Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Percussion Ensemble to perform diverse concert selections

September 19, 2018 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its first concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The diverse program includes works by Dr. Brad Meyer, director of the SFA percussion studio and the Percussion Ensemble, Steve Reich, Jacob Druckman, Nick Werth, Joe Moore, Eric Sammut and Joseph Aiello.

Of his own work from "B-Radicles," Meyer states "Marimbabira" is a combination of the two words "marimba" and "mbira" - "marimba" refers to the instrumentation of the piece, which utilizes four players performing on two 4.3-octave marimbas, and "mbira" alludes to the style of the composition. The mbira is a small instrument held in the hand that has small metal tines attached to a piece of wood; each tine is plucked to produce sound. Mbiras are native to Zimbabwe and are used in both secular and religious music.

Moore's "Denkyem" uses the idea of adaptability throughout the piece "as the motivic material is passed from player to player, adapting to the instruments used and the ever-changing time signatures," Moore writes.

Sammut performed his original composition "Four Rotations Pour Marimba" in the final round of the 1995 Leigh Howard Stevens International Marimba Competition. The performance of Rotations I and II from "Four Rotations" in the final round was one of the contributing factors of Sammut winning the competition. Junior performance major, Sophia Lee, will perform the solo.

Aiello's "Classic African" will be performed by sophomore education major Briley Patterson. It is a timpani solo that incorporates rhythms common to African drumming ensembles such as 12/8 time signatures, according to Meyer.

"The performer is challenged by having to keep different rhythmic ostinato (repeating patterns) going while playing melodic, solo passages at the same time, which creates the aural illusion of one performer becoming two independent players," Meyer writes in his program notes.

Other program selections include Reich's "Nagoya Marimbas," which features repeating patterns played on both marimbas, one or more beats out of phase, creating a series of two-part unison canons. Druckman's "Reflections on the Nature of Water," performed by Master of Music candidate Spencer Jones, is a reflection of the "magical preludes" of composer Claude Debussy.

Werth's "Boom Bap," is a new composition for six percussionists that pays homage to the evolution of hip hop.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.