Percussion goes unconventional

Under the direction of Dr. Darren Bastian, the percussion ensemble will be playing their first concert of the year titled “Lift Off.” Photo by Christopher Sessums

The Music Department is presenting a performance by its talented Percussion Ensemble this week, directed by Dr. Darren Bastian, director of Percussion Studies.

Percussion Ensemble will be performing on Monday, Nov. 22 in the Ragan Theater. This is Bastian?s ?rst semester working with the ensemble, as well as his ?rst concert with them.

The name of the concert is “Lift Off,” which is also the title of one of the pieces being played. However, there is another reason for the name.

“[It] also represents a new beginning with the ensemble,” said Bastian. “We also have a large number of new students in the group that will be performing with us for the ?rst time.”

The ensemble features twelve students who play standard percussion instruments, such as snare drums, bass drums, toms, cymbals, xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones and gongs, but that isn’t all that will be played.

“We will also be playing a number of unconventional instruments, such as brake drums (from automobiles), elephant bells, sistrums (rattles), metal pipes, log drums and even a wooden box,” Bastian said. “Two members of our group will be playing the guitar and a small ?ute called an ocarina. One piece only uses drum heads.”

The concert will feature performances of “Heads Up” by Mark Ford, “Lift-Off!” by Russell Peck, “Marimba Spiritual” by Minoru Miki, “Nagoya Marimbas” by Steve Reich, “Canticle No. 3” by Lou Harrison and “Danse Bacchanale” by Camille Saint-Saëns. Senior Andrew Barry will be the featured marimba soloist in “Marimba Spiritual.”

Students can buy tickets at Campus Connection for $5.

Percussion Ensemble will be performing on Monday, Nov. 22 in the Ragan Theater. Students can buy tickets at Campus Connection for $5.

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