Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present OBU’s Percussion Ensemble in concert March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. The ensemble will be under the direction of Dr. Ryan Lewis, OBU assistant professor of music, with a special guest appearance by Dr. Scott Herring, associate professor of percussion at the University of South Carolina. This event is open to the public and free of charge.
“Those in attendance will experience a soundscape and range of musical tone colors unlike those they have likely heard in previous concert settings,” Lewis said. “Percussionists are called upon to perform a literally infinite number of instruments, some of which are found in the standard orchestra, but many are uncommon specialty instruments, such as the flex-a-tone, vibratone, Chinese opera gong, cooking pans, slide whistle, automobile brake drums, bamboo wind chimes, splash cymbal, bird whistles and even gargled water—all of which will make an appearance throughout the concert.”
The concert will feature a Japanese taiko drumming piece, a fanfare for six tambourines, a multiple percussion duet performed by Herring and Lewis and a “schizophrenic work that seeks to find itself,” Lewis said. The concert will conclude with Michael Burritt’s “Shadow Chasers” for a marimba soloist and percussion quartet based on an idea from C.S. Lewis and featuring Herring on marimba.
“The OBU Percussion Ensemble is made up of students who perform a wide variety of music composed expressly for percussion instruments, which includes pieces for trios and quartets up to works for large forces of percussionists and instruments,” Lewis said.
The Percussion Ensemble includes: Trey Gosser, a freshman instrumental music education major from North Little Rock, Ark.; Paul Hill, a sophomore instrumental music education major from San Marcos, Texas; Mike Kizzar, a senior biology major from Danville, Calif.; Josh Lee, a junior instrumental music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Alex Lomax, a freshman chemistry major from Little Rock, Ark.; Dave Nedbalek, a freshman business administration major from Tyler, Texas; Grant Walker, a freshman music major from Sugar Land, Texas; and Zach Zucha, a freshman business administration major from Sachse, Texas.
Dr. Scott Herring serves as director of the Percussion Ensemble and the Palmetto Pans Steel Band at the University of South Carolina. He previously served as assistant professor of percussion and assistant director of bands at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. Herring holds degrees from East Carolina University and Northwestern University. He has performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Shiraz Trio and Rosewind Duo, whose debut CD, “Release,” was released on Equilibrium Records in 2008. He has presented clinics and concerts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Michigan and Texas, as well as a clinic at the 2002 Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
Dr. Ryan C. Lewis teaches percussion and music history courses at OBU and previously served on the music faculties of Claflin University, the University of South Carolina and Florida State University, where he directed the Caribbean Steel Drum Ensemble. Lewis received recognition for outstanding undergraduate teaching at the University of South Carolina and was awarded “Teacher of the Year” honors as a public school general music teacher in Florida. He holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, Florida State University and Furman University. Lewis has appeared with So Percussion, Mannheim Steamroller, Afro-pop guitarist Habib Koité, composer-conductor John Harbison, Duo Matre and Chinese zheng-master Haiqiong Deng in her Carnegie Hall debut, as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States and Europe.
For more information, contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at email@example.com or (870) 245-5421.
By Becca Watts