Percussion ensemble to perform spring concert

Megan Confer

The School of Music’s percussion ensemble presents its spring concert at 8 p.m. Thursday in Ludwig Recital Hall.

The percussion ensemble, made up of music performance and music education majors, will perform seven pieces covering a variety of styles of music, said Ted Rounds, associate music professor.

“It’s the capstone achievement for the course. It’s the entire percussion studio, around 14 or 15 in the program, we rehearse three times a week for two and a half hours each,” Rounds said.

Rounds said because of the size and placement of the instruments, the ensemble spends as much time setting them up for the performance as they do playing them.

“The concert is about 90 minutes, and it takes us 90 to move all our instruments in and 90 to move everything out,” Rounds said. “That’s part of the deal with the instruments we play. It’s all about logistics.”

Rounds said the percussion ensemble is unique because the members truly care about the performance and practice together more than any other group of students in the school.

“They’re not doing it just for credit, they’re doing it because they want to play, and they want to play very well,” Rounds said. “It’s not the same as a required class, where they just take it because they have to, they take it because they want to. There’s a lot more emphasis placed on whether or not they’re going to put on a good show.”

Rounds described the first piece as a predictable drum piece, accompanied by a wide range of unfamiliar instruments.

“It’s four people playing a snare drum. It’s what people would expect, except for the fact that when the first piece is being played, they’ll see a stage full of instruments, most of which they cant even identify by name,” Rounds said. “So they’re watching four people play a simple instrument, and going, ‘What’s all that other stuff up there?’”

The rest of the concert includes a variety of pop music pieces, a piece that sounds like a drum circle and others.

“The last piece is a very interesting percussion ensemble piece of music,” Rounds said. “It’s four people playing as many instruments as you can count. It’s for the most part, loud, brutal, rude and there’s yelling. At some point we will encourage the audience to yell with us.”

Rounds said this piece correlates with the recent protests around campus of credit hour fees.

“The last piece we will be using as almost a protest piece, to go along with the other activities during the day,” Rounds said. “The piece is incredibly aggressive.”

Contact Megan Confer at [email protected].