Ouachita Baptist University will host the OBU Percussion Ensemble in concert on Tuesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
“This spring’s concert is a diverse program of percussion pieces with something for everyone,” said Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of music and director of the percussion ensemble. “The concert will begin with Susan Powell’s ‘The Gilded Cage,’ a quartet in which each player performs on tom-toms, cymbals, drum set, bass drum and brake drums from a car.”
The concert will continue with “Powder Puff” by Harry Breuer, a “toe-tapping delight from the 1930s,” said Lewis; “Head Talk” by Mark Ford, “a unique quintet piece … written entirely for drum heads;” and free improvisation in which students will compose and perform in the moment. The final selection before intermission will be “Ritual Music” by David Skidmore, “a rousing, boisterous piece that sounds exactly as the title implies,” Lewis noted.
After a short intermission, the second half of the concert will consist of two pieces by Julie Hill, associate professor of percussion at the University of Tennessee-Martin (UTM). According to Lewis, Hill’s pieces are “modern compositions inspired by her experiences studying the samba reggae music traditions on the northern coast of Brazil.
“‘Sonhando em Salvador’ (Dreaming of Salvador) is a drum-only piece made up of rhythms she experienced while researching in the city of Salvador, while ‘Rudi’s Batuque’ features keyboard percussion, drum set and electric bass in addition to the drums of the prior selection,” Lewis added.
Lewis said he is excited to “provide the unique opportunity for our students to perform music of another culture on traditional instruments from Brazil. … The two pieces are full of teachable musical moments and are enjoyable for the audience, who should be warned that audience participation is expected!”
By Ryleigh Salmon