NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “An Evening of Soloists” with guest artist Dr. Eric Willie at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies in the School of Music, directs the ensemble. Willie is director of percussion studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The program includes “Duende” by Francisco Perez; “Xylophonia” by Joe Green, arranged by Bob Becker, with Ethan Ainsworth, soloist; “Marimba Spiritual” by Minoru Miki with Willie as soloist; “Dark Sky” by Dustin Schulze with Briley Patterson and D’Angelo Brackeen as featured performers; and “Bend” by Peter Martin.
“Marimba Spiritual” was a commissioned piece for three percussionists. As a person who had experience suffering before and after the end of World War II, Miki used “Marimba Spiritual” to express his condolences and anger about the many people in Africa who died of starvation in the early 1980s.
Green’s “Xylophonia” is a xylophone solo with piano accompaniment written in the 1920s and is described as a “ragtime march.” In 1973, Becker and his group Nexus arranged the piece for xylophone solo and marimba accompaniment.
Schulze conceived “Dark Sky” to portray a “unique and foreboding landscape,” the composer writes. Divided into three connecting sections, the piece is “bound by a recurrent foundation that incessantly drives its energy and mood with intensity and dreamlike imagery.”
Perez states that “Duende” was inspired by a “fond musical experience in Spain,” and it is the fusion of many musical idioms that characterizes a “beautiful performance of flamenco” he saw in Madrid.
Martin’s “Bend” draws inspiration from the player-piano compositions and piano rolls of amateur composer Bruce Goff. The work evokes an unconventional sound palette created with alternative techniques on two marimbas.
The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.
Concert 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.