Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will host a recital featuring Duo Matre, a piano-percussion duo, Oct.15 at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. The recital is free of charge and open to the public.
The duo includes Dr. Ryan Lewis, Ouachita assistant professor of percussion, and Ouachita alumnus Dr. Tad Hardin on piano. The pair met and became friends while both attending graduate school at Florida State University.
“Dr. Hardin wanted to include a piano-percussion piece on one of his doctoral programs,” Lewis explained. “It was such an enjoyable experience that we continued to perform full concerts together.” Duo Matre has been selected to perform this November at the College Music Society National Conference in San Diego, Calif.
“Getting to dialogue with living composers, as we have done in preparation for this recital, is highly rewarding,” Hardin noted. “We learn more about the background and inspiration for a piece, and in some cases, we can contribute suggestions to works in progress or commission new works.”
The Oct. 15 concert will begin with “Platinum” by David Hollinden. The arrangement of percussion instruments in this selection mimics both the natural and accidental keys of the piano. The second piece will be “Dittico” by Niccolo Straffelini. This piece features individual parts for the vibraphone and piano, while presenting the two instruments as one single musical entity.
The third selection will be “Out of the Blue” by Michael Burritt. “This particular composition grows out of itself quite organically and explores a number of unique musical and timbral ideas,” Lewis said. The program also will include pieces by Robert Schumann for pedal piano, a unique instrument that resembles a piano with organ pedals. In this arrangement, the pedal parts are performed on five timpani. “Matre’s Dance,” from which the duo takes its name, will be the fifth piece performed and is based on a character from Frank Herbert’s Dune novels.
“The concert will end with a piece by the fictional composer P.D.Q. Bach, whose works are noted for their parody and humor of great musical works,” Lewis said. “This piece will no doubt be a favorite for many because it will involve an appearance by a narrator and scholarly historian Dr. George Keck, OBU professor emeritus of music.”
Dr. Ryan C. Lewis serves as assistant professor of percussion at Ouachita, where he teaches applied percussion, percussion techniques and music history courses. Lewis also directs the Percussion Ensemble and Tiger Marching Band Drum Line and a new Caribbean steel drum ensemble that will begin in Spring 2013. A devoted chamber musician and collaborator, Lewis performs with the flute-clarinet-percussion group Trio di Risata in addition to Duo Matre.
Dr. Tad Hardin serves as assistant music director at Salem Baptist Church in Apex, N.C., as well as a coach and accompanist for the North Carolina Opera; he also works as a freelance musician. Hardin is an Arkadelphia native and a 1999 graduate of Ouachita. During his time at OBU, he was involved in Kappa Chi men’s social club, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national fraternity for men in music, Ouachita Singers and Praise Singers and also served as a Tiger Tunes host and Concert Choir pianist. Hardin was also involved in several performances including operas, musicals and student recitals.
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Austin Selph