The WSU Percussion Ensemble will demonstrate the heartbeat of music as their rhythms envelop the senses Tuesday night in Kimbrough Concert Hall.
The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and is free to the public. The program consists of eight pieces for percussion.
“The group is made up of 13 players that are percussion majors and minors,” percussion ensemble director David Jarvis said. “The ensemble's goal is to perform a wide range of percussion music on many different percussion instruments, including keyboard instruments, timpani, auxiliary percussion, Latin percussion and exotic percussion instruments. A group like this provides a wide range of colorful sounds unlike any other instruments.”
The first half of the concert will feature, “The ‘O’ Zone” by Jack Stump, “Akadinda Trio” by Emmanuel Séjourné, “Ionisation” by Edgard Varèse and “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” by Modest Mussorgsky.
“The percussion literature has a large repertoire of transcribed orchestral works, which provides a unique sound perspective to these famous pieces,” Jarvis said. “Of course, the centerpiece of the program will be Ionisation. I plan to give a short lecture demonstration on the work before we perform it so that the audience can really appreciate the piece.”
Jarvis said “Ionisation” is considered to be the first important work written strictly for percussion instruments. The piece requires 13 musicians performing on 37 instruments.
“Most of'Ionisation'is composed with sonorities of percussion instruments alone,” he said. “Rhythm and timbre are the principal elements of'Ionisation.'”
Stumpf said he is excited for the performance.
“I am excited for'Ionisation,'which is one of the first innovation percussion ensemble pieces,” Stumpf said. “It features many complex rhythms that we are actually going to have to explain to the audience.”
The concluding half of the concert will feature “Scherzo: Allegro” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “The Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “The Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian and “Portico” by Thomas Gauger.
“‘Sabre Dance’ is a movement in the final act of the Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian’s ballet'Gayane'completed in 1942,” Jarvis said. “It evokes a whirling war dance in an Armenian dance, where the dancers display their skill with sabres."
Rachel Gordon, flute performance graduate student, said percussion concerts offer excitement in visual and audible forms.
“Percussion ensemble concerts are exiting because there are always an array of different instruments,” Gordon said. “It is not just pleasing to hear but also pleasing to watch. It should be an exciting performance even for the non-music audience member."
The audience will be exposed to a variety of music, Jarvis said. There is something for everyone.
“Everyone that has ever attended a percussion ensemble concert always comes away saying ‘I never knew that percussion instruments can create so many interesting sounds,'"Jarvis said. “Percussion ensemble concerts are visually pleasing to watch because of all the unique equipment being played.”