NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Brett William Dietz, Peter Naughton, Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane and Andy Akiho in a virtual concert at 6 p.m. Friday, April 23.
Directed by Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies for the SFA School of Music, the ensemble opens its spring concert with Dietz’s ‘Sharpened Stick,” which the composer describes as a Native American war song and dance that is in the “fish-step” style. It is believed that the popular 1920’s dance craze the ‘Charleston’ was derived from this dance, Dietz said.
In “Waiting to Exhale,” Naughton said he tried to convey a sense of constant motion and excitement for the listener.
“I drew inspiration from the Dave Matthews Band, attempting to capture their intense energy and subtle yet distinct harmonic sensibilities,” he said. “With its relentless 16th note motor, this piece relies heavily on interlocking rhythmic cells to create a larger, compose rhythm.
Burritt’s “Home” is a reference to both his home in Rochester and “our collective home,” the Earth. The piece is in three distinct movements and spans approximately 20 minutes. The second movement, titled “White Pines,” was inspired by “the energy, crispness and majesty of snow-covered trees in the winter months,” Burritt said. It is scored for solo marimba with both keyboard and battery percussion.
Deane’s “Parallel Isometry” was originally written as a drum set feature with percussion ensemble in which the drum set part was completely improvised, but the scenario did not work as the composer wished. The work now features two percussionists as soloists. In its present configuration, the piece was written for Dr. Eric Willie and the Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble.
The concert closes with Akiho’s “to wALk Or ruN in wEst harlem,” which is a percussion piece that features a modified Pierrot ensemble – flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano – and prepared vibraphone.
To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit https://tinyurl.com/2rt3y3ea the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.