NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Jennifer Higdon, Ivan Trevino and Andy Akiho among other percussion composers when the student ensemble presents its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
Directed by Dr. Brad Meyer and Dr. Jamie Vilseck, the Percussion Ensemble will open the concert with Andrew Patzig’s “Mrityu” (or “Mrtyu”), a Sanskrit word meaning death. In describing the inspiration for the work, the composer references the planet’s “grim future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruptions mayhem.” “‘Mrityu’ is an attempt to put this future into perspective,” Patzig writes.
Evan Chapman describes his work “Honeybee, 1830” as his “ode to the coast of Maine, which has become my ‘happy place’ over the years. This piece is what happens when a single musical idea is distributed via ‘pollination’ throughout an entire ensemble, morphing in form throughout its travels, like a honeybee delivering pollen and nectar.”
In Akiho’s Pillar II and III of his “Seven Pillars,” the composer states that the inspirations for the work “are deeply personal,” written more for performers than instruments. Citing influences of Duke Ellington, Cat Anderson and Juan Tizola, Akiho states, “This piece does not have a concrete narrative, although I have a personal storyline that fits my life journey, and I encourage the listener to experience the music in their own adventure.” The quartet performing Pillars II and III will compete at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention’s “Concert Chamber Ensemble Competition” in November. The quartet members are percussion students Anna Desfor, graduate student from Mundelein, Illinois; Marshall Oman, senior from Taylor; Aaron Milam, senior from Longview; and Micah York, junior from Texarkana.
Higdon describes her work “Splendid Wood” as “a joyous celebration of the sound of wood,” which is “the material that gives the marimba its unique sound.” Other works on the program include Trevino’s “Space Junk,” which he calls a children’s story set to music; and Michael Aukofer’s “Identity Crisis,” a work he says is “intended to challenge the performers, as well as entertain and amuse the listener.”
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.