NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The SFA Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Brad Meyer, will welcome guest artist Dr. Andy Bliss in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.
Bliss, who is director of percussion studies at the University of Tennessee, will perform a snare drum solo on Bob Becker’s “Mudra,” a major work for percussion quintet and an example of how Becker fuses military drumming style within the context of Hindustani practices.
The Percussion Ensemble will open the concert with Brian Nozny’s “trick,” which the composer describes as “a bit devious, somewhat playful and rather mischievous in character.”
The ensemble will also perform “dreams” by Dave Molk, who explains that two non-pitched multi-setups anchor “dreams,” their complicated rhythms alternating dialogue and unison yet always supporting and propelling the piece forward to ever-greater highs. “A virtuosic vibraphone is placed front and center, weaving in and out of the electronics, creating pulsating melodies that flicker with colorful licks,” he writes in program notes.
Featured student performers are junior Briley Patterson of Palestine performing “Kim” by Askell Másson; freshman Nadya Pramono of Houston performing “Anthem” from “Song Book, Vol. 1” by Ivan Trevino; and sophomores Lauryn Dean of Dallas and Brenson Kent of Richmond performing “Carousel” by David Friedman and Dave Samuels.
The program also includes Trevino’s “Shared Space,” which the composer explains is scored for seven percussionists who share a setup of one marimba, one vibraphone, one glockenspiel, one cajón and two concert toms. At times, up to five players perform on the same keyboard instrument.
As a music educator, Bliss has presented recitals, lectures and masterclasses at the Northern Illinois University New Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, Association for Technology in Music Instruction’s National Conference and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Residing in Knoxville, Tennessee, his performances have been heard locally at the Tennessee Theatre and the Knoxville Museum of Art, and abroad in locations such as the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music, Germany; the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada; and the Patagonia Percussion Festival, Argentina.
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.