Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present OBU’s Percussion Ensemble in concert Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Ryan Lewis, OBU assistant professor of music. This event is free and open to the public.
The OBU Percussion Ensemble presents several concerts each year, including fall and spring semester concerts as well as special event appearances. Repertoire selections range from chamber works for trios and quartets to works involving larger numbers of ensemble members.
The Oct. 22 concert will feature three pieces for drums and percussion and three pieces featuring keyboard percussion instruments such as marimba, xylophone and vibraphone. The ensemble will perform “Din” by Andy Harsnberger, “Puzzle Piece” by Rich O’Meara, the second movement of “Trio per Uno” by Nebosja Zivovic, “Coffee Break” by Mark Ford and Ewelina Bernacka Ford and “Sharpened Stick” by Brett Dietz, concluding with “Marimba Spiritual” by Minoru Miki.
“Din” is a rudimental-style trio in which each performer has a kick drum, bongos, snare drum, floor tom and cymbal. “Puzzle Piece” is a marimba trio in a minimalist style made up of interlocking rhythms that fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. Movement two from “Trio per Uno” is a beautiful trio for two vibraphones and crotales with rain stick, sizzle cymbal and glass wind chimes. “Coffee Break” is a STOMP-inspired, groove-based work for five players using coffee cups from OBU’s Dr. Jack’s Coffeehouse.
“Sharpened Stick” is inspired by the Native American fish-step dance style. According to Lewis, this powerhouse quintet is full of complex polyrhythms (rhythms that do not typically “fit” together) and has become a modern classic of the percussion ensemble repertoire. Chris Hogan will be the marimba soloist on “Marimba Spiritual,” a Japanese piece inspired by the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.
The OBU Percussion Ensemble includes: Aaron Breeding, a freshman instrumental music education major from Springdale, Ark.; Drew Ervin, a junior music and computer science major from Springdale, Ark.; Gabriel Ess, a freshman music major from Sachse, Texas; Carter Harlan, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Fayetteville, Ark.; Sarah Harney, a freshman early childhood education major from Crossett, Ark.; Chris Hogan, a junior instrumental music education major from Bartlesville, Okla.; Julie Nessler, a sophomore biology major from Rowlett, Texas; Van O’Rorke, a freshman instrumental music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Stephen Vaughn, a freshman church music major from Hot Springs, Ark.; and Zack Willis, a freshman music performance major from Redfield, Ark.
Lewis has served since 2009 as assistant professor of music at OBU, where he teaches applied percussion, percussion techniques and music history courses. Lewis directs the Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band Drum Line and Tiger Steel Drum Band.