in 1978 with the Bill Watrous band. Since then he has amassed a remarkable body of work including a seven-year association with Frank Zappa, with whom he toured the USA and Europe and recorded 26 albums including the London Symphony recordings.

He has also recorded 6 albums and toured with guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, played on the ‘One Voice’ album and video with Barbra Streisand, and recorded albums and toured with artists as diverse as Steve Vai, Andy Summers, Men At Work, Ed Mann, Albert Lee, Colin Hay, Dweezil Zappa, Pasqua/Holdsworth/Haslip/Wackerman Group, Terry Bozzio, Carl Verheyen and David Garfield. Chad has also toured with James Taylor, John Patitucci, Joe Sample, Banned From Utopia and The World Drummers Ensemble (Bill Bruford, Luis Conte, Dou Dou Ndiaye Rose and Chad Wackerman).

As a band leader and composer Chad has five critically acclaimed CDs: ‘Forty Reasons’, ‘The View’,  ‘Scream’,  ‘Legs Eleven’ and his latest release, Dreams Nightmares and Improvisations. Chad has written music for the television show ‘The Dennis Miller Show’, as well as composing music for Allan Holdsworth’s ‘Secrets’, ‘Wardenclyffe Tower’ and ‘Sixteen Men of Tain’ CDs. His trio has a performance DVD, ‘Hits Live’.

Chad’s drumming combines the power and conviction of rock with the sensitivity and finesse of jazz. His playing is remarkably free of predictable patterns and licks, relying instead on invention and interplay with the musicians around him.

Power Practicum™ Instructor

Dave DiCenso

Boston-based Dave DiCenso enjoys a musicality and versatility that have garnered him a diverse list of playing credits, including Josh Groban, Steve Morse Band, Cro-Mags, Hiromi, Duran Duran, John Petrucci, Gary Cherone, Suze DeMarchi, Johnny A, Shelter, Two Ton Shoe, Aaron Katz Band, Jess Tardy, Jon Finn Group, Farrenheit, Ultra Blue, Bad Karma, and Mystery Jones. An interesting tidbit—and testament to his musical depth—is that Dave has performed at venues as disparate as the Kennedy Center and the Whisky A GoGo, and has shared stages with artists as dissimilar as Etta James and Slayer.

A student of the drums since age 4, Dave is a highly-regarded and sought- after educator who has maintained a thriving practice throughout his playing career. An Associate Professor of Percussion at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, he is an experienced clinician and has been a featured artist at major percussion industry events including the Modern Drummer Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, N.A.M.M., Frankfurt MusikMesse, and the Montreal Drum Festival.

In addition to touring with Josh Groban and teaching at Berklee, Dave has published his second drum set method book Rhythm and Drumming Demystified, which follows up the well-received Universal Rhythms for Drumset, published by Alfred. He has an online curriculum in the works, for which his books will be the basis.

You and your fellow drummers will have command of your own lakeside property, the renowned Rowland House at Inns of Aurora in Aurora, New York. This grand, historic home has been thoroughly renovated to provide the comforts you’ll crave after a day of intensive study.

Rowland House

Enjoy a sumptuous room with private bath, lakeside sunsets, a sprawling back lawn, use of partner athletic facilities, a friendly tavern and billiards across the street and a complimentary happy hour each evening.

Sample Rowland House room.

Three separate parlors allow for additional privacy or impromptu practice pad jams, while a huge wraparound porch affords you plenty of opportunity to relax and take in the view.

Rooms are assigned according to package chosen and arrival time.

Sample Rowland House interior.

All classes take place daily at The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York, a 20-minute drive from Aurora. All practice equipment will be provided to students, and additional acoustic drumsets are available for practice or demonstrations.

The theatre features a thrust stage and vintage seating from Ithaca College, plus a dressing area, lounge, outdoor patio and additional restrooms. It is a 5-minute walk from the scenic Ithaca waterfront.

Hangar Theater exterior.Hangar Theater view from stage.Hangar Theater stage, side view.

Spouses and companions are welcome at Rhythm Retreat, and there will be various daytime activities available to them. The Finger Lakes is a vibrant region filled with natural, cultural and culinary adventures waiting to be explored.

Cayuga Lake view from Rowland House.

Companions can view your drumming masterclass from a discreet area of the theatre as well as partake in certain evening events and recreation.

Inns of Aurora (Rowland House)

453 Main Street, Aurora, New York, 13026

Rowland House is the 3rd house in the “chain” of Inns, right after EB Morgan House.


Google Maps

By Car


Take I-81 North to Exit 12 (Homer). Go straight to the first stoplight. Turn right and go to next stoplight. Turn left onto State Route 90. Continue along State Route 90 for about 45 minutes until you reach the village of Aurora. The inn is on your left.


Take the New York State Thruway (I-90) East to Exit 41. Turn right onto Route 414 and then left onto Route 318. At the end of Route 318, turn left onto Routes 5 and 20.After 2 miles, turn right onto State Route 90. Stay on Route 90 for about 15 miles until you enter the village of Aurora. The Aurora Inn will be on your right.


Take NYS Thruway (I-90) West to Exit 40 (Weedsport). Follow Route 34 South for about 14 miles. You’ll travel through and past Auburn. Just after the small village of Fleming, turn right onto Route 34B, which you will take for another 8 miles. When you come to Sherwood Road, turn right. Follow Sherwood Road approximately 5.5 miles to State Route 90/Main Street and turn left. The Aurora Inn will be on your right.


Take I-81 South to Syracuse to the New York State Thruway (1-90) West. Take Exit 40 (Weedsport). Follow Route 34 South for 14 miles. You’ll travel through and past Auburn. Just after the small village of Fleming, turn right onto Route 34B, which you will take for another 8 miles. When you come to Sherwood Road, turn right. Follow Sherwood Road approximately 5.5 miles to State Route 90/Main Street and turn left. The Aurora Inn will be on your right.

By Air

Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH)
1 Culligan Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850
35 minutes by car to Rowland House

Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR)
1000 Col Eileen Collins Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13212
1 hour and 5 minutes by car to Rowland House

Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)
1200 Brooks Ave, Rochester, NY 14624
1 hour and 18 minutes by car to Rowland House

By Train

William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center
1 Walsh Circle Syracuse, NY 13208
1 hour and 3 minutes by car to Rowland House

Taxi companies

College Town Taxi (Ithaca)

Syracuse Taxi (Syracuse Airport)

Car rentals

803 CASCADILLA ST, ITHACA, NY (607) 275-9000